Church Family and community come together to help a friend

Send a link to a friend  Share

[June 28, 2017]   LINCOLN -  On Saturday several men from the Zion Lutheran Church gathered at the home of Charlie and Marge Ott to build a wheelchair ramp that will make it possible for Charlie and Marge to navigate in and out of their home.

The group, though noted as part of the church family, consisted of men often seen out and about in our community helping with the National Railsplitting Festival, volunteers with the former Together for Lincoln program, and volunteers involved with Habitat for Humanity.

The group was being somewhat led by Darius Knauer and John Sutton. While neither one claimed the position formally, all the others seemed to point fingers at the two when it came time to talk with the newspaper.

The Ott's live on Peoria Street in a large two-story home sitting on a tall foundation. Getting into the home requires climbing stairs, something that Charlie is no longer able to do. Knauer and Sutton explained that the height of the back door above ground level meant that the ramp would have to be built long enough to handle a gradual slope, and as a result would be built with a 360-degree turn midway down the incline.

Sutton laughed as he held up a piece of paper. "It may not look like it, but we do have a plan!"

[to top of second column]

Charlie, standing at the height of about 6'9" and with a slender build, has for years been a natural to portray Abraham Lincoln at area functions. He's been heavily involved in the Logan County Railsplitting Association since its beginning, served as president of the Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County and has done many other great things in the community.

Marge explained that right now Charlie is having some circulatory issues. He's currently a resident in a McLean County Nursing home, doing rehab and learning how to navigate with his wheelchair.

Marge said that in 2000, Charlie had to have surgery on one leg to replace a primary vein and restore proper circulation. Charlie was told then that the transplanted vein would last for probably about seven years. Marge said it lasted more than twice that long, but last year, Charlie started having trouble again. Another surgery was in order.

She said that having the ramp built was a blessing to her and Charlie. The ramp is going to be necessary for Charlie to be able to come home. She explained that he's been doing rehab for the last two weeks, and the goal is to have him home, hopefully by the end of the month. The ramp will help pave the way for Charlie's release from the nursing home.

Darius said that the group was happy to pitch in and help out and that they wanted to also thank Thrivent Financial in Lincoln for helping with a monetary donation to the project. Donning their "Live Generously" Thrivent T-shirts the group posed for a photo to commemorate the day.

[Nila Smith]

Back to top