Keynote Speaker is Accomplished On-Air Personality Victoria Arlen
Online PR News – 18-June-2019 – Costa Mesa, Calif. – Victoria Arlen, who defied incredible odds to become a Paralympic gold medalist, world record holder, author, ESPN host, and Dancing with the Stars semi-finalist, will be the special guest speaker at the 16th Annual Miracle of Mobility, an inspirational gala for charity to be held Thursday, July 25, at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa.
The Miracle of Mobility is the signature fundraising event for Free Wheelchair Mission and is expected to attract more than 800 guests this year. Last year's event raised $1.63 million, which enabled the organization to manufacture and distribute 20,375 wheelchairs, giving the gift of mobility to men, women and children in developing nations throughout the world. Unique to this event, each ticket sold to the Miracle of Mobility includes one wheelchair that will be produced and donated to someone in need around the world.
"We are excited to have Victoria join us this year because her story of hope, courage, and determination offers a powerful, firsthand account of the impact that mobility makes," said Nuka Solomon, executive director of Free Wheelchair Mission. "Her unique perspective not only offers insights into living with a disability, it celebrates the human spirit and underscores the message that disability is not inability."
After contracting two rare infections at age 11, Arlen fell into a state of unresponsive wakefulness that would last nearly four years. Despite a prognosis offering little to no chance of recovery, she fought her way through and relearned how to speak, eat, and move on her own—first, in a wheelchair, and later, on her own two feet.
Along with Arlen's keynote, the event will feature a dance performance by Infinite Flow, a wheelchair dance company based in Los Angeles, a silent auction of one-of-a-kind items, and an unusual live auction during which guests raise auction paddles to donate wheelchairs to people living with disabilities in developing nations. Any amount from one wheelchair to one container of wheelchairs (550 wheelchairs) are donated during the live auction. Since 2001, the Irvine-based nonprofit has distributed more than 1.1 million wheelchairs in 93 countries, all at no cost to their recipients.
The organization was founded by Don Schoendorfer, Ph.D., a biomedical engineer who was inspired to develop a low-cost, durable wheelchair after witnessing a woman with a disability, crawling across a dusty, bustling road, while he and his wife were vacationing in Morocco. He began building prototype wheelchairs in the garage of his home in Santa Ana, Calif. in 1999.
Miracle of Mobility has become the second-largest charity event in Orange County and has been held at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts since 2015. Early bird tickets are now available at freewheelchairmission.org/mom.
About Free Wheelchair Mission:
Free Wheelchair Mission is a humanitarian, faith-based, nonprofit organization that designs and manufacturers cost-efficient, durable wheelchairs for those living with a disability in developing nations. In collaboration with a network of like-minded partners, Free Wheelchair Mission has distributed more than one million wheelchairs to those in need in 93 countries around the world, providing renewed dignity, independence, and hope, at no cost to the recipient. Learn more at freewheelchairmission.org.