Events

Learn more about family events, caregiver stories, and more.
  • Van Products & BraunAbility at Life Rolls On Event at Carolina Beach

    On August 5, 2017, Van Products joined BraunAbility at Carolina Beach for the Life Rolls On - They Will Surf Again event.

    Life Rolls On - They Will Surf Again

    Founded by world champion quadriplegic surfer and motivational speaker, Jesse Billauer, They Will Surf Again is a quality of life program that empowers people living with paralysis to surf and paddle board the waves - in spite of their physical challenges.

    Over the years, this Life Rolls On event has grown. It now boasts ten events coast to coast and attracts people of all abilities from around the world. Participation is FREE and is made possible by the generosity of private donors, fundraising efforts, and sponsors, like BraunAbility.

    “We have a great synergy between Life Rolls On and BraunAbility. Our mission and goal is the same - of getting people out into the world to be able to enjoy their life more," said Billauer.

    BraunAbility MXV Wheelchair SUV

    Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles Make a Difference

    Often, able-bodied people don't realize the true value of being able to do things independently - whether it's just getting up to use the bathroom or walking into the kitchen to grab a snack from the fridge. For those who have been directly impacted by mobility challenges and physical limitations, independence matters, and having a wheelchair accessible SUV, like the BraunAbility MXV makes a difference. Billauer explains:

    I never thought that I’d be able to drive a vehicle just myself. I thought I was always going to have to depend on other people. When that’s taken from you - you know - when you’re paralyzed or have a disability, you just can’t imagine just getting that back. It’s a moment that you’ll never ever forget.

    What does freedom of mobility look like to you? To those you love? At Van Products, we take great pride in partnering with BraunAbility to provide our customers with high quality wheelchair-accessible vehicles, mobility products and accessories to help them regain their freedom of mobility. We invite you to stop by our storefront location(s) in Raleigh, NC and Wilmington, NC, or give our mobility specialists a call.

    Visit the Van Products Facebook page to view pictures from the Life Rolls On event. Visit the Van Products website for additional information on wheelchair accessible SUVs, like the BraunAbility MXV!

    BraunAbility and Life Rolls On Partnership

    Check out the following video to learn more about the partnership between BraunAbility and Life Rolls On and how they're partnering to bring hope beyond paralysis to wheelchair users around the world.

    About Life Rolls On

    Founded by world champion quadriplegic surfer Jesse Billauer, Life Rolls On is dedicated to improving the quality of life for young people affected by spinal cord injury.

    Believing that adaptive surfing and skating could inspire infinite possibilities beyond paralysis. Life Rolls On began as a splash into the unknown on September 11, 2001; achieved 501c3 nonprofit status in 2002; and now touches the lives of hundreds of thousands.

    Learn more.

  • Van Products Captures Title at Bridge II Sports Wheelchair Basketball Tournament

    Van Products is a proud sponsor of Bridge II Sports, an organization whose mission is to educate, develop and implement opportunities for youth and adults with physical disabilities to play individual, team and recreational sports.

    This year, we hosted a wheelchair basketball team at the August Madness Wheelchair Basketball Tournament, and we are proud to announce that our team took home the title! We are incredibly honored to be part of such a wonderful event. Learn more about August Madness as well as Bridge II Sports below.

    About August Madness 2016

    August Madness provides opportunities for organizations to join the adapted sports movement by participating in an exciting day of wheelchair basketball while supporting the mission of Bridge II Sports!

    Through sports, Bridge II Sports is helping raise awareness of the abilities of people with disabilities.

    At the tournament, organizations (like Van Products) put together a team of 4 employees to experience the fun of wheelchair basketball and play in a double-elimination tournament on the floor at PNC Arena.  Each team then picks an All-Star 5th player  to join their team.

    Check out one of our "winning" pictures below, taken at this year's August Madness Basketball Tournament!

    vp-bridge-to-sports

    About Bridge II Sports

    Bridge II Sports believes that your disability does not define who you are. Through their organization, they invite members of the community to come together in an arena of fun to discover an active lifestyle, regardless of ability. Here, disabled veterans have a great opportunity to train and be part of a competitive team.

    About the Valor Games

    Each year, Bridge II Sports hosts their Valor Games. The Valor Games is a competition for all disabled veterans as well as disabled members of the Armed Forces.

    A body changed by injury needs the discipline and challenge of physical activity to stay healthy physically, mentally and emotionally. It is the key to recovery and long-term health, and re-integration into your community at home.

    This year, the Valor Games Southeast was held at venues of historic competition and athletic excellence:

    Grant funding for the Valor Games is awarded by The Department of Veterans Affairs. The grants are provided to facilitate the growth of adaptive sport programming for disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces.

