Generous Gift from Dr. Fred Sammons Ignites
Celebrating 100 years of inspiring mobility and independence and building the foundation for 100 more!
From your National AMBUCS CEO and National President…
We are excited to announce that longtime beloved Ambuc, Dr. Fred Sammons of the United and Kazoo Valley AMBUCS Chapters, recently made a generous gift of $200,000 to National AMBUCS! This gift will serve as the catalyst for the “Mission in Motion” Capital Campaign, as we roll forward…out of our COVID-related challenges and into our organization’s 100th year in 2022!
The National AMBUCS Board of Directors has also unanimously approved matching Fred’s gift by allocating $200,000 from Board Designated/Temporarily Restricted assets in the National AMBUCS Permanent Fund (formerly known as the Living Endowment).
It is important to point out there are two primary components of our Permanent Fund:
- The first and largest portion of the fund is made up of permanently restricted gifts to our William L. White, Named Scholarship, Amtryke Ambassadors, and Cornerstone Chapter Founding and Advocate funds. These gifts truly “keep on giving” and are held in the Permanent Fund in perpetuity. A portion of the investment income from these gifts is allocated each year to fund initiatives such as our Scholarships for Therapists Program and the National Amtryke Wish List. Currently, the policy established by the Board dictates that 4% of the value of the Permanent Fund, based on a 3-year rolling average, is allocated each year for these programs. These funds will not and cannot be used for the capital campaign.
- The second, smaller component of the Permanent Fund is made up of temporarily restricted/Board designated assets that came from surplus operations income in prior years, which the National AMBUCS Board of Directors elected to place in the Permanent Fund to earn investment income. These funds can be withdrawn from the Permanent Fund and reallocated with approval of the Board. The $200,000, matching allocation for the capital campaign will come from these temporarily restricted/Board designated funds only.
If you imagine the “Mission in Motion” Capital Campaign as an Amtryke, that means two of the three wheels are fully funded at $200,000 each, for a total of $400,000. So…what about the third wheel? Well, we’ve got a little work to do. Very soon, we will be reaching out to our full AMBUCS membership and beyond, to ask for help in raising a third $200,000 “match,” to reach our total capital campaign goal of $600,000.
Reaching this goal will provide a foundation to ensure we not only survive the difficult challenges of this past year, but thrive for another 100 years…and more! The funds will be used to help fund the following strategic initiatives:
Phase 1 – Replenishment of Amtryke Inventory and Revenue:
Funds will be used to offset a portion of Amtryke revenue lost this past year due to COVID and allow us to purchase Amtrykes and accessories to meet the needs of our volunteer chapters and continue our mission of inspiring mobility and independence. While the lingering global bicycle parts shortage may impact our ability to replace inventory in a timely manner, having the necessary cash assets will allow us to purchase sooner and “move up in line.”
Phase 2 – Creation of the Fred Sammons Amtryke Training and Research Academy:
As unanimously approved by the National AMBUCS Board of Directors, the academy will be established in honor of Fred’s achievements, accomplishments, and selfless service to Occupational Therapy, National AMBUCS and our Amtryke Program.
Fred grew up in Wattsburg, Pennsylvania and attended California State Teachers College – which surprisingly, was not in the state of California but in the small borough of California, Pennsylvania – and is now known as California University of Pennsylvania. Upon graduating with a degree in Industrial Arts, he moved to a small town in West Virginia to teach mechanical drawing to high school students.
After serving in the Korean War, Fred attended Richmond Professional Institute which is now called Virginia Commonwealth University on the GI Bill and received his certificate in Occupational Therapy. His first job in the field was with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, where he would become Chief Director of Occupational Therapy in 1957. In 1960, Fred joined the staff of the amputee clinic at Northwestern University, where he began to design and build devices to assist amputees with everyday activities. Fred recently shared, “During that time, I would go home and dream up gadgets to help my amputee patients. I’d put rough prototypes together, try them with patients, and then tinker to make them better.”
With the demand for his inventions growing, Fred decided in 1965 to devote all his time to creating, manufacturing, and distributing his assistive devices. He started his own company, initially called Button King Enterprises, after one of his devices. This later became Sammons, Inc. and quickly grew into a multi-million-dollar business. The company has evolved over the years and is now called Performance Health and is the largest global manufacturer of rehabilitation products.
In 1983, Fred was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the Western Michigan University Department of Occupational Therapy. More recently, he was named as one of “Top 100 Influential People of Occupational Therapy” by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) in celebration of Occupational Therapy’s 100th Anniversary.
In his retirement, Fred has been a devoted member of AMBUCS and our Amtryke Advisory Board. Of that experience, he enthusiastically says, “I just fell in love with AMBUCS and ate it up. It’s so fun!” His ingenuity and creativity have been instrumental in the design of countless Amtykes and accessories. Fred currently lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan with his beloved Barbara Rider, also a retired Occupational Therapist.
With the establishment of the academy, our current AMBUCS Resource Center warehouse will be converted to a state-of-the-art training and research facility, and in in honor of Fred’s love of gadgets, will be affectionately nicknamed “Fred’s Gadget Garage.” Occupational and physical therapists from across the nation will receive in-person and virtual training on the proper evaluation and fitting of “adaptive trykes for amazing people,” as our Amtryke tagline says.
Phase 3 – Reconfigure staffing for the ARC (AMBUCS Resource Center) by eliminating a current position to enable the addition of a licensed OT or PT to our ARC team:
A Master’s or Doctoral level occupational or physical therapist will be hired to lead the academy as Director of Amtryke Training and Research. Keep your eyes open for the complete announcement about this new position by July 15, 2021. The posting of the position will initially be limited to candidates in our AMBUCS membership, due to the necessary familiarity with our Amtryke line-up. If necessary, the position will be posted more widely.
General Qualifications: In addition to holding an advanced degree in PT or OT, interested candidates must…
- Have extensive experience evaluating and fitting riders for Amtrykes and accessories.
- Possess a working knowledge of our Scholarships for Therapists Program.
- Hold the credentials and experience necessary to provide instruction to PT or OT students in an academic environment, since our long-range plan is to form collaborative partnerships with PT and/or OT graduate programs at neighboring universities.
- Be willing to relocate to the High Point/Greensboro, NC area, after being allowed to work remotely during a brief transitional period.
Tentative Responsibilities: The Director of Amtryke Training and Research will…
- Work with AMBUCS therapists to design training curricula and serve as lead facilitator.
- Collaborate with representatives of Bicycle Corporation of America (BCA) and our Amtryke Advisory Board to design and test all Amtryke models and accessories for safety, functionality, and therapeutic efficacy.
- Serve as primary liaison to AOTA (American Occupational Therapy Association), APTA (American Physical Therapy Association) and APPTAC (Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy).
- Coordinate teams of AMBUCS therapists to cover trade shows and ensure follow-up with prospects for new AMBUCS chapters.
- Be directly involved in the planning process for the renovation of the warehouse facility.
- Serve as the primary ARC staff contact for the National AMBUCS Scholarship Committee.
- Supervise clinical placements for graduate level PT and/or OT students and/or serve as an adjunct professor.
Please watch for more exciting news in the coming days and learn how you can help us reach our “Mission in Motion” Capital Campaign goal!
Jay Laurens, CEO and Sue Haywood, National President