Kenowa Courier – 7/17/18

The Official Newsletter of the Kenowa Chapter of AMBUCS – Chartered May 28, 1957. President: David Hodge – Vice-President: Dawn Martinson – Treasurer: Ron VanSurksum Secretary: Andrea Spagnoulo

Today’s Meeting: 

We had a nice group out to Sunnybrook today and heard from Andy Tabisz + Ed & Eric of WorkSmart Database Masters.  WorkSmart is a database and application developer and Andy, whose wife is in a wheelchair, has taken an interest in looking at how existing “smart home” technologies might be employed and enhanced to assist persons with disabilities.  These include Amazon Echo, Dot, Nest, Firestick, Amazon Wand, Spot and more.  The current capabilities of voice command systems, camera technology and motion sensors have great potential for enhancing mobility and independence.  They demonstrated one such application where a person who can assist would be directly alerted when a person with limitations drops a cane, grabber or remote control device.  Andy and his crew were looking for some creativity on other potential assistive applications and we had a nice exchange of ideas regarding communication with persons with verbal barriers, therapy and more.  Interesting discussion.

Also during this meeting we discussed the current backlog of AmTrykes through the National system due to a variety of factors, both micro and macro (tariff wars?).  President Hodge alerted us that it was probable that Curt Stuck would be receiving a shipment containing multiple trikes later this summer and will likely need the assistance of the membership in assembling them.  Please keep alert for a call to help and be ready to jump in wherever you can so we can get the trikes out promptly to those we have committed to serve and are patiently waiting for their new ride.

Other group discussion included info on potential future club gifts to the 3 “footprint” communities of Hudsonville, Georgetown and Grandville.  In Hudsonville and Grandville that is likely to take the form of accessible playground equipment in a park and, for Georgetown, a roll out mat that will allow wheelchair users and others with mobility impairments to cross the beach and access the lake at 8th Avenue Park.  We also heard from Katelyn Bush about some needs at Kentwood Park & Rec related to the adaptive kayaking program, sit-skiing (adaptive water skiing) and/or track & field gear.  The group was eager to see our club investments being made where they can impact larger numbers of community residents with mobility and independence needs.

Lastly, we had preliminary discussion regarding holding regular, but more informal, club events that might combine club business with fun and networking on a “drop in” basis.  This would likely still be on a Tuesday but be held at a different time (late afternoon/early evening) at casual venues.  A trial run is in the works.

New Kenowa Ambuc Members

As mentioned above, Katelyn Bush was with us today.  We look forward to welcoming Lisa McCaffrey, Jeff Jauch, Tanya Sawicki and Joe Long.  Please join us when you can.

Chapter Miscellaneous

Chapter Board:   The next Chapter Board meeting will be held at noon on Tuesday, July 24 at Grandville City Hall.  All club members are welcome to attend.

District Board:   The next Ambuc District Board meeting will be held on August 1 at 6:00p at a location to be determined.  They hope, weather permitting, to be outside.

Medical Equipment Loans:   Refer any medical equipment loan contacts to the Family Network of Wyoming, 1029 44th Street SW, Wyoming  (616) 885-9919

Fun Fact:   According to, Marc Antony named the month of July in honor of Julius Caesar.

Quote of the Day:   “Now let it work.  Mischief, thou art afoot.  Take thou what course thou wilt.”   —   William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar


July 24:   Chapter Board Meeting.  Noon @ Grandville City Hall (Lunch = Hodge)
August 1:   District Board Meeting (6p @ location to be determined)
August 7:   Chapter Meeting (Noon @ Sunnybrook), Speaker TBA
October 3-6:   2018 Ambucs National Conference @ Reno NV (Registration now open)

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