Friday, February 17, 2006


Wanda’s Rockers are not a rock band. They are a group of neighbors who once a year stage a rock-a-thon.

Wanda and a group of Buckhannon Manor residents are actively involved in their county’s annual telethon for the American Heart Association. They set up several rocking chairs in the community room of the Manor and make sure those chairs don’t stop moving until the rock-a-thon has ended. When one person grows tired, another takes a turn.

Local businesses supply food and beverages. Non-residents stop by to make a donation and a couple of residents go door to door taking up a collection. At the end of the day, Wanda is driven to the Moose Lodge, which is the local telethon sponsor, and on live television she presents what the Manor has collected.

What makes this group special is that it is composed of elderly and disabled people who come downstairs from their apartments at the Manor to rock for the benefit of others. Some need a cane or a walker to get around. Some are in wheelchairs. Those people participate by pushing their wheelchairs back and forth. Aches and pains are ignored as they rock for charity.

Wanda is 87 now and in a wheelchair. She has participated in a rock-a-thon for twenty-four years, despite bypass surgery and a couple of heart attacks during this period. .

“Time does fly. I know I've been rocking since 1999,” my friend Carol writes in an e-mail. “But it doesn't seem like a lot of work for us compared to what really goes into the heart telethon.”

The group changes from year to year. Some move; some pass away. This time they were down to six rocking chairs, but they kept them rocking all afternoon. Carol rocked off and on for a total of three hours and she was feeling it in her back and legs. Each person who took part probably had a good reason to not participate, but each one did.

This February their effort raised $544.25 for the American Heart Association

Wanda’s Rockers and similar groups set a good example for all of us. Despite age or infirmity, they are willing and able to give to their community.

The next time you wonder how God can possibly use what little ability or energy you have to offer, remember Wanda’s Rockers. You don’t have to be healthy, wealthy, young or energetic, as long as you are willing to serve.

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