2017-11-01 / Front Page

Legionnaires, volunteers build ramp for Abbott

BY ALLEN ESSEX
Reporter

Hammers, saws and elbow grease were combined this week in Raymondville to make the stage at the Willacy County Museum accessible for Gov. Greg Abbott who will visit Friday.

The stage in the auditorium of a former high school built in 1924 had only wooden steps at each end, so a proper ramp had to be constructed for the governor’s wheelchair.

Abbott has had to use the chair since a freak accident in 1984 when a tree fell on him while he was jogging in the River Oaks area of Houston. He was 26. The tree had been weakened by a storm.

Members of American Legion Post 390, as well as members of the Texas Ramp Project including engineer Alan Moore of La Feria, joined forces to build the ramp, which will be donated to the museum and is removable, said George Solis, Legion post commander. He hopes it will be stored at the museum for future use by anyone who needs to use the stage, Solis said. Cost of materials was about $340 to $350, which was paid for by the Willacy County Republican Party.

On Tuesday, Post 390 Vice Commander Felipe Cruz, who served in the Army and Army Reserve in the 1950s, tested the new ramp with the assistance of Solis. Cruz rolled up onto the stage and back down to the main floor as Abbott will do.

The project took eight people about three hours total to construct the ramp, Solis said. The group also built a wheelchair ramp at a home on Kimball Avenue.

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