By Amy Daybert Enterprise editor
When neighbors pass by Arlie Windsor’s house on North 192nd Street they’ll probably see her wave hello from her new wheelchair ramp.
“Even if I just can make it to the ramp it will be wonderful to come outside now,” Windsor said.
Her ramp was one of 30 constructed during this year’s 15th annual Rampathon event on May 17 throughout King and Snohomish Counties. Rampathon is sponsored by the Master Builders Association Care Foundation and involves volunteer association members. This year, members built two ramps in Shoreline. Owner of Irons Brothers Construction, Joseph Irons, served as the ramp captain for the Windsor’s 50-foot ramp.
“Everything’s overbuilt, we want to make sure the ramp won’t need to be repaired,” Irons said.
Advanced stages of Multiple Sclerosis require Windsor to use a motorized wheelchair. Before the ramp, four people had to help lift Windsor and her chair over several steps leading up to her front door. She was only able to make it outside of her home a few times this year. Her husband, Rich, and her daughter, Elizabeth, worried about how she would leave the house in an emergency. A radio advertisement for Rampathon prompted Elizabeth to ask her mother to apply for an access ramp.
“(Elizabeth) encouraged me to apply and I’m so glad I did,” Windsor said. “It was just a wonderful experience.”
This year marked the third Rampathon experience for Irons. He took his crew of volunteers out for breakfast so they would be energized before they began work at 8:30 a.m on Saturday. Fueled by snacks and water throughout the day, Irons and 25 volunteers finished the ramp at 9 p.m.
With the aid of her new ramp, Windsor went shopping with her family the next day.
“I got plenty of vitamin D,” she said. “And I had lots of energy.”
The finished ramp was even more than she hoped it would be, she added.
“I envisioned something practical but this is beautiful too,” she said from the newly completed, stained ramp.
A second 40-foot ramp was also constructed by Wirecraft Electric in Shoreline, south of North 185th`Street on Stone Avenue. It was the first time the company was involved in the Rampathon event, company president Josh Miller said.
“It was pretty fun,” Miller said. “I think I’ll help organize these events in the future.”
Wirecraft Electric volunteers were joined by volunteers from Absolute Perfection in Mountlake Terrace to finish the ramp. Local companies, including Aurora Rents, Dunn Lumber, Plywood Supply, and Rodda Paints, donated supplies for this year’s event.
Since 1993, more than 250 ramps have been constructed by association volunteers for disabled homeowners in King and Snohomish counties. For more information about how Rampathon works, contact the Master Builders Care Foundation at 425-451-7920.