Posted on: by ForbinBlogger in VGM News

 

It’s been over two years since VGM Group, Inc. partnered with Total Respiratory & Rehab to donate a custom-built track chair for Alec Gotto of Dyersville, Iowa.

The donation was inspired by a news story featuring Gotto, now 14, leading his 1,556 pound steer, JD (short for John Deere) in his power wheelchair to win not only the People’s Choice Award, but the hearts of many new friends during the 2018 Iowa State Fair in Des Moines.

At the time, Gotto’s day-to-day power wheelchair struggled navigating the tough terrain of the show ring and family farm. The story inspired his supporters, which now included VGM, to purchase a power wheelchair with tracks so he could show his cattle in any terrain and without the assistance of others.  

The new chair, a TrackMaster MK-1, features a green and yellow paint scheme, dual one-horsepower electric motors, custom seating system, 47-inch-long tracks, and a wide base to provide even more stability. It also features twin, 900-lumen LED floodlights to help Alec, also known as “The Cow Whisperer,” navigate around the farm day or night.  

VGM donated the TrackMaster chair, and the freight and labor to install the custom upgrades was covered by Nebraska-based Total Respiratory & Rehab, a VGM and U.S. Rehab member. The cost for the entire project totaled $35,000 and money raised through the Tracks for Alec fundraising efforts paid for the upgrades. 

PBS produced a follow-up story that aired July 17 as part of their tribute to the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and PBS’ "Move to Include" initiative.

Click on the video above to watch the heartwarming and inspiring story of Alec gaining independence by Overcoming Obstacles On the Farm and In the Show Ring