Builders Show participants saw a need, and met it


By Katie Collins News Eagle Reporter

HAWLEY- It was like Christmas in Hawley, Tuesday afternoon, where a few kind-hearted representatives from area businesses, waited for Emily Bates to return home from school. The compassionate folks waited with eagerness, because they were presenting Bates with her very own scooter.

Bates, who is 12 and has cerebral palsy, has relied on crutches and other devices throughout her life, said her mom, Ann Austin. Of the work it has taken Bates, Austin said there have been, "a lot of uphill battles." But, through it all, Austin said, "she’s really a trooper."

The idea to give Bates a scooter came about after she and her family attended the Wayne County Builders Association Home and Garden Festival in Waymart, last weekend. Exhausted from all of the walking that was required, near the booth of Eastern Propane, Bates took a seat. But, George Turturiello, a mobility specialist from Stephens Pharmacy, suggested she sit on a scooter. Very grateful for the seat, Turturiello said the way Bates took to the scooter was, "instinctive," because of how well she immediately handled it.

After seeing how appreciative Bates was to use the scooter, for just the short period of time, the business owners knew they had to do something. In a matter of three days, the caring people purchased the scooter and delivered it to Bates home, with a pink balloon tied to the handle bars.

But, when Bates stepped off the bus, she was surprised to see the people. Once she realized what was waiting for her, rather than making her way to the scooter, she went to every person, and gave everyone a big hug and had a brief exchange of words, thanking them for the gift that will allow her to be, "faster than lightening," she said happily.

Stephens Pharmacy provided half the donation, and was matched by gifts from some employees from Eastern Propane and Wayne Bank, and other members of the Wayne County Builders Association.