GoFundMe goal met for local fundraising effort

Jessica Stölen-Jacobson
Montevideo American-News

In July, the Montevideo-American News reported on a fundraising effort by Stanton Kelley, of Texas, to raise funds for Lance Tebben, of Montevideo. The fundraiser had been an ongoing effort since April to raise money on GoFundMe to purchase a device called a Track Chair. The Track Chair is a wheelchair designed specifically for those who enjoy the outdoors, whether it be for a trip through the park or an excursion into the mountains. Track Chair, designed and manufactured in Marshall, allows access to places a standard wheelchair has difficulty traveling through such as small creeks and plow-chiseled fields.

Stanton Kelley and Lance Tebben on a turkey hunt last fall at the Watson Hunting Camp.

Kelley made the decision to raise funds for the chair for Tebben after they met on a hunting trip at the Watson Hunting Camp that Kelley was guiding. After Kelley realized how difficult it was for Tebben to navigate the hunting lands in a standard wheelchair, he decided he was going to do what he could to help. Tebben says he loves anything outdoors. "It's just being out in the fresh air and God's creation," he says. Kelley, so impressed with Tebben's enthusiasm for life and the outdoors, launched the GoFundMe, but faced challenges due to COVID. Thus, the fundraiser had a slow start. Shortly after the July article in the Montevideo-American News, Kelley received a call from a couple in Granite Falls who wish to remain anonymous. They gave Kelley the news that they wished to close the fundraiser by donating the remaining amount needed which totaled nearly $10,000. With the GoFundMe closed, additional funds that came in through the mail are being utilized to purchase add-on features available through the company that manufactures Track Chair such as a gun-carrying rack. 

Kelley says the Track Chair has now been ordered. With challenges caused by COVID, the parts sourcing process has slowed down, so there is no concrete date for when the Track Chair will be ready as of yet, but there is a tentative timeframe of end of September to the beginning of October for the chair to be ready for Tebben to pick up. Kelley wishes to thank the community and surrounding area for all of the support for the fundraiser that made the purchase of the Track Chair possible.