Dale Unick has a smile on his face and a glow about him that his neighbours haven’t seen since a cycling accident last December left him in severe pain.
That’s because, thanks to the generosity of a woman who saw an article about Unick in the Mirror last week, he now has a much-needed scooter to get himself downtown and back to his home in the Little Rock RV Park.
Jean Bowerman, Unick’s next-door neighbour, saw the pain Unick was in everytime he tried to ride his bike, his only form of transportation, downtown to get groceries and couldn’t bear to watch anymore. She, along with Kathy Fairclough, RV park manager, began fundraising to buy Unick a scooter.
The campaign came to an abrupt end last Thursday when Lillian Beaumont sent an e-mail to Bowerman saying she had a scooter she would like to give Unick.
The scooter belonged to her husband and after he died, there was no need for it anymore.
“Originally I tried to sell it, but it wasn’t selling and it was just sitting in my shed,” said Beaumont. “When that story came out in the paper it just hit me between the eyes, that ‘hey that’s who that scooter should go to.’”
Beaumont refused to take any money for the scooter.
“I just want to help somebody and I hope someday when I need it, someone will help me,” she said.
Unick is thrilled with the scooter and has already taken a handful of trips downtown.
“It brightened his eyes right up when he got the scooter and I see him out a lot more now,” said Fairclough.
And when he does goes out he’s not bed ridden for two to three days afterwards like he was when he rode his bike.
“It’s helped me 100 per cent. I can sit up longer now and I’m not in as much pain,” said Unick. “I wish there were more people in the world like her (Beaumont).”
In Campbell River at least, it seems there is a tremendous amount of generosity.
Bowerman says since the article looking for donations for Unick ran in the Mirror last Wednesday, not a day has gone by that she hasn’t received a call or an e-mail from someone wanting to give money. She’s also been offered seven different scooters.
“It’s just been unreal. There’s so many people out there with a kind heart,” said Bowerman. “We’ve received an awful lot of well wishes and we just want to thank everybody for their assistance.”
Many people have left money for Unick, a low-income senior, even after hearing he had already received a scooter. Bowerman said the plan is to put the money towards a canopy or a rain cover for Unick’s scooter.
Bowerman said the biggest reward for all her efforts is simply seeing how much happier her neighbour is.
“We like to watch Dale go out on his scooter and having a life again,” she said.