Wheelchair Charities continues to make a difference
HOWIE EVANS AmNews Sports Editor | 12/23/2011, 10:28 a.m.
The annual Wheelchair Charities Gospel Show, hosted by Henry "Hank" Carter, was held at Goldwater Memorial Hospital on Roosevelt Island. The most significant part of the evening was when Carter presented spanking-new wheelchairs to a score of residents at the now-famed Goldwater Hospital. And to think, it all began with a basketball tournament raising funds to assist Carter, the CEO and president of Wheelchair Charities Inc.
Though the story continues to be told regarding Carter and the role he has played in the lives of thousands of handicapped patients at Goldwater over the past 40 years, it bears repeating each and every time Carter presents the most up-to-date and modern wheelchairs to patients.
In the early 1970s, Carter came to the island to visit lifelong friend Al "Tjader" Fogle, the victim of a mad man who had gotten into a beef with an individual on a Queens sidewalk and fired his gun as Fogle was leaving a grocery store.
The bullet struck him in the back, rendering him paralyzed for the rest of his life.
At the time, Goldwater had little to no equipment and no wheelchairs, moving Carter to begin what became his life's work: raising funds for the hospital to purchase wheelchairs and state-of-the-art equipment.
Goldwater and Carter have literally changed the face of patient care for the handicapped. Carter, along with an army of unbelievable individuals, has made vast contributions to assist Goldwater in its work and to purchase the most unbelievable equipment in the industry.
The annual Wheelchair Charities Gospel Show features artists like this year's CiCi Winans, James Fortune and the Bishop Eddie Long family, who are among the greatest gospel performers in the world. The Revs. Edwin Reed and Mary Reed, MD, and Wess Morgan, another gospel great, also performed for the patients at the Christmas show. Rev. Boyd was the MC for the program. And again, it all started with a basketball tournament in Queens, which is still a major part of Wheelchair Charities.