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Laurie’s Scholars

Laurie and Don Schoendorfer traveled extensively, often in developing countries. They witnessed mobility challenged people crawling on the ground or having to be carried. Don was so distressed by this he went home and created a wheelchair in his garage which was light weight and capable of rolling on dirt and rocky roads. He built wheelchairs using a plastic lawn chair and mountain bike tires. The next step was the founding of the Free Wheelchair Mission. To date, over 1.4 million chairs have been distributed to mobility challenged individuals in developing countries.

Don’s wife Laurie was always by his side assisting him. She often accompanied him on wheelchair distribution trips. She was touched by how lives were changed by the gift of a wheelchair. Her next goal was to help wheelchair bound adults get an education so they can become self-sufficient and live independently.

Laurie passed away in 2017. Meryl and Barry Resnick, close friends of the Schoendorfers wanted to honor her memory. Barry approached Don with the idea of starting an education endowment. The Laurie Schoendorfer Endowment for Education now Laurie’s Scholars was created in December 2017.

To date they have awarded 11 scholarships. VRS is a proud sponsor and ardent supporter of Laurie’s Scholars. Their 2nd Annual Event will be held on October 26, 2022 at 5 pm. They will showcase two of their scholars: Dao and Phouc both from Vietnam. You can watch this event live by clicking on this link. You may also view this event at a later time using the same link.