Written by: Chelsea Grimm
One of the most exciting times of the year for us at Ride-Away is National Mobility Awareness Month. Every May, the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association sponsors contests and programs designed to educate individuals on what having limited mobility is really like. A major feature every year is the Local Hero Contest. For this promotion, individuals are encouraged to submit their story for a chance to win a wheelchair accessible van and get their mobility back.
Last year the contest saw over 1,700 Local Hero entries and almost 1.3 million votes which were narrowed down until 3 winners were selected. Ride-Away was personally involved with one of the winners, Alberto Cruz, who entered the contest with the help of his teachers and friends. Roland from our Hartford Location was instrumental in submitting and procuring the proper vehicle for Alberto's needs. At the conclusion of the contest each of the winners was presented with a brand new wheelchair accessible van that was customized and adapted to their individual mobility needs.
Today, this year’s Local Hero contest officially launched and the NMAM website is now accepting submissions! If you’d like to enter the contest for yourself or someone else, you can do so in just a few easy steps. First visit the NMAM website by clicking here. Once on the website, there two ways to submit your story to NMEDA and become a contestant. Two out of the three winners from last year opted to submit a blog and picture about why they should win. The text of each story can be up to 400 words long and should be submitted along with a picture of the candidate. Just make sure that the file size of the picture is 5MB or less. Watch the “How To” video by clicking here.
The second way to enter the contest is by recording a video of your story along with any other information you’d like to include. The video can be up to 2 minutes in length and should be uploaded to YouTube before submittal. For instructions on how to upload a video to YouTube click here or watch NMEDA’s “How To” Video.
Your work isn't over when you send in your entry. Now it is your job to get everyone you know to vote, vote, and vote some more! Voting opens on March 11, 2013 and will remain open until May 10th, 2013. Have your friends, family, co-workers, doctors, and everyone else you know go online to www.mobilityawarenessmonth.com/local-heroes/ to vote for you to win. Voters can search for an entrant by using their name, city, and/or zip code. Each voter is allowed to cast one vote per day, with the vote count refreshing at 12 midnight central time, every night.
Additionally, when you log in to vote you will be given the opportunity to win another vote by answering a quick multiple choice question. You are eligible to answer the question and win an extra vote once each day. The voting period lasts exactly 60 days which means that if someone votes for you every single day AND wins an extra vote each day, they have the potential to vote for you up to 120 times! The more people who vote for you consistently, the better chance you have of winning a new wheelchair accessible van. Remember, the voting period extends from March 11th 2013 - May 10th, 2013.
Once the votes have been tallied a panel will review the entries and make their selections. The winners will be selected on May 20th, 2013 and will be announced just a few days later on National TV. Don’t forget to stay tuned to the Mobility Awareness Month website for more information, dates, and announcements.
For some, telling their story can be tough. Though it might be hard, we encourage you to open up. The purpose of this event is to celebrate Local Heroes and provide wheelchair accessible vans to families in need. Tell your story, enter the Local Heroes Contest, and allow us to celebrate you! For more information and extra tips regarding how to submit your entry, stop into your local Ride-Away and speak with one of our Mobility Consultants, give us a call at 877-659-9414, or visit us online. We’d love to help in any way we can!