Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

Fundraiser growing with the help of neighborhood businesses

Posted on 06 August 2018 by Calvin

Emily Zoltai will be in her third year of graduate school this fall at Concordia University, St. Paul (1282 Concordia Ave.), working toward her MS in Orthotics and Prosthetics. Orthotics and prosthetics are devices that help people who have missing or under-functioning limbs achieve fuller mobility and greater independence.

Zoltai is passionate about her studies and is completing a six-week clinical internship in Quito, Ecuador this summer with an organization called the Range of Motion Project (ROMP). ROMP provides prosthetic devices to children and adults in poverty, who could not otherwise afford them. Their two clinics are located in Quito, Ecuador, and Zacapa, Guatemala.

Zoltai has had a strong connection to ROMP since she graduated with a BS in human physiology from the University of Oregon five years ago.

“At that time,” Zoltai said, “I had a chance to volunteer for two months with the ROMP Clinic in Ecuador. I figured I would eventually go on for an advanced degree in physical therapy, like most of my classmates were planning to do.

She continued, “For the first week I was in Quito, I spent every day in the physical therapy wing creating rehabilitative exercises for patients. The next week, I wandered into the prosthetics wing. I was curious! What were routers, sanders, and band saws doing in a hospital? I was able to watch a prosthetist at work, and it seemed like the perfect combination of art and science. I was hooked.”

Photo right: Emily Zoltai, ROMP ambassador and Concordia University graduate student in Prosthetics and Orthotics said, “Our organization is very grateful for the support of Motion Physical Therapy and the Brewery Running Series event at Lake Monster Brewing. The combined efforts of those organizations, along with our many other community partners, will make it possible for ROMP to continue working toward full mobility for those who lack it – regardless of ability to pay.” (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

While living in Quito again this summer, Zoltai is organizing her fourth annual ROMP fundraiser—and doing most of her organizing via email. Motion Physical Therapy, which is located at 550 Vandalia in the Midway neighborhood, has offered to support her fundraising efforts in two significant ways.

On Sun., Sept. 16, a 5K run will begin and end at the Lake Monster Brewery—just outside Motion’s front door. Organizer Jack Lunt of the Brewery Running Series said, “10% of our donations from this event will go directly toward ROMP. Our goal is to sign up 200 people and sell out the run. At every event we host, there are families pushing strollers, retirees walking, runners just getting started, as well as experienced runners—all kinds of people for whom mobility is empowering.”

The mission of the Brewery Running Series is to be active, have fun, and give back to the community. The cost for this event is $30; more information and registration forms can be found at ­www.­breweryrunningseries.com.

After the Sept. 16 brew run at Lake Monster, Motion Physical Therapy will be hosting an open house in their offices at 550 Vandalia, #105, with two documentary ROMP videos playing on a loop. The Brewery Running Series will also hold a raffle and social time there.

The fundraiser that Zoltai is organizing from Quito will be held in solidarity with a major climb in Ecuador this summer, where some of the world’s most elite, physically-challenged athletes will attempt to summit Mount Cotopaxi in the Andes, elevation of 19,347’.

On Sun., Sept. 30, anyone wanting to support ROMP locally can come to the Minneapolis Bouldering Project at 5pm. The Bouldering Project is located at 1433 W. River Rd. N. in Minneapolis.

The Sept. 30 line-up of events and presenters will include Motion Physical Therapy; a panel of speakers on mobility issues, including some who are living with limb loss; a prosthetics building station; extensive resources on adaptive sports, including demonstrations by Wiggle your Toes and Mind Body Solutions; and two short-film screenings about highly successful amputee climbers. Participants are also welcome to try climbing at the Bouldering Project, with complimentary climbing shoes included. Donated items from Patagonia, Osprey, Kleen Kanteen and many others will be raffled off or given away.

The goals of the ROMP fundraising events being held around the globe this summer are the same: to show the power of mobility, the importance of access to prosthetic care, and the need for legislation that protects the rights of those with mobility issues.

For more information on the local fund raiser, contact Emily.zoltai@gmail.com. Tickets can be purchased at www.crowdrise.com/romp.minneapolis. To learn about the impact of ROMP in Ecuador and Guatemala, visit www.rompglobal.org.

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