Wanda’s Rockers isn’t a rock band. It’s a group of neighbors who once a year stage a rock-a-thon.
Several years ago Wanda and a group of Buckhannon Manor residents became involved in their county’s annual telethon for the American Heart Association. They set up 8 rocking chairs in the community room of the Manor and between 12:00 and 4:00 p.m. they make sure those chairs don’t stop moving. 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 over 80 and in a wheelchair. She’s had bypass surgery and a couple of heart attacks since the rock-a-thon first began. Penny was hospitalized shortly after this year’s event and recently died. Carol rocked for an hour and a half, despite her painful knees and other health problems. Each one who took part probably had a good reason to not participate, but each one did.
This February their effort raised $640.70 for the American Heart Association.
I was once given an old rocking chair. The wood had warped over the years and the apartment floor wasn’t quite level, so the rocker had a list and a roll to it. I didn’t know it was possible to get seasick on dry land but I did and the rocking chair was soon given to someone with a level floor. Because of this experience I have a more humorous mental picture of the rock-a-thon than it probably is in reality.
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 I wonder how God can possibly use what little ability or energy I have to offer, he will probably remind me of Wanda’s Rockers. We don’t have to be healthy, wealthy, young or energetic, as long as we are willing to serve.
– Janice Price