CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Only a month and a half after the theft of a dozen specially-built wheelchairs, Jordan Houdeshell and the Iowa Chariots are back on the hardwood.
"Our motto is adapt and overcome, so this is a way to show that we can adapt and overcome anything, any obstacle," said Houdeshell at a fundraising tournament at Linn-Mar High School. He said events like this keep chipping away at the massive cost of the December 2013 crime.
Houdeshell estimated it would take around $50,000 to replace all of the chairs, but SportAbility director Jayden Barrett saoid the group has already received help from several donors.
"$10, $20; we've had people reach out with $500 donations," said Barrett.
The team recently got a boost from Ankeny-based organization Adaptive Sports Iowa, making it possible for events like this to happen.
"We were nice enough to find ASI," said Barrett. "They donated 12 chairs for the day to allow us to have this tournament."
Barrett said more help is coming from out of state.
"I was actually just contacted by an organization out in California called the Challenged Athletes Foundation, and they are going to be sending us four brand new chairs to start the rebuilding process," Barrett told us. "They're about $2,500 apiece."
Barrett said SportAbility applied for the chairs last September and didn't expect to hear about them until April, but the Challenged Athletes Foundation expedited the process.
"They pushed this through to get the chairs ordered next week," said Barrett. "For them to do this is just phenomenal; it's crazy, and we didn't think it was going to happen."
Barrett said The Iowa Chariots are planning more fundraising tournaments in the months ahead.