Logan Roninger, a 4-year-old boy who is unable to walk, has received help from strangers in his community, including a teacher who offered to sell his toy collection, to buy a wheelchair.
Logan was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disease that affects his muscle strength and tone, when he was 18 months old. He got his first power wheelchair when he was 2. Insurance helped his family cover the cost of the chair.
Logan loves to play outside. His parents, who are both biologists, enjoy taking him outdoors in their community of Klamath Falls, Oregon. However, as Logan got older, taking him along became more difficult.
The Roningers raised money to buy Logan a Tankchair, a power wheelchair that can go off road. They wanted to give him the opportunity to explore the outdoors as much as possible.
Their insurance company would not cover the $17,000 cost of the wheelchair. Local businesses and schools helped the family raise the money they needed. Klamath Union High School and other local schools held fundraisers during the school year and raised over $11,000.
Nat Ellis, a business and marketing teacher at Klamath Union High School, decided to pitch in to help raise the rest of the money. Over the past 25 years, he has amassed a collection of 1,139 toys from fast food restaurants. Some of the toys were given to him by students, and he bought others himself. Some were worth $30 to $60 each.
Ellis was planning to sell the toys to finance his retirement, but he decided to donate the money to the Roningers instead. He had never met the family before this year, but he wanted to help in the cause that his school was supporting. He had his students create a press release and publicize the eBay auction on social media.
The winner of the auction donated the toys back to Ellis so he could auction them again and raise more money. The second auction ended on June 16 and helped the family reach their goal. The Roningers say they feel grateful and overwhelmed at the kindness the community has shown to them and Logan.
We salute the Klamath Falls community. It’s wonderful to see everyone pitch in, and special kudos to Mr. Ellis.