In 1974, Al Tjader Fogle was in the wrong place, at the
Fogle was caught in the crossfire of a shootout in Queens and was left
paralyzed from the chest down. A positive byproduct of the incident, though,
was born that year when his friend Hank Carter started Wheelchair Charities to
raise money for paraplegics and quadriplegics.
Carter has helped raise more than $7 million for the charity, with 95
percent of the proceeds going to Goldwater Memorial Hospital, a facility on
Roosevelt Island that provides in-patient care for 912 paraplegics and
quadriplegics. In past years, funds have been used for buses, computers,
special beds, a weight/exercise room and a greenhouse.
"The worst thing to happen to Tjader was the best thing that happened to
me," Carter said.
On Sept. 16, Wheelchair Charities will hold the Pro All-Star Basketball
Game at Madison Square Garden, with proceeds going toward the purchase of a
television with cable service for every patient at Goldwater. The cable setup
will cost about $700,000, according to Carter, chairman and chief executive
officer of Wheelchair Charities. NBA players who are expected to participate in
The current period of economic uncertainty hasn't dampened Carter's spirit
"We'll make more than last year," Carter said Monday at the New York Stock
Exchange Luncheon Club on Wall Street, where 17 motorized wheelchairs were
presented to Goldwater residents. "We'll take in over a million dollars for the
Sponsors, including Dan McGowan, president of Health Insurance Plan; and
Scott DeMatteis, executive vice president of Leon D. DeMatteis Construction
Corp., were on hand to meet with the recipients of the customized wheelchairs.
Specialized Sports Camps
The countdown to fall may be ongoing, but there still is time to
manufacture some summertime memories. The Cross Island YMCA in Bellerose is
offering tennis and basketball day camps beginning Aug. 13 for ages 5 to 13.
Each session runs for two weeks and costs $295. Children will be grouped
according to age and skill level. Bus transportation for children living in
Queens is available.
Apart from drills, campers will have access to arts- and-crafts sessions
and swimming instruction.
"This is the most well-rounded camping experience a kid could have," said
Bernadette Lee, director of resource development at the Cross Island YMCA. It's
an opportunity to make lasting memories."
The Cross Island YMCA is at 238-10 Hillside Ave. For more information on
these programs, call 718-479-0505.