Master Builder

Winter 2021

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F or people facing mobility issues, the free movement most of us take for granted is not easy. When using a wheelchair, outside stairs can be a barrier to jobs, education, basic services, and even visiting family. Simply getting from the front door to a driveway can be a trying, even impossible, undertaking. That's where Rampathon comes in. One of MBAKS' signature community stewardship events, Rampathon was founded on the idea that not only should everyone have access to quality homes, but they should also enjoy freedom of movement into and out of those homes. Since its beginning in 1993, Rampathon has brought together more than 5,000 MBAKS members and community volunteers to build nearly 600 free access ramps, bringing life-changing accessibility to individuals and families across King and Snohomish counties. Despite a year of COVID-19 restrictions, Rampathon 2021 on Saturday, September 25, was a tremendous success. With donated lumber from signature sponsor Dunn Lumber, 12 Rampathon teams built ramps at homes in cities and towns across the region, helping people young and old achieve mobility, independence, and peace of mind. Two community members who benefited were eight-year-old Zane Locklear and his mother, Tiffany. Zane has not been able to get around on his own since a near-fatal drowning just before his second birthday left him unable to walk. This has made it difficult for Zane and his family to enter and exit their Enumclaw home freely. Rampathon stalwarts Building Beyond the Walls, a Buckley-based nonprofit that offers free construction training in exchange for 50 hours of hands-on community service, took on the challenge of constructing a wheelchair ramp for the family. Founder and Executive Director Sue Z. Hart saw an opportunity to help someone in her community. "We are very excited about the impact this will have on Tiffany and Zane," she told MBAKS, "and we know this will last for years for their family." Tiffany described the profound sense of joy and relief the ramp brought to her family. "We told Zane this morning we had a surprise waiting for him, and he just started smiling right away. This ramp is something that seems so small you don't think it's going to make such a huge impact in our lives. We are very thankful." These ramps don't just help raise wheelchairs. They raise the spirits, hopes, and dreams of their recipients. Thanks to all our captains and teams for making this year's event so successful. Your hard work and dedication during a difficult time have improved the lives of your neighbors immeasurably. This ramp is something so small you don't think it's going to make such a huge impact in our lives. TIFFANY LOCKLEAR Ramping Up Hope COVID-19 couldn't stop Rampathon volunteers from building life-changing ramps for 12 households in need. 56 master BUILDER | WINTER 2021 COMMUNITY

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