NOVA is in the process of dissolution as a result of circumstances worsened by the pandemic. Therefore, it will no longer be accepting any applications or awarding any grants.
Rock On to Roll On – A Fundraiser for The National Organization for Vehicle Accessibility
We are thrilled to announce that Rock On to Roll On was a great success! 200 guests attended this event at the State Theatre in Logansport, IN to help us raise funds that will assist individuals with disabilities achieve their dreams of mobility.
Check out a few of these pictures from our fun evening:
We would like to give a very special thank you to the following businesses
whose support made this night a success:
Amelio’s On The River
Braun Auto Group
Jordan Automotive Group
Klauber Machine & Gear/Emsco
M.C. Mobility Systems
Mobility Transportation Services
Protective Life Insurance Company
Superior Van & Mobility
Triumph Community Bank
john sherrill presents…”Comedy With a Cause!”
Thank you to John & Carrie Sherrill, Jeff Bodart, Robert Hay-Smith & Scot Pollard for an amazing night of comedy! john sherrill presents….”Comedy With a Cause” was a sold out show and raised nearly $8,000 to assist individuals with disabilities achieve their dreams of mobility!
Purdue MBA Students Host Fundraiser to Benefit The National Organization for Vehicle Accessibility
Several MBA students at Purdue University held a fundraising event outside of the Krannert School of Management building in West Lafayette, IN on April 15, 2015. They sold raffle tickets at $1 each for a chance to win various gift cards and were successful in raising $413 in just three hours! Thank you to Alyssa Garnett, Gustavo Amorim and the rest of the student team who assisted in coordinating and hosting this event. Thank you also to BraunAbility for loaning a wheelchair accessible van to the students for the day to display on campus. Every dollar donated makes a difference in the lives of individuals in need of accessible transportation!
Thanks to All Who Joined Us at Evil Czech in Culver!
Good times were had by all at the Evil Czech Five-Course Beer Pairing Dinner to Benefit The National Organization for Vehicle Accessibility held on March 14, 2015! We would like to thank all of our generous sponsors, silent auction item donors and guests who supported this event.
National Organization for Vehicle Accessibility to Benefit from Justin Hines Concert
We first met Justin Hines, a popular singer-songwriter, dedicated humanitarian, and a wheelchair user, when he performed for a Braun function in Las Vegas in 2010. Justin is from Canada but has found an audience all over the world.
Justin is embarking on a North American tour this summer. It’s a unique tour — he is not accepting any money for his performances. Instead he’ll be donating proceeds from each show to a charity at each of the nearly 90 stops along the way.
He’s calling this his “Vehicle of Change” tour, and the concept fits Justin’s reputation as not only a musician, but a humanitarian as well. He wants to be a force of positive change in the world, and paying forward the proceeds from the tour is his way of sharing his love for those who inspire and encourage him to play music. As an aside, his song “Say What You Will” was actually #1 in South Africa’s billboard charts and became an anthem of sorts at Oprah Winfrey’s schools for girls in that country (see a clip from the South African influenced version here: http://www.justinhines.com/press/4-hello-world-2/)
Justin hoped the mission of the tour would inspire more charitable acts, and it did, starting with a couple in Canada who heard about the Vehicle of Change tour and told Justin they’d like to donate their RV to him. Justin was surprised with the donation and it was all captured on video: Vehicle of change
The tour will be coming through Winamac, Indiana, the home of The National Organization for Vehicle Accessibility and BraunAbility on July 10, 2013 with a free concert in the Town Park from 7-9pm. A free will offering at the concert will benefit The National Organization for Vehicle Accessibility. To check the Vehicle of Change Tour to see when it might be near you click here. Each tour stop along the way will benefit a different non profit.
Ralph Braun Honored Posthumously With daVinci Award
Ralph Braun, founder and CEO of The Braun Corporation, was honored posthumously with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the da Vinci Awards, an international forum recognizing the latest development and research in adaptive and assistive technologies. The awards benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society’s Michigan Chapter.
“Ralph Braun has left a permanent legacy in the mobility community and is regarded as a true pioneer of an industry that has brought freedom to hundreds of thousands of individuals across the world,” stated a release published by the da Vinci Awards.
Ralph’s daughters – Cherie Braun Diaz and Melissa Braun Dennis – were on hand to accept the award during the ceremony, which was held at the Ford Conference and Event Center in Dearborn.
The Michigan Chapter of the National MS Society (www.nationalmssociety.org/mig) created the da Vinci Awards® in 2001 to foster innovation and hope by recognizing the latest developments and research in adaptive and assistive technologies, which play an important role in helping people overcome physical limitations.
