by Lisa Tome
Although he's pushing 88, Richard Montgomery isn't slowing down.
In fact, Montgomery is doing his part to make the lives of the elderly and injured as bearable as possible.
Montgomery, his wife, Janet, and other members of the Rising Sun Lions Club continue to work to provide free home healthcare and disability equipment to anyone who needs it.
The Lions Club has been lending medical equipment since 2006. The Montgomerys handle the phone calls and coordinate pick up and storage. Dale Lofthouse keeps track of the equipment that is available. He also keeps it in working order, making repairs when needed. Dana Fritts helps with labeling the equipment and sends thank you notes for donations.
The goal for the Lions Club, whose club motto is We Serve, is to provide the equipment - crutches, canes, wheelchairs, shower chairs, hospital beds and more, is to lend the equipment to whomever needs it. Lofthouse said that most of the equipment - 86 percent of the items are on loan to those who live in Cecil County within 10 miles of Rising Sun. An average of 22 items are loaned every month. In 2014, 261 items were loaned through the program.
The club also has partnerships with other Lions Clubs through this program. They work closely with the Wakefield and Avon Grove clubs in Pennsylvania. They also partner with the Lions in Conowingo, North East, Perryville, and Brookside, Delaware.
At least twice a year, all the equipment is cleaned and checked. It is stored at Cherry Grove Tree Farm, where the Montgomerys live. If equipment is needed, the Lions will buy it. "We don't by brand new, we buy like new," said Lofthouse. Lofthouse explained who benefits. "It runs the gamut. Some are recovering from surgery or accidents. Other people are on their way out. They are going to use it while they're here and it will improve their environment," said Lofthouse.
The program is always accepting donated items. The current items badly needed are wheelchairs, power lift chairs, Rollators (walkers with brakes and a seat), transport chairs, and bath chairs. All items are loaned with the expectation that they will be returned to the club when no longer needed. Those in need of medical equipment or who wish to donate may call 410-658-0177. Please call between noon and 1 p.m. and between 6-8 p.m. evenings or contact the Lions on the internet.