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Local Rotarians come to the aid of disabled veteran

Members of Pahrump’s Rotary Club continue to make good on their motto “service above self.”

The local organization recently completed a project at the home of a local retired disabled veteran.

Bud Santivasci uses a powered wheelchair to get around but getting in and out of his home has become a problem, as the wheelchair can’t negotiate the steps leading to the front door.

The dilemma prompted local Rotarians to spring into action, according to Rotary President Roy Mankins.

The Rotarians came together and built a wheelchair ramp for the retired veteran.

“Normally we don’t get involved in the solicitation of the ramps,” he said. “People who know deserving people call us. We go out and take a look at the circumstances to determine if we can do it.”

In Santivasci’s case, Mankins said the project was doable.

“We saw what was needed and we went out and bought the materials and put it together,” he said. “I think we spent about $800 on that project and put in about 40 man hours to complete that project.”

Mankins said a local craftsman and fellow Rotarian also contributed his time for the project.

“Bill Austin precut all of the materials and Jason Mitchell prepainted everything,” he said. “Me and Bill went out to the job site and laid it all out and made sure it was all in order. Some of our other Rotarians, Dave Uthoff and Barbara Thompson put it together and it turned out fairly nice.”

Mankins said the Santivasci’s were both overjoyed with the finished product.

“He really needed the ramp,” he said. “He has a $6,000 powered wheelchair and he has no way of getting inside his home. Usually the Veterans Administration can take care of things like that, but it can take two or three years. We don’t have those handicaps because we can just look at it, do it, and get it out of the way.”

Santivasci’s wife Jean said her husband is going through health problems and the new ramp will allow for greater mobility when leaving and returning home from errands and medical appointments.

“Bud has a form of pancreatic cancer and he also suffers from severe emphysema and COPD,” she said. “His breathing problems are so severe that his doctor recommended he use a power chair. Our home has steps and we had no way of easily getting the chair in and out of the house so a ramp was needed.”

Santivasci, who recently moved to Pahrump said he’s never lived in a community where people are so generous to others.

“I’ve never met a bunch of friendlier people in any place,” he said. “That’s about the best thing that I can say.”

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