  • Van Products & HOMH Team Up to Honor Military Hero

    On February 10, 2016, Van Products will be teaming up with Help Our Military Heroes (HOMH), and Semper Fi Fund representatives to present a wheelchair accessible van to retired U.S. Marine Sgt. Evans and his family. The presentation will take place at the Van Products headquarters in Raleigh, NC.

    marine-corps-memorial-by-ttarasiuk-on-flickr-cc

    About USMC Sgt. Carlos Evans

    After the tragic events of September 11th occurred, Carlos Evans was compelled to join the U.S. Marine Corps. By May 2010, U.S. Marine Sgt. Carlos Evans had served three tours of duty in Iraq and was serving his fourth overseas deployment in Afghanistan when he stepped on an improvised explosive device.

    The blast took both of Evans’ legs and his left hand. On that day (and ever since), the Marine Corps family, Evans’ family, the local community, and volunteers have all rallied around Evans in a show of support. In turn, Evans continues to inspire countless others by the way he conducts himself in his day-to-day life and his overall, positive attitude. In a previous interview with WRAL, Evans was quoted as saying:

    I have met so many good people (who), without even knowing me, they have inspired me to be a better person and to not give up... 

    Join us as we honor this military hero and his family!

    About Help Our Military Heroes (HOMH)

    Founded in 2009 by Laurie Hollander and Marybeth Vandergrift, Help Our Military Heroes (HOMH) is a 501C3 non-profit organization dedicated to providing fully equipped, handicap vans to U.S. service men and women who sustained their injuries while on active duty during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

    About Semper Fi Fund

    Founded in 2004 by a group of Marine Corps spouses, the Semper Fi Fund provides financial assistance and lifetime support to post-9/11 wounded, critically ill and injured members of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, and their families, ensuring that they have the resources they need throughout their recovery and transition back into their communities.

  • Van Products to Help with Toys For Lil Troops Drive

    Van Products invites you to get in the Christmas spirit, and bring joy to a child's life with the Toys for Lil Troops Drive. Hosted by The Raider Project and United States Veterans Corps this special toy drive is aiming for the world record as it attempts to collect 46,000 lbs of toys for military children in North Carolina.

    Raider Project Toys for Lil Troops

    About Toys For Lil Troops

    Founded by Sgt. Stan Pinkus of the United States Veterans Corps, Toys For Lil Troops gives toys to low income military families as well as families of deployed military service members. Every year, the US Veterans Corps delivers these toys to local military installations including, but not limited to: Fort Bragg, Camp LeJeune, Fort Lee, Seymour Johnson, and the NC National Guard. The program also deliver toys year-round to the children of Veteran families in need.

    About The Raider Project

    The Raider Project is based out of Holly Ridge, NC and was founded by Karl Monger. A 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, The Raider Project connects MARSOC/USMC veterans with other veterans to help them transition smoothly, peacefully, successfully into the private sector. It also provides anti-suicide, law enforcement veteran education, and de-escalation tactics.

    Van Products to Help with Toy Donations

    This year, Van Products is proud to announce its involvement with the Toys For Lil Troops toy drive. On December 5, 2015, Toys For Lil Troops will weigh the toys at Lenovo headquarters in Cary, NC to try to break the world record. Join us as we will be on-site, helping to collect toy donations.

    Interested in donating toys to the toy drive? The following are some helpful things to keep in mind if you'd like your toy donation to count towards the Guinness World Record goal!

    Helpful Guinness Record Breaking Info:

    1. Toys must be NEW and UNWRAPPED.
    2. Definition of a Toy: Something to be played with. If it can be "played with," it is considered a toy.
    3. What is not a toy? Skateboards, bicycles, scooters, books, activity books.
    4. Toys that might be considered heavy enough to help achieve the record faster: wooden toys, marbles, board games, metal toys, electronic learning toys, wooden puzzles, dollhouses,etc.

    Acceptance of All Toys

    Whether your your toy counts toward the record or not (based on the guidelines above), they will all be delivered to the children of our local military bases! Nothing will be turned away. It’s all about the gift of giving!

    Toys will be collected until December 23, 2015.

    If you wish to make a monetary contribution towards bicycles or toys, please DONATE TO THE RAIDER PROJECT HERE.

    TOY DROP-OFF LOCATIONS:

    Please bring new, unwrapped toys to any of the following addresses:

    The Raider Project 624 U.S. 17 Suite 1 Holly Ridge, NC 28445

    Lenovo 1009 ThinkPlace Morrisville, NC 27560

    Camp Lejeune | Click Here for Website

    New River | Click Here for Website

  • Van Products to Sponsor 10th Annual UNC Division of Physical Therapy Golf Tournament

    Van Products is pleased to announce that it will be a featured sponsor in the 10th Annual UNC Division of Physical Therapy Golf Tournament, taking place Friday, September 25, 2015.

