Hoveround has been providing mobility in the form of power wheelchairs for 20 years, supplying those in need with over 185,000 power chairs from their Sarasota factory. But recently they helped to provide mobility in the form of a guide dog – not their usual M.O.
Hoveround employee Josh Burch has had a guide dog in the past, but despite having a world-class guide dog school in the neighborhood, Burch felt he couldn’t take the time off work to go through the intensive 26 day training. When word of this dilemma got to Tom Kruse the CEO of Hoveround, he graciously gave Burch the time off and even went the step further to pay Burch while he learned to work in concert with his new guide, Wayne.
“Southeastern Guide Dogs is a wonderful organization that provides such a vital service to those in need,” Kruse said. “Josh is a valued member of the Hoveround family and it was important to us that he be able to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity. We can’t wait to welcome back Josh and his new companion, Wayne.”
Southeastern Guid Dogs CEO Titus Herman was impressed.
"We applaud Hoveround's commitment to its employees and the company's efforts to provide such wonderful support to Josh during his 26 days of residential training at Southeastern Guide Dogs – particularly during the current economic challenges facing many employers in our state," Herman said.
Thursday Burch and Wayne topped off their training at a graduation ceremony with eight other students and their new guide dogs before venturing out in to the world on their own. This graduating class marks the 211th group of students to graduate from Southeastern Guide Dogs since we were founded in 1982.