Joe on the Go
Organized by: Friends of Joe
EVENT DATE Oct 15, 2014
I am seeking your support in raising funds to help offset the cost of purchasing a new handicap accessible minivan – one that I can enter with my wheelchair and drive using hand controls.
I hope you can participate in the fundraising event that my co-workers and I have organized through a bar night at Evolution Milwaukee in Milwaukee, WI, on Wednesday, October 15, 2014.
Joe on the Go Fundraiser at Evolution Milwaukee
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 – 6:00 p.m.
233 East Chicago Street
Tickets are $25 for the event at the door, and $20 if purchased in advance, which includes appetizers, pizza, one drink ticket, and a chance to win great prizes, including an Xbox One, a wheelbarrow of booze, and more! Please contact Joe Eleniewski at (262) 705-2878 with any question or comments or if you would like to make a donation for the evening.
Contributions can be made through the following:
- Online contributions: Crowdrise.com - https://www.crowdrise.com/joeonthego
- The “Joe Eleniewski Benefit Fund” through Southport Bank, Kenosha, WI.
I am a tax accountant with Deloitte Tax LLP in Milwaukee, WI. I specialize in Multistate Taxes and was recently promoted to Senior. I live in Kenosha in my own home and share it with my Labrador Retriever Fox Trot– my friendly companion.
My mobility is limited due to a rare disease I’ve had since childhood called Charcot-Marie-Tooth. It is similar to Muscular Dystrophy but affects the nerves rather than the muscles. While I am wheelchair bound, I am fully independent and fully mobile – thanks to the aid of my electric wheelchair and my wheelchair accessible van. I purchased my current van shortly after high school graduation with the generous fundraising help of my alma mater, St. Joseph High School. It has served me well for nearly a decade. I drive it every day from my home in Kenosha to my job in Milwaukee. I have even driven it on several business trips to Texas and North Carolina since it’s easier for me to drive rather than to fly on commercial airlines.
In addition to the high mileage on my existing minivan, many parts on the van are beginning to wear out, creating an unreliable form of transportation and potentially dangerous situations for me, given my disability. Furthermore, the specialized remote control steering computer system I use to drive is nearing the end of its 10 year useful life. It must be replaced per federal regulations. Because many manufacturers of accessible minivans only perform the accessibility conversion on newer vans with low mileage, along with the fact that the existing remote control steering system must be replaced in the near future, I am looking forward to a more reliable source of transportation that will sustain me for the next 10 years.
I am hoping to purchase a Honda Odyssey equipped with special electronics that facilitate acceleration and steering functions by Braun Ability in Indiana, and a wheelchair ramp and lift which will be customized and installed by Mobilityworks. The van will have automatic sliding doors and tailgate, remote control start and many hands-free and voice activated features which are necessary for me to drive. Technology has come a long way in the last 15 years when my current van was manufactured.
I would like to thank Ruth Kallio-Mielke and Renise Cohen, my colleagues in Multistate Tax at Deloitte, for assisting me in my pursuit of a safe and reliable form of transportation. I also want to thank Brian Williams at Mobilityworks for assisting me the past several years to maintain my current van and all of the critical components that make it safe, as well as for assisting in the process of obtaining a new vehicle. My gratitude also goes to the Kenosha Kingfish for their help in fundraising efforts, Barb Sucevich, Felisha Gibbs, and Bob Lee for their assistance as well.