Despite Paralysis, Man Stands up to Renew Wedding Vows
George Myers hadn’t stood upright since 1991, after his back broke in a logging accident. The injury left him paralyzed from the chest down and permanently confined to a wheelchair. Though it was a new way of life, he and his wife, Debbie, were determined to make the best of it together.
For the couple’s 45th anniversary, they decided to renew their vows. George wanted a way to stand beside his wife. Debbie did some research and identified a unique wheelchair that would enable George to stand for the ceremony and more.
Thanks to a generous grant from the Action Mobility Foundation, donations from Les Schwab Tire Centers and GoFundMe contributors, George and Debbie were able to obtain the special wheelchair. The couple stood together for the first time in decades as they renewed their vows. “She rode out on the chair with me,” said George. “It was slick!”
George says the chair has completely changed his life, restoring his ability to once again enjoy hunting with friends, teaching his grandchildren how to fish and tending to little handiwork projects around the home. “The other day, I went out and built a fence in it,” he said of his chair. “I wouldn’t be able to get around in anything else.”
George is a friend and important member of the community here in Southern Oregon. Les Schwab Tire Centers is honored to help the Myers have the ceremony they’d dreamed of, and to get George back to enjoying some life experiences he was missing. Here’s to many more years together, George and Debbie!
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Working with FFA Student Members to Fight Hunger
Every October, the student members of the FFA help collect as much food and funds as possible for the annual Drive Away Hunger Initiative (#DriveAwayHunger). Les Schwab stores across Oregon were able to take part in the campaign as a drop-off location for donations as well as a pick-up location for special collection bags.
This year’s initiative brought in 456,546 pounds of food. That’s enough to provide 342,420 meals to deserving families.
The Oregon Food Bank has seen a 40% increase in demand for emergency food boxes since 2008. That steady increase is why FFA student members work so hard every year to help collect food and funds. With their motto of “learning to do, doing to learn, earning to live, and living to serve,” the more than 6,500 Oregon FFA members are doing their part to end hunger. Their hard work and dedication have not gone unnoticed. Les Schwab locations throughout Oregon look forward to helping again next year.
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Recognizing High School Sports Excellence
Les Schwab is proud to help recognize high school sports teams for their dedication and performance on and off the field. Already, top teams from 1A through 6A have been chosen for September, October, and November, with the rest of the 2018-2019 academic year to be named as nominations are compiled and winners announced by the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA).
Teams that are chosen as the Les Schwab Tires Team of the Month receive a commemorative trophy along with a cash donation to the team’s program. Past winners, as well as the current nomination form, are available at the OSAA website.
Learn more about OSAA and its drive to ensure equitable competition throughout Oregon high schools.
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Three Generations and Counting
Christy Davidson has worked at Les Schwab Tire Centers for seven years, but it feels like a lot longer. She is the third generation in her family to work for the company, going back to her dad, Jeff James; and before him, her grandpa, Gary Brown. Christy is extremely proud to be a part of Les Schwab: “You could say it’s in my blood.”
Christy’s grandfather started the Les Schwab family tradition in 1973 in Lakeview, Oregon. When he retired in 1997, after more than 20 years of service, he called Les “the finest businessman” he had ever met. As he recalled his career, Gary said, “It was not light work, but as time went on, I could see and believe that everything Les said and promised could be taken to the bank.” When asked what college he attended, Gary used to reply, “I went to LSU - Les Schwab University.”
When his son-in-law Jeff, Christy’s father, needed a job, Gary knew what to do. He made a few phone calls and got him an interview with Don Miller in Eugene, Oregon, in 1983, and soon the family was moving to Eugene. Jeff is currently the manager of the Florence, Oregon, store. After working for the company for more than 30 years, he and Christy’s mother are now planning their upcoming retirement.
Coincidentally, like her dad, Christy started at the Eugene store, and she now works at the Springfield store where her father was the assistant manager for 11 years. Christy’s little brother Jason James recently joined the family tradition, too, in Springfield.
Christy affectionately calls herself a Les Schwab brat. “We moved around from store to store as Dad moved up in the company. Les Schwab has always been a part of my life. I am so proud to work for this company. I knew it would be great.”
Les Schwab is a family-owned business, and being an employee means you are one of the family. We understand that if we ask a lot of people, we need to give a lot in return. If you are interested in joining us, you can apply at jobs.lesschwab.com.
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Raising Awareness with Pink Fridays
It’s exciting when you can support a great cause such as Susan G. Komen Oregon & SW Washington and the Race for the Cure®. Once again, Les Schwab employees in Oregon and SW Washington showed their support for breast cancer awareness with a bi-weekly September event called Pink Fridays.
Wearing pink polos on select Fridays in September was just one of the many ways we supported the cause. In addition, fundraisers were held all month long in stores throughout the region to help with the Treatment Access Program that provides patients with gas, food and lodging. We also held car washes to support the Susan G. Komen Latina Initiative.
“We are honored to have worked with Susan G. Komen Oregon & SW Washington over the past nine years to help people fight this terrible disease,” said Aaron Smithers, manager, Portland Powell Blvd.
The Race for the Cure® took place on Sunday, September 16, 2018, at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland. The event is expected to raise just over $700,000 for research, care, community, and action in the fight against breast cancer.
Les Schwab is honored to do what we can and bring as much attention and support to breast cancer awareness in the communities we serve and beyond.
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