Anza Lions Club builds ramp for local man

From left to right, Teri Morelli, Lion German Garate, Lion Roland Vellanoweth and volunteers Betty and David Quinonez serve as the Anza Lions Club builds a handicap access ramp at the home of Teri Morelli in Lake Riverside Estates Saturday, Dec. 16. Diane Sieker photo

When the Anza Lions Club receives a call for assistance, they assess the situation, gather supplies and spring into action.

The project was a handicap access ramp, requested by single mother Teri Morelli for her 28-year-old quadriplegic son Zakry, who suffers from epilepsy and cerebral palsy and is severely disabled. He depends on his wheelchair for mobility and the lightweight portable ramp that Morelli was using previously was not up to the task, she said. She needed help.

At the suggestion of a friend, Morelli made a request to Anza Lions Club President Mimi Brown, who assured her that it was a community project that the Lions could easily handle. The Lions Club International is well-known for helping people in the community.

Measurements were taken; wood and other materials ordered and delivered. The construction began Saturday, Dec. 16. Lions Roland Vellanoweth, German Garate and Jeff Hawthorne, along with volunteers David and Bettie Quinonez, got busy measuring, sawing, nailing and building a strong sturdy ramp that would make the ascent to the front door easier – and safer – for Zakry.

“Out here with the Lions Club serving our community, sometimes all we have is time to donate,” Bettie Quinonez said. “But to this family, it’s life-changing. And we have a ramp.”

The new access ramp extends the porch at the front door for ease of movement of the large motorized wheelchair; it extends down from there and gently descends to the walkway.

“I’m so happy. Zakry now has access.” Morelli said on social media, thanking all those involved with the endeavor. “Thank you Anza Lions Club. Zakry and I feel so blessed to have such wonderful people who care so much for us.”

The finishing touches were added Saturday, Dec. 23, and Morelli will be preparing the wooden ramp for paint in the near future, she said.

For more information on special Anza Lions Club’s contributions to the community, contact Anza Lions Club President Mimi Brown at (760) 637-9173 or by email at mimispecialevents@gmail.com or visit www.anzalionsclub.org.

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