TiLite donates wheelchair to 'Extreme Makeover' as gift for veteran

By Pratik Joshi, Herald staff writerNovember 6, 2009 

A Kennewick company will share the spotlight Sunday on ABC's hit TV show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

TiLite, which makes a variety of titanium and aluminum wheelchairs, recently donated a $6,000 custom-built wheelchair to a veteran whose family is being featured on the latest edition of the show.

It will be a surprise gift for the Virginia veteran, said Josh Anderson, vice president of marketing at TiLite. The man is a wheelchair athlete and mentor to returning disabled Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, he said.

The show's producers decided to get the veteran a new wheelchair after they saw him in his "beat-up chair doing what he can," Anderson said.

They contacted TiLite, which is well-known in the U.S. and abroad for its high-end manual wheelchairs, in late August. "We had four days to make this custom chair and ship it," said Anderson, who also uses a wheelchair.

The company is happy to help out a deserving candidate and for being featured on a popular show, Anderson said. "It's great name recognition for us."

TiLite, which has been in business for about 10 years, employs several wheelchair users who help design, manufacture and market its products, he said.

Carl Adrian, president and CEO of the Tri-City Development Council, said TiLite is an important manufacturer in the community and its exposure on the show will help highlight the Tri-Cities.

The Tri-Cities recently has been in the national news for job and population growth and for its relatively stable housing market, and now TiLite's gift will keep the community's name in the forefront, Adrian said. "I'm really pleased for TiLite."

TiLite also is providing a wheelchair to fit a three-wheeled motorcycle made by Orange County Choppers that will be donated to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.

-- Pratik Joshi: 582-1541; pjoshi@tricityherald.com

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