It’s been 40 years and the hope and caring has never been stronger and more committed than it will be on Thursday May 9, at the Wheelchair Charities Inc. annual honors banquet.

Headline honorees include Ray Rice of Super Bowl champs the Baltimore Ravens and Nike’s Howard White. Also being honored are the John Conefry family, a long-time supporter of Wheelchair Charities, and Pat Lanza, who has devoted much of her years to Wheelchair Charities.

This 40th anniversary Wheelchair Charities affair will celebrate Hank Carter as well as former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young; Dr. Bob Law (WBLS); the late Hal Jackson and his wife, Debbie Jackson; Rep. Ed Towns and his son Darryl Towns, a former New York state assemblyman and now the commissioner and CEO of Homes and Community Renewal. All of them continue to support Wheelchair Charities.

Over the past 40 years, other folks like Kelsey Stephens and the late Ernest Lorch have served the organization and helped raised millions that provided equipment that has enhanced the lives of the many paraplegics and quadriplegics at Coler-Goldwater Hospital. Over 800 motorized wheelchairs have been purchased over the past five years alone. There is the Vocational Rehab Computer Lab, the greenhouse, the specially-equipped busses and special beds. The giving has never stopped.

“I have not done this alone,” Carter, the founder and CEO of Wheelchair Charities noted. At his side were people like Augusta Alba, the Rev. John Boyd Sr. and his son the Rev. John Boyd Jr., Pat Walker, Robert Gadson and Pat Lanza, who will be among tonight’s honorees. The Nike Corporation has lent its continuous support to Wheelchair Charities.