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Sam Schmidt Receives a Honda Odyssey Converted for Wheelchair Accessibility

PHOENIX, June 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Vantage Mobility International (VMI) recently donated a wheelchair-accessible Honda Odyssey to Sam Schmidt of the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation. American Honda Motor Co., Inc., (AHM) supplied the vehicle that VMI adapted with its Northstar conversion, which provides a powered in-floor ramp for unrestricted access and greater interior maneuverability for all types of wheelchairs.

(Photo: 20080612/LATH050)

"I want to personally thank AHM and VMI for their generosity in donating a van and the conversion," said Sam Schmidt. "Honda has been involved with the Foundation's Racing to Recovery Gala and Day at the Races program, so I appreciate this opportunity to assist them in marketing to a select community. Also, it's fantastic to add VMI to our growing list of supporters. Without their joint participation, this partnership would not have been possible. Obviously, after racing most of my life, a vehicle is not simply transportation for me. Having used this new Odyssey throughout the month of May, I can say it is the finest conversion and platform that I have utilized in the eight years since my accident. I predict that Honda and VMI will gobble up market share with this product!"

Sam Schmidt acknowledged the donation by meeting with Monique McGivney, Marketing Manager of VMI and other representatives in Indianapolis at one of his Day at the Races events. At racetrack locations nationwide, people with disabilities and family members in the community attend a 'behind-the-scenes' guided tour of the garage area and enjoy a catered lunch. Attendees will have an opportunity to meet the drivers and view on-track activities. Guest speakers address many areas of concern, including: transition from inpatient rehabilitation to the home, insurance problems, homecare, family and transportation.

"Mobility is paramount to freedom and independence," said Doug Eaton, President and CEO of VMI. "VMI provides technologically-advanced solutions, like the Northstar in-floor conversion we used in the donated vehicle, for people with disabilities to help them face any transportation challenge. Partnering with Honda to donate another Honda Odyssey with the VMI Northstar conversion is very special. We couldn't be more pleased to be able to help Sam and his organization with wonderful vehicle."

"Sam Schmidt serves as an inspiration to anyone who has ever had the pleasure of meeting him," said T.E. McHale, Manager of Motorsports Public Relations for American Honda Motor Company, Inc. "The work he is doing through his Foundation and his Day at the Races program is exemplary, and, through the donation of this Honda Odyssey, we are both proud and grateful to have the opportunity to assist him in his efforts."

About VMI

Founded in 1987, VMI is a manufacturer and distributor of the most reliable, highest quality and most easily accessible transportation in the world. Their full line of products include wheelchair accessible minivans, wheelchair accessible full-size vans, platform lifts, scooter and wheelchair lifts and transfer seats. VMI's mobility products enable consumers to travel with comfort, convenience and peace of mind.

About American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Honda is one of the world's leading producers of mobility products including its diverse line-up of automobiles, motorcycles and ATV's, power products, marine engines and personal watercraft. In addition, Honda is the world's preeminent engine-maker, with annual worldwide production of more than 21 million engines. Honda began operations in North America in 1959 with the establishment of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., Honda's first overseas subsidiary. Honda now employs more than 28,000 Americans in the design, manufacture and marketing of its products in America. Honda currently builds products in 14 manufacturing plants in North America, with three major R&D centers in the U.S.

About Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation

Founded in 2000 The Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 organization working to help individuals overcome spinal cord injuries and other neurological disorders by funding scientific research, medical treatment, rehabilitation and technological advances. The Foundation also raises funds to improve quality of life issues and ensure the best possible outcomes by touching individual lives.

SOURCE Vantage Mobility International (VMI)
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