Fritz Pantophlet (center) flanked by Assistant Manager of Yacht Club Isle De Sol Marina Shervin Frederick; SMDF Programme and Development Manager Makhicia Brooks (left); PJIA Marketing Officer Maggie Gumbs and MAD representative Claret Connor (right).
PHILIPSBURG–Yacht Club Isle De Sol Marina, St. Maarten Development Fund (SMDF), Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) and Movement for Advanced Development (MAD) Foundation came together to assist paraplegic resident Fritz Pantophlet.
Pantophlet, who is wheelchair bound, received direct support from the group of four to purchase a new custom-built electric wheelchair. The wheelchair, which was fabricated by Florida-based company DMR Wheel Chair Store in Doral, Florida was built specifically for Pantophlet to ensure his comfort and stability.
Describing his new wheelchair, Pantophlet said that the chair allows him to maintain his own mobility and independence while simultaneously taking away some of his previous discomfort. On hand to see a happy Pantophlet in his wheelchair were Assistant Manager of Yacht Club Isle De Sol Marina Shervin Frederick; PJIA Marketing Officer Maggie Gumbs; SMDF Programme and Development Manager Makhicia Brooks and MAD representative Claret Connor.
Connor, who accompanied Pantophlet on his trip to Miami, described the process as being seamless and professional with the staff of DMR Wheel Chair Store giving Pantophlet their full attention throughout the entire process.
“The partnership for Pantophlet is just one example of how community-minded individuals, businesses and foundations continue to support community members who are most deserving. With a shared focus on contributing towards improving the lives of the most vulnerable when possible, the group of four thanked Pantophlet for the opportunity to support his continued mobility,” it was stated in a press release.
Pantophlet thanked the group for their support and willingness to provide financial support. He said his desire is to contribute more to the lives of persons with disabilities. Through his envisioned Fritz Pantophlet Paraplegic Foundation, Pantophlet is setting out on a mission to increase disability awareness in St. Maarten. “I hope to bring awareness of the paralyzed and disabled so that they can be more accepted throughout the community,” said Pantophlet. With a slogan of Ready to Move, he hopes that St. Maarten will support his vision of a more inclusive community.