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Archive for Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Athletes seek help with fund-raiser

Wheelhawks to salvage Salina gym equipment

December 21, 2004

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An advocate for wheelchair athletics has an odd request. He's looking for some quick help in tearing down an old gymnasium in Salina.

"If there are some construction-worker types out there who can spare a day or two, I'd sure like to hear from them," said Ray Petty, a member of the Lawrence-based Wheelhawks, a wheelchair basketball team, and president of Accessible Sports of Kansas.

Petty's group is trying to take advantage of a contractor's offer to let it salvage whatever it can from a turn-of-the-century gym in Salina that's about to be razed.

"We can have whatever we can get out by December 27th," Petty said.

The offer came after a recent appearance by wheelchair-sports advocates on "The Walt Bodine Show" on public radio station KCUR 89.3 FM.

Petty, who's also a partner in Westside Deli & Market, 4931 W. Sixth St., said he hoped to salvage and eventually sell the building's scoreboard, light fixtures, bleachers and inch-thick maple flooring.

"I already have some people who are interested in some of the stuff," Petty said. "We may put the rest of it on eBay or sell it by word of mouth."

Proceeds from the sale, he said, will be used to offset some of the costs of the Wheelhawks' annual tournament at the Holcom Park Recreation Center, 2700 W. 27th St., and to promote wheelchair softball and water sports.

Last year's National Wheelchair Basketball Assn.'s Midwest conference champion, the Wheelhawks are 7-0 in the 2004-05 season.

Petty is in Salina today. He may be reached by calling his cell phone, 331-5034, or by sending an e-mail to raypetty@aol.com.

"I'll have my laptop with me," Petty said.

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