    2014 unc division of physical therapy golf tournament

    About the 2015 UNC Physical Therapy Golf Tournament

    Each year, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's (UNC-CH) Division of Physical Therapy hosts a golf tournament to help raise funds for the Foundation for Physical Therapy and UNC's Student Physical Therapy Association (SPTA).

    Information about the annual golf tournament is as follows:

    When: Friday, September 25, 2015, 10AM - 6PM

    Where: The Golf Club at Chapel Ridge

    Who to Contact: Krissy Ayers | Email: kristen_ayers@med.unc.edu

    READ MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS EVENT HERE.

    About the Foundation for Physical Therapy

    Established in 1979, the Foundation for Physical Therapy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to obtaining grants and scholarships to support publicized research and development in physical therapy. It is their hope that this research will help optimized physical functioning by physical therapists as well as develop the future generations of researchers.

    About UNC's Student Physical Therapy Association (SPTA)

    Located on the UNC campus, UNC's SPTA is a student organization that provides physical therapy students with opportunities for professional and personal development via community service programs and continued education. In the past year alone, students have volunteered in a number of areas and with different organizations, such as:

    UNC's SPTA aims to help foster additional opportunities for learning as well as further professional development.

    Supporting Those with Mobility Challenges

    For more than four decades, Van Products has been (and continues to be) a leader in supplying a wide range of high quality, handicap accessible vans, and other mobility products/accessories to an ever-growing customer base. From commercial upfits to handicap van rental, Van Products is proud to sponsor the UNC Division of Physical Therapy Golf Tournament in its 10th year!

     

     

  • BraunAbility Debuts All New Mobility Crossover Vehicle

    BraunAbility, the worldwide leader in wheelchair accessible vehicles, recently announced the debut of its all new Mobility Crossover Vehicle (MXV).

    MDX = Better Handicap Accessibility; Improved Mobility Options

    Built on the 2015 Ford Explorer, this new addition from BraunAbility changes everything. The MXV will fit thirty of the most commonly prescribed power chairs, has multiple configurations (passenger or driver or both) and will be sold at an affordable price point. Check out the video below for an in-depth view of this awesome, handicap accessible vehicle.

    Features & Specs of the MXV

    Some of the features of BraunAbility's all new MXV include:

    • Power Glide Door integrated w/factory key fob
    • 28" in-floor ramp width
    • 54 1/4" door entry height
    • Integrated LED ramp lighting system
    • Adjustable sliding gear lever
    • Cantilever seat bases for easy removal (and/or additional interior room)
    • Integrated towing package

    The MXV will also incorporate a lowered floor design to increase interior height, automatic power doors, an electric actuated kneeling system to reduce ramp angle and an in-floor power ramp system for the deployment of the in-floor wheelchair ramp. The new MXV will soon be available at Van Products and BraunAbility dealers nationwide.

    Leave us a comment to let us know if you are interested in learning more!

    Mobility Crossover Vehicle (MXV)

    [photo credit: NMEDA]

  • Valor Games Southeast - MAY 20-22, 2014

    Founded in 2011, the Valor Games brings together disabled veterans and wounded, ill or injured service members and engages them in three days of Paralympic sport competition. The event celebrates sport as a means of empowering individuals and strengthening community. Beyond competition, the Valor Games connects athletes with ongoing sports opportunities and resources in their local communities.

    This year, veterans and service members in the North Carolina area will be able to participate in the Valor Games Southeast, taking place May 20 - 22, 2014. As part of the Valor Games Series, the Southeast will have both entry-level and intermediate competitions in several Paralympic sports.

    The Valor Games - Training with Purpose

    Participants in this year's Valor Games will have access to national coaches and experts in each sport. The coaches will be available to educate, evaluate and empower each of the athletes.

    The Valor Games gives participants an opportunity to train with purpose to be part of a competitive series of events. Beyond this, it serves as a reminder that disabilities do not define who you are. Regardless of your background or mobility issue, you can be part of something great and challenge yourself to reach new goals.

    Valor Games Southeast Schedule of Events

    valor-games-southeast-logoDay 1 -- Tuesday May 20th

    • University of North Carolina
    • Dean E. Smith Center, 8:00am-3:00pm
    • Events: Volleyball, Boccia, Air Rifle, Opening Ceremonies and Paralympic Experience

    Day 2 -- Wednesday May 21st

    • Duke University
    • Cameron Indoor Stadium, 8:00am-3:00pm
    • Events: Archery, Powerlifting, Rowing, Table Tennis

    Day 3 -- Thursday May 22nd

    • Lake Crabtree, 8:00am-3:00pm
    • Events: Cycling, Shot Put, Racquetball Demonstration, Closing Ceremonies

    The Importance of Healthy Habits for Those Faced with Mobility Challenges

    Injury and mobility issues can change the way we need to live our lives day-to-day, but it doesn't define who we are. That said, those who are affected by mobility challenges often face additional challenges related to discipline and leading healthy, active lifestyles - mentally, emotionally and physically.

