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

What are those yellow boxes sprouting up in downtown West Palm?
What are those yellow boxes sprouting up in downtown West Palm?

It’s not a parking meter. It’s not a homelessness donation meter. It’s a sunscreen dispenser. The cheery, yellow dispenser, the subject of a mayoral ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Lake Pavilion on Monday, now can be found by the waterfront visitor center next to the Great Lawn, or sometimes by the park fountain. The Sunscreen Application...
UPDATE: Police identify man shot in West Palm neighborhood
UPDATE: Police identify man shot in West Palm neighborhood

Update, 9:32 p.m.: Authorities have identified the man fatally shot as 20-year-old Brandon De’andre Williams. West Palm Beach police have not yet release information on the suspected shooters. The second gunshot victim remains in stable condition. Original story: When residents walked out their doors or rounded corners Thursday near Sapodilla...
JUST IN: Coast Guard rescues man from sinking boat off Delray Beach
JUST IN: Coast Guard rescues man from sinking boat off Delray Beach

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued a man Thursday after his sailboat began sinking eight miles east of Delray Beach. Canadian resident Jean Dextraze, 65, was rescued after the Coast Guard received an emergency alert at about 6:15 p.m. Dextraze called the Coast Guard from his 38-foot boat, the Sainte Paix, authorities said. He used the sailboat&rsquo...
NEW: Officers from two city police departments at Riviera Beach home 
NEW: Officers from two city police departments at Riviera Beach home 

Police officers from two agencies have closed off parts of a Riviera Beach neighborhood Thursday evening.  Police cars for Riviera Beach and West Palm Beach officers put up police tape near a home on west 14th Street and Avenue R, just south of Blue Heron Boulevard and east of North Congress Avenue.  West Palm Beach police said...
Morgan Freeman friend defends actor after misconduct allegations, speaks out against accusers
Morgan Freeman friend defends actor after misconduct allegations, speaks out against accusers

At least eight women have accused actor Morgan Freeman of inappropriate behavior, according to a report from CNN. The women said the behavior happened on and off movie sets. >> Read more trending news  Freeman is an Academy Award-winning actor, but he's also a business owner in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Two blocks around the corner...
More Stories