Children with disabilities in Utah's Logan and Cache counties are having more fun getting exercise at their elementary schools thanks to donations of Pumper Cars from Wilson Motor Company.
The vehicle dealership has already given 23 Pumper Cars to local schools for children with special needs physically or mentally. Wilson Motors, along with the superintendents of the Logan and Cache county schools, share a personal goal of distributing four cars per school.
Since handing out the Pumper Cars to schools on Jan. 10, Wilson Motor Company Service Manager Chad Ricks has said the feedback has been nothing but positive.
“Everybody that has been involved has been very excited about it and, honestly, the kids probably the most,” Ricks told Mega Dealer News. “We had the opportunity to go and deliver some of these cars to an elementary school and present the cars to the kids with disabilities firsthand and watch the reaction. It was amazing.”
Pumper Cars are smaller, mostly plastic vehicles originally developed as children’s toys. Due to the cars’ hand- and foot-pumping mechanics, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classified them as exercise equipment for medical usage in October 2018.
Children with a wide variety of disabilities including Down syndrome, spina bifida, cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy use them to remain active and healthy. The schoolchildren have been able to easily control the cars with only a small amount of training needed.
“At first, they did not really know how to ride the cars or were a little nervous about it,” Ricks said. “Maybe after 10 or 15 minutes of practicing, they were able to get the hang of it and then we couldn’t get them off the cars. They wanted to ride everywhere, and it was really amazing.”
Each Pumper Car comes with a $350 price tag.
Wilson Motors is only one of several U.S. auto dealerships that have participated in the nationwide initiative known as Mobility4Kids. Since many other Utah dealerships are also involved, Wilson plans on distributing Pumper Cars only to their local community to avoid competition or interference.
In order to meet their personal goal of four cars for each school, the initiative requires additional funding to afford 69 new cars. Wilson has been able to collect some of the money so far by presenting their Pumper Car actions in front of the Logan County Chamber of Congress and requesting participation from banks and credit unions.
Wilson Motors is also turning to local residents and asking them for funds or to “help out in any way they can to get cars for this community.”
The idea to engage in Mobility4Kids came from Wilson Motors Dealer Principal Chris Wilson overhearing someone from a Southern Utah dealership mentioning their involvement. He was personally attached to the idea due to his sister, Jan, suffering from ailments as a child.
“I watched her as she struggled in school, trying to keep up with the physical and mental disabilities that she has,” Wilson told the The Herald Journal.
Any Utah school wishing to collaborate with Wilson Motors to receive Pumper Cars can contact the dealership directly.