    A body changed by injury needs the discipline and challenge of physical activity to stay healthy physically, mentally and emotionally. It is the key to recovery and long-term health, and re-integration into your community at home. [source]

    Funding for the Valor Games Southeast

    The grant funding for this program is awarded by U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, through funding provided by Veterans Affairs. The grants are provided to facilitate the growth of Paralympic sport programming for disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces.

  • May is National Mobility Awareness Month!

    nmedaThis May is National Mobility Awareness Month, and at Van Products, we are encouraging you to take some time to learn a little more about how mobility issues affect different folks around the United States as well as abroad. For instance, did you know that more than 18 million people in the United States and Canada alone have mobility issues?

    In fact, the National Mobility Awareness website states that people with disabilities "constitute the largest minority group in the United States".

    Recognizing Local Heroes As Part of National Mobility Awareness Month

    This May, find out how mobility issues affect those who live around you, and learn more about mobility equipment manufacturers, just like Van Products. Its mobility equipment manufacturers that many disabled persons have come to rely on in order to live productive, fruitful, independent lives.

    Finally, look around you. There are local heroes everywhere you go - local heroes who are making a difference and who also need your help. This May, the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association is hosting a “National Mobility Awareness” Program whereby people with disabilities, caregivers, or a person in need of a wheelchair accessible vehicle are allowed to enter for an application for the opportunity to win a wheelchair accessible vehicle, customized to their needs.

    Erik Fugunt of Mebane, NC, is one such hero.

    Spotlight on a Local, NC Hero: Erik Fugunt

    Fugunt, of Mebane, NC, is a paraplegic who saved a young man's life when he heard a car crash near his house while taking the trash out. Upon hearing what sounded like a bad car accident, he wheeled into his van and drove out to investigate. Eventually, after scouring the roadway, he called 9-1-1 when he saw evidence of a potential automotive accident.

    If it wasn't for Fugunt's persistence and quick thinking, the young man involved in the accident, Brandon Jeffries, may not be alive today. Now, Jeffries' family is working with Fugunt to help him garner nominations towards winning the nationwide contest. Winning a new van would be a dream come true for Fugunt, whose van is currently 15 years old and breaks down somewhat regularly.

    Read more about Erik's inspiring story, and vote for him here.

    At Van Products, we're honored to have our friends at BraunAbility sponsor the Local Heroes Contest again this year. Click here to learn more about how they are making life a little easier for those living with disabilities.

    About National Mobility Awareness Month:

    National Mobility Awareness Month is dedicated to showing the world how people with disabilities can live active, mobile lifestyles. Teamed with national spokespeople, Mike Savicki and Ashley Lauren Fisher, we support and utilize the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) network of members to help educate the public.

    About NMEDA:

    The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding mobility options for people with disabilities. The organization promotes and supports members engaged in the modification of quality transportation and wheelchair accessible vehicles. Over 600 international members work to provide safe and reliable adapted transportation solutions to help build the road to independence. Transportation is the key to freedom and NMEDA is the key to quality transportation.

  • 2012 National Veterans' Wheelchair Games Come to Richmond, VA

    The National Veterans' Wheelchair Games were first held in 1981 in Richmond, Virginia.  Since then the games have grown from seven events and 74 athletes, to 600 athletes and 17 events.  Last year's games in Pittsburgh, PA were a big success with many athletes coming from well beyond the east coast.

    After a successful inaugural event back in 1981, the Virginia Mid Atlantic Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Richmond VA Medical Center will host the games at its original site June 25 - 30, 2012. The National Veterans Wheelchair Games will be held in downtown Richmond at the Richmond Convention Center and at various other venues throughout the city.

    Athletes are all military veterans, and in the 2011 games, they ranged from newly injured Vets from recent conflicts to a 90 year-old veteran of World War II.  Vets quickly develop a sense of camaraderie which continues outside the competitive arena long after the games are over.   Be sure to make plans to attend the games in Richmond...the events are free to the public, and like in all other sports, the athletes love to play to a big crowd!

    Van Products friend, Johnny Holland had a great showing in the 2011 Games in Pittsburgh and he plans to compete in the Richmond Games as well.

    Volunteers are always a very important part of the success of events like this, and if you would like to help out as a volunteer during the National Veterans' Wheelchair Games, here is the registration form, and here is the application form.

    If you are a wheelchair athlete and would like to participate, you can visit the athlete information page to learn more.  All of the rules for eligibility are explained there.

    All registrations are due April 15th, 2012, so don't wait too long...see you there!

     

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