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Mankato Area Children in Need’s 25th annual Golf Classic making a difference

Weston’s mom, Alyssa Smith, attributes his newfound freedoms with his tricycle to Mankato Area Children in Need and their golf classic
Mankato Area Children in Need’s 25th annual Golf Classic was in full swing Monday at Mankato Golf Club.
Published: Jun. 13, 2022 at 7:46 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 13, 2022 at 11:23 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Mankato Area Children in Need’s 25th annual Golf Classic was in full swing Monday at Mankato Golf Club.

“He is just the sweetest kid and is having a lot of fun aren’t you,” mother of Weston smith Alyssa Smith said.

At birth, Weston was diagnosed with spina bifida, a condition that affects the spine and movement from the waste down.

That hasn’t stopped Weston once bit.

“Where a typical three year old wouldn’t be biking yet. He is cruising around on his own,” Smith explained.

Weston’s mom, Alyssa Smith, attributes his new found freedoms with his tricycle to Mankato Area Children in Need and their golf classic.

“A lot of time, insurance will provide some adaptive mobility equipment, but only what they deem necessary like a walker or a wheelchair. Kids like Wes, having this program is awesome because we wouldn’t be able to afford stuff like this bike. Which is extra fun,” Smith continued.

Wes isn’t the first success story that Mankato Area Children in Need coordinator, Nancy Dobson has seen in her 25 years.

“There was a young man named Casey, who is now in his thirties. Had a full ride scholarship for wheelchair basketball. We helped fund his first athletic wheelchair for him,” coordinator for Mankato Area Children in Need Nancy Dobson stated.

It truly never gets old for Dobson, even after all this time.

Especially knowing that it will help Wes’s way of life.

“His cardiac endurance, his respirations, he will be able to breathe better, it will strengthen his muscles. I think one of the most important things is that Wes will be out there with other three, four, five year old’s riding his bike,” Dobson explained.

Seeing people take time out of their day to rally around Weston brings a lot of emotion to Alyssa Smith and a debt that she can never repay.

“It’s hard to describe the emotion I guess. We love to be here and show off. To help other kids who have his same needs. I think it is so different to have a kid with a disability. It’s a different world, but having so many people that support, offer funding for things that change his life is just awesome,” Smith said.

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