Boy, 6, to get magic wheelchair and lead Boynton Beach 5K


Saturday is Boynton Beach ’s annual Barrier Free 5K which raises money for the city’s Barrier Free Park. And a special 6-year-old will lead the event in an extra special wheelchair.

City employees Kevin Ramsey and Gail Mootz created a “magic wheelchair” for Joshua Hazzard, a kindergartner at Royal Palm School. Joshua was born with several rare brain disorders that have resulted in medical issues such as cortical legal blindness and cerebral palsy.

The wheelchair will be designed to look like Lightning McQueen, a car in the animated Pixar film “Cars.”

Ramsey and Mootz donated their labor and most of materials for the wheelchair, said Wally Majors, the city’s director of parks and recreation.

Sign up for The Post’s Boynton Beach newsletter.

Joshua will be given his wheelchair Friday, before the 5K, at the Magic Wheels & Special Deals event at the park, 3111 S. Congress Ave. Then he’ll be the honorary starter at the 5K at the park, which was created specifically so children with disabilities could play on the playground alongside children without disabilities.

Future 6, a nonprofit that hosts surfing days for children with special needs at Oceanfront Park, told the city about Joshua. Future 6 PR Officer Adam McMichael, who is also a federal prosecutor in West Palm Beach, met the family when Joshua and his brother were adopted from foster care this past summer, according to a news release.

Tom and Marianne Hazzard finalized their adoption of the boys in July 2017. But they’ve taken care of Joshua since he was two days old. The adoption took longer because of Joshua’s health.

Joshua is known as the “mayor” at school because he loves to wave and say “hi” to everyone he meets, according to the release.

Last year, the city gave a magic wheelchair to Emma Pietrafesa , who was born with Cornelia de Lange Syndrome, also known as CdLS. The wheelchair was designed to look like Emma’s father’s favorite car, a 2010 Camaro. Paul Pietrafesa, who worked for Coral Springs Fire Department, died from pancreatic cancer.

In 2016, Bellamaria Natale was given a wheelchair that looked like Cinderella’s carriage. She has an undiagnosed illness that weakens her body, but not her brain.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Michelle Obama praises 'Black Panther' on Twitter: 'I loved this movie'
Michelle Obama praises 'Black Panther' on Twitter: 'I loved this movie'

Former first lady Michelle Obama tweeted a shoutout Monday to the new Marvel superhero film, “Black Panther.” “Congrats to the entire #blackpanther team!” she tweeted. “Because of you, young people will finally see superheroes that look like them on the big screen. I loved this movie and I know it will inspire...
Catalytic converter stolen from car’s engine

BOCA RATON POLICE VEHICLE BURGLARY Windows were smashed on vehicles parked in the 5100 block of Town Center Circle. One victim reported a wallet stolen. Someone entered an unlocked vehicle in the 5900 block of Town Bay Drive and removed a wallet left in plain view on the front passenger seat. A burglar stole a purse left under the front passenger seat...
Woman with suspended license is cited, drives away, gets arrested

PALM BEACH GARDENS POLICE THEFT A man and a woman entered a store in the 3100 block of Northlake Boulevard. Once inside the man selected a shopping basket and began loading it with various items including electronic grooming devices and body wash. He then walked out of the store with the woman without paying. The store’s manager was able to give...
Library life
Library life

The authors are coming! The authors are coming! St. Lucie County’s annual Local Author Book Fair is set for 10 a.m.-1 p.m. March 17 at two branch libraries. Meet the authors, learn about their writing and maybe purchase a signed copy or two. Appearing at the Susan Broom Kilmer Branch Library, 101 Melody Lane, Fort Pierce will be: Britt C. Anderson...
Concealed gun spotted as man, neighbor scuffle over parking spot

WEST PALM BEACH FRAUD A woman in the 400 block of South Mangonia Circle told police that someone stole and cashed her retirement check. She provided a copy of the check, which had a forged signature. AFFRAY Police were called to the area of Fourth Street and Sapodilla Avenue, where a fight had broken out. When officers arrived, people scattered. One...
More Stories