The da Vinci Awards® were named after Leonardo da Vinci because of his documented talents as an inventor, philosopher, engineer, architect and artist. The name itself captures the spirit in which the awards are given.
Proceeds from the awards benefit the National MS Society’s Michigan Chapter. Michigan has one of the highest incident rates of MS in the U.S., with more than 18,000 residents living with multiple sclerosis.
Ralph Braun, Founder of The Braun Corporation & BraunAbility 1940-2013
Ralph William Braun, founder and CEO of The Braun Corporation, passed away Friday, February 8th in Winamac, Indiana. He was 72 years old.
Ralph leaves behind a significant legacy in the mobility industry – an industry that he helped create based on his personal need for mobility products.
In 1947, Ralph was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at just six years of age. Ralph credits his parents with instilling in him the will to overcome the challenges his disability presented him – as well as any other obstacles life put in his path. When he could no longer rely on his own two legs and he’d outgrown piggyback rides from his dad, he began using a wheelchair. While he didn’t welcome the mobility aid, the 13-year-old never let it slow him down. Ralph wanted an education, a career and a family, just like anyone else; he just had to work a little harder at it.
The first mobility product he engineered was a motorized scooter, which he called the Tri-Wheeler. The scooter allowed him to conserve energy and keep his job as a Quality Control Inspector at a nearby factory. As his mobility increased, so did the attention from the disabled community. What started as a part-time business filling orders for Tri-Wheelers from his parents’ garage evolved into Save-A-Step Manufacturing.
When the factory where Ralph worked moved a few miles from his home, he outfitted an old postal Jeep with hand controls and a hydraulic lift so he could have reliable transportation to and from work no matter the weather. Just a few years later when Dodge introduced the first full-sized, front-engine van, he devised a way to install a wheelchair lift that would revolutionize the mobility industry. For the first time, individuals with disabilities had a way to travel on the road from their wheelchairs.
The Braun Corporation was incorporated in 1972, and for much of the remainder of that decade and the next, Braun’s product line was built on the wheelchair lift. Not only did this product revolutionize consumer mobility, but it forever changed public transportation as well. Finally buses and vans could be outfitted with wheelchair lifts to allow universal public transportation from city and state governments. Most importantly, children across the country were offered accessible transportation to and from school – a benefit that didn’t seem possible when Ralph was a young man encountering multiple roadblocks to his own public education. The commercial lift industry, as well as the paratransit business, continues to thrive in the domestic and international markets.
By the time the lowered floor minivan was introduced in the late 1980s, Americans were experiencing a level of mobility that had never before existed. Other manufacturers offered mobility products, but what set The Braun Corporation apart was Ralph’s focus on providing mobility solutions to meet the individual needs of each customer. He created a network of dealers across the country to evaluate an individual’s needs and circumstances to find the best mobility option for him or her. Today the company offers wheelchair accessible conversions on the Dodge/Chrysler, Toyota, and Honda minivans, as well as multiple lift platforms and additional mobility products to fit the needs of customers with every need and level of disability.
The Braun Corporation marked its 40th anniversary in 2012. Throughout the company’s existence, Ralph kept his headquarters based in his hometown of Winamac, Indiana (population 2500). Nearly 850 individuals are employed by the company.
Braun has been recognized for his work in the industry, including the “Champion of Change” honor by the White House in 2012 for his dedication to improving the lives of individuals with physical disabilities. He was inducted into the NMEDA Hall of Fame in 2012 and was recognized as Employer of the Year by the Commission for the Handicapped and the Indiana State Board of Health. Just a week before his passing, Ralph was also honored with the Support of the Guard and Reserves Patriot Award for his support of his employees who serve in the military.
Ralph has left a permanent legacy in the mobility community and will be remembered as a true pioneer of accessibility. He wrote his autobiography, Rise Above, to tell the story of the challenges he faced as a young man – not only from his health, but from the limitations society placed on individuals with disabilities as well. In the book he announced the formation of The National Organization for Vehicle Accessibility, which would help those with limited income afford the mobility equipment they need.
Ralph Braun is regarded as a true pioneer of an industry that has brought freedom to hundreds of thousands of individuals across the world. The Braun legacy of quality and dedication will continue in the name of its pioneering father.
If you would like to be a part of helping to further the mission of The National Organization for Vehicle Accessibility your donations can be sent to The National Organization for Vehicle Accessibility, P.O. Box 310, Winamac, IN 46996.