Bay Ridge

Seniors bring creativity to wheelchair transportation

Decorate wheelchairs with vibrant colors

July 21, 2014 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Goldie Sohn, 102, is riding in style these days after decorating her wheelchair at the Shore Hill Neighborhood Center

July is National Wheelchair Beautification Month and Bay Ridge senior citizens got into the spirit of the observance in a big way.

More than 50 senior citizens at the Shore Hill Neighborhood Center commemorated the month with a special wheelchair parade on July 16. But first, they re-decorated their wheelchairs and walkers to give them a whole new look.

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The participants used their spruced-up walkers and wheelchairs to march outside the center at 9000 Shore Road, with 102-year-old Goldie Sohn proudly leading the way.

Seven of the seniors were voted to have the best-decorated equipment and received prizes for their creative efforts. The winners received gift certificates to Pilo Arts Salon and Spa and sports water bottles.

The idea for National Wheelchair Beautification Month came from illustrator Horace Knowles, according to, which describes how Knowles attached a florist’s water tube to his wheelchair with Velcro and then placed flowers in it to give the wheelchair a more festive look.

Lutheran HealthCare, the organization that operates Lutheran Medical Center at 150 55th St., sponsors the Shore Hill Neighborhood Center as well as the Shore Hill senior apartments, located in the same building at 9000 Shore Road. Lutheran’s Services for Older Adults Program has hosted the wheelchair parade every year since 2005.

“This event is important to celebrate because the wheelchair has allowed seniors to be more mobile than they have in the past,” said Ursula Clarke, coordinator of the yearly event.

Lutheran Family Health Centers’ Services for Older Adults Program offers a variety of services, events and classes geared toward older adults. Upcoming classes include arthritis exercises, dancing lessons, computer classes, tai chi, painting and yoga.

For more information on the program, call 718-630-7588 or visit


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