Company surprises employee with ripchair
Howe and Howe technologies in Waterboro, Maine has given an a employee a chance to return to the woods by giving him a ripchair for free. Tony Tulo knows all about the machine, because he sells them. At $40,000 though, it was not in the cards for him to have one. Then the company stepped in. From WKRC:A company known for its top-secret tanks is keeping its biggest and best secret for one of their own. For the past four months employees at Howe and Howe Technologies in Waterboro have been secretly building a "Ripchair 3.0" for Tony Tulo, a salesperson at the company who is paralyzed from the chest down.The Ripchair is a motorized off-road vehicle for people in wheelchairs. "Hunting, fishing, farming, pretty much anything you can do with an ATV this machine can do, and quite often more," said Jesse Morrill, one of the employees working on the project.Tulo was paralyzed in a logging accident on December 30, 2006 in Kentucky. "Basically somebody dropped a tree on my head," said Tulo. "I've always grown up on four-wheelers and snowmobiles and everything like that, and then in an instant that all gets taken away from you." Tulo found hope through "Outdoors Again." It's a nonprofit that puts on outdoor events for people with disabilities run by Howe and Howe Technologies Founders, Co-Owners, and twin brothers Geoff and Mike Howe.Tulo met the Howe brothers and asked them for a job. They gave him one selling the Ripchair. He test drives all of the custom-made machines and is an advocate for the people in wheelchairs who will ride in them.
"The first time I got in one, I cried. I couldn't help it," said Tulo. "When I'm in a Ripchair I don't think about my injury at all." Tulo had been saving to buy his own Ripchair, but at $40,000, that's no easy task. "It's almost worth them getting one and seeing a smile on their face than me actually having one, to be honest," said Tulo. "I really do love seeing these people get these chairs."That attitude is what inspired Geoff and Mike Howe and their employees to build Tulo his own Ripchair and give it to him for free. They started the project in May and put in hundreds of hours on nights, weekends, and holidays to finish Tony's new ride.See the full story from WKRC.
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