CONCORD — The legacy of student Zech DeVits lives on, as NHTI hosts its 10th Annual Wheelchair Basketball Benefit on Tuesday, February 7, 2012, at 4:00 pm in the Goldie Crocker Wellness Center. Once again, the Capital Wheelers (Granite State Independent Living and NHTI students) will face off against their arch-rivals the All Stars (NHTI employees). The NH Spinal Cord Injury Association co-partners the event. Admission is $1, and proceeds from the game and accompanying silent auction will be matched by the NHTI Student Senate to purchase assistive technology for students with disabilities. Last year the Wheelchair Basketball Benefit raised nearly $2,000, and provided digital recorders, and software for speech recognition, keyboarding and reading to six more NHTI students.
Zech DeVits, for whom the event is named, died at 22 in 2005, just weeks before graduating from NHTI with an Associates degree in Addiction Counseling. Born with gigantism, a rare genetic condition, and skeletal dysplasia, Zech had used a wheelchair since age six. Despite his towering 7’8” frame and large features, Zech quickly became a beloved role model on campus. The first wheelchair benefit evolved as part of an education course project, in which students raised funds to help refurbish Zech’s wheelchair-accessible van. The campus continues to hold the event in his memory, raising money to help other students with disabilities purchase assistive equipment.
Dr. Beverly Boggess, Disabilities Coordinator at NHTI, says, “After Zech’s death, the Disabilities Advisory Board, NHTI organizations, and Granite State Independent Living partnered to continue the benefit annually in remembrance of Zech’s positive impact and generous nature.” All qualified NHTI students with documented disabilities are encouraged to apply for assistive technology through the Zech DeVits Memorial Equipment Fund.
Charles Lloyd, Director of Student Life, knew Zech as one of his Alternative Spring Break Club volunteers. “Zech touched so many lives in a positive way, and it is for this reason that he has left such a lasting legacy at NHTI.”
Article Courtesy of NHTI
Contact: Beverly Boggess, [email protected], (603) 271-7723