Irvine-based Paragon Software Group’s president Tom Fedro, joined by several colleagues, took to the streets in Huntington Beach on Feb. 2 to once again emerge as the top team fundraiser at Free Wheelchair Mission’s (FWM) annual Run for Mobility event at the Surf City Marathon. Paragon, a backup and disaster recovery software developer, also earned added recognition, with Fedro finishing the race as the top individual fundraiser.
This is the second year in a row that both Fedro and Paragon were named as top individual and team fundraisers, respectively. The Run for Mobility fundraising event is presented in partnership with the Surf City Marathon, and since it began, athletes have raised $1.8 million for the charity and sent over 35,000 wheelchairs to recipients around the globe.
“We got involved with FWM because it’s a great locally-based charity here in Irvine that does tremendous outreach worldwide to provide mobility to folks who are literally crawling on the ground,” says Fedro, who, with Paragon, has been actively involved with FWM for four years. “On behalf of the Paragon team, we’re extremely proud to play a role in making a difference in our community and for helping to improve the lives of those in need around the world.”
FWM is a 501c3 nonprofit that provides wheelchairs for free to people with disabilities living in developing countries around the world. The inspiration for FWM came about when Dr. Don Schoendorfer (FWM president and founder) was on vacation with his wife in Morocco and witnessed an elderly woman crawling on her hands and knees laboring to cross the street. As a biomedical engineer, Dr. Schoendorfer had a vision to help, and he built a prototype wheelchair with common materials that could be manufactured and delivered cost effectively. His efforts have now changed the lives of millions of people as FWM has extended its reach worldwide. Since incorporating in 2001, FWM has provided over 734,000 wheelchairs in 91 countries around the world.
“Through all the proceeds from the Run for Mobility event so far, we could line up wheelchairs wheel-to-wheel along the entire 26.2 mile beachfront course of the marathon,” says Reed Hartley, Executive Director for Free Wheelchair Mission. “We’re extremely grateful for Tom’s continued passion and dedication to FWM through his and the Paragon Software Group’s involvement over the years. Over the past four years, the Paragon team has personally provided wheelchairs to more 450 people. We’d like to extend our sincere thanks to Tom and his team for their wonderful work supporting our mission. We look forward to working with them in the years to come!”
For more information on Paragon Software Group, visit www.paragon-software.com or Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. For more information about Free Wheelchair Mission, please visit www.freewheelchairmission.org .