The gift of Mobility

Dorothy Carney, second from right, of Ellington receives help transferring from her wheelchair into a motorized scooter with the help of her husband, Francis Carney, right, and her sister-in-law Elaine Gregonis, of Enfield while volunteer Patrick Plagge of Canterbury holds the scooter during the eighth annual 'Gift of Mobility' giveaway held at the Holiday Inn in Norwich Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017. The event run by Phil Pavone of AZ Pawn in Norwich gives repaired motorized wheelchairs and scooters to disabled people in need. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
Dorothy Carney, second from right, of Ellington receives help transferring from her wheelchair into a motorized scooter with the help of her husband, Francis Carney, right, and her sister-in-law Elaine Gregonis, of Enfield while volunteer Patrick Plagge of Canterbury holds the scooter during the eighth annual "Gift of Mobility" giveaway held at the Holiday Inn in Norwich Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017. The event run by Phil Pavone of AZ Pawn in Norwich gives repaired motorized wheelchairs and scooters to disabled people in need. (Dana Jensen/The Day)

Dorothy Carney, of Ellington, gets into a motorized scooter with the help of her husband, Francis Carney, right, her sister-in-law Elaine Gregonis, of Enfield and volunteer Patrick Plagge, left. Carney was one of more than 100 people who came to the Holiday Inn in Norwich Sunday to collect motorized wheelchairs and scooters that Phil Pavone, the owner of AZ Pawn in Norwich, collects each year and, with the help of a team of volunteers, fixes and distributes to people who apply to receive one.

In a speech Sunday, Pavone framed the eighth annual givewaway as a rebuke to state and federal lawmakers who he claims don't care that insurance companies and Medicare often deny claims from people who want motorized wheelchairs or scooters. He pitted the denied insurance claims against American foreign aid and donations to victims of natural disasters, such as Hurricane Maria, arguing that the money would be better spent on health care expenses like the wheelchairs. "It's nonsense," he said. "This is about Americans helping Americans," he said.

 

 

 

James Thibault of Torrington holds his granddaughter, Leanna Lojabeaz, 6, on his lap after receiving a motorized scooter on Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017 during an annual giveaway held by Phil Pavone, the owner of AZ Pawn in Norwich. Pavone donates the used chairs and scooters at the Holiday Inn in Norwich each year after he and a team of volunteers gather them from  nursing homes and other donors. They fix the chairs up and give them away to disabled people whose insurance policies would not cover it. This year more than 100 chairs and scooters were given away at the event.  (Dana Jensen/The Day)
James Thibault of Torrington holds his granddaughter, Leanna Lojabeaz, 6, on his lap after receiving a motorized scooter on Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017 during an annual giveaway held by Phil Pavone, the owner of AZ Pawn in Norwich. Pavone donates the used chairs and scooters at the Holiday Inn in Norwich each year after he and a team of volunteers gather them from nursing homes and other donors. They fix the chairs up and give them away to disabled people whose insurance policies would not cover it. This year more than 100 chairs and scooters were given away at the event. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
Diane Beaulieu of Voluntown, center, gives Phil Pavone of AZ Pawn in Norwich a hug after receiving her motorized scooter during his eighth annual 'Gift of Mobility' giveaway at the Holiday Inn in Norwich Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017.  Pavone gives repaired motorized wheelchairs and scooters to disabled people in need.  (Dana Jensen/The Day)
Diane Beaulieu of Voluntown, center, gives Phil Pavone of AZ Pawn in Norwich a hug after receiving her motorized scooter during his eighth annual "Gift of Mobility" giveaway at the Holiday Inn in Norwich Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017. Pavone gives repaired motorized wheelchairs and scooters to disabled people in need. (Dana Jensen/The Day)

READER COMMENTS

Loading comments...
Hide Comments