ANTIOCH, Tenn. (WKRN) – A local non-profit organization that helps individuals with disabilities is in need of help itself after a trailer used to transport specialized equipment was stolen.
National Wheelcats helps men and women with disabilities play the sports they love, anything from hockey, basketball, adaptive golf, soccer, to tennis.
But on Wednesday, Athletic Director Jeffery Hall noticed someone had stolen one of their two equipment trailers. It was stolen from a business on Mt. View Parkway in Antioch.
“At first I was confused. ‘Where is this trailer that has always been where I left it?” Hall said. “I was angry for a second at the theft of our property.”
The 5 by 8 trailer is used to transport specialized wheelchairs and softball equipment to tournaments.
“We figured at that point that someone must have taking it off our hands for us, unfortunately,” Hall said. “It’s got about a six-foot logo on it, so it’s pretty hard to miss going down the road.”
The organization has well over 100 athletes and has sponsored hundreds more over its 50 years of existence.
“We’re very blessed. We are able to provide recreation and sporting activities for over 100 adults every year,” Hall said. “Not just in Tennessee and Kentucky, but all over the country in a variety of sports.”
Hall said it’s going to be a burden to try and buy a new one if the stolen trailer isn’t found.
The team is scheduled to play in South Carolina this weekend, so they plan on renting a U-Haul if police are not able to locate the stolen trailer in time.
Hall said it will be a burden on the organization having to pay to replace this $2,000 trailer, but he’s trying to keep a positive attitude.
“Wheelchair athletes and disabled athletes, you know, these are guys that have overcome things much greater in nature than a piece of stolen equipment,” Hall said. “Equipment like that allows us to pass on to the disabled community as compared to the few hundred bucks you are going to be able to get at a scrap yard or whatever you are going to do with it. I don’t know what you do with a stolen trailer.”
UPDATE: A good Samaritan stepped up Thursday evening to buy National Wheelcats a new trailer. Danny Holder, with Danny Holder Automotive in Ashland City, told Hall to buy whatever he needs and he’ll reimburse all the funds.