Bridgeport Hospital Auxiliary holds 20th annual Wheelchair Meet

Wheelchair-dependent children ages 18 and under are invited to take part in the 20th annual Wheelchair Meet on Sunday, June 4, from 1-4 p.m., at the Cardinal Shehan Center, 1494 Main Street, Bridgeport. Sponsored by Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, PC, of Bridgeport, the proceeds will support Ahlbin Centers programs.

“This is an opportunity for children in wheelchairs to share a good time together, get some exercise and interact with our staff,” said Suzanne Starr, the Ahlbin Centers physical therapist who launched the meet in 1997 with the financial support of the Bridgeport Hospital Auxiliary.

The Wheelchair Meet consists of several events, including an obstacle course, ball-throwing contest and distance races from 25 to 800 meters. Children participate in a number of categories, based on age, gender and skill level.

The entry fee of $5 includes a T-shirt.

For information or to register, call 203-637-7836. Volunteers are being sought to help with the event.

“We even have a motorized wheelchair category,” said Starr. “It’s a wonderful event, not only for the children who take part, but also for their families. They all have something in common — they provide each other with mutual support and inspiration.”

Each year, the meet draws about 50 children with conditions ranging from cerebral palsy to severe arthritis and traumatic brain injury, according to Starr.

The rehabilitation medicine arm of Bridgeport Hospital, Ahlbin Centers also provides outpatient services in Bridgeport, Shelton, Southport, Stratford and Trumbull. Services include physical, occupational and speech therapy as well as childhood early intervention and geriatric rehabilitation programs.