Modern Woodmen give man with polio wheelchair ramp - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Modern Woodmen give man with polio wheelchair ramp

Posted: Updated:

Paul Shahen
Eyewitness News Reporter

OOLTEWAH, HAMILTON COUNTY (WRCB) - Buster Smith and the rest of the Modern Woodmen, wanted to volunteer their time at the Big Hearts Home Makeover in Catoosa County, but they were busy. Busy donating their time and construction skills to others in need.

Thursday, it was a free wheelchair ramp for a 75-year-old man with polio.

The recipient's wife, Marliene Fine, said "this man came to the door, and I said 'how much is this gonna cost?' He said 'not a penny.' I said 'come on, you're joking.'"

No jokes here, unless they're from the Modern Woodmen while building free ramps.

Seventy-five-year-old Pat Fine has polio. Before Thursday he would struggle up steep stairs to get in and out of his own home, but not anymore.

"It's like a God-sent, it gives me a lot more freedom and movement, because I don't get much exercise," said Pat.

Pat himself knows a bit about carpentry, he spent his earlier years building very elaborate getaway homes in Northern Michigan.

They made the move back to Chattanooga years ago, to be closer to his wife's family.

This is the fourth ramp Modern Woodmen has done since the new year, not counting the dozens, if not hundreds, in years past.

Still each person helped leaves a lasting impression on Buster Smith.

"It seems like the more we do the better I feel about it. When we get done with it, they come out, and it's the smiles on their faces," said Smith.

The Fine family was no exception. Smiles from ear to ear, a simple reminder that there's still good out there.

Marliene said, "life hands us rough spots, but in the long run, there is lots and lots of blessings, and this is one of them."

This new ramp also means Pat will be able to store his motorized wheelchair in his own home. Before Thursday he had to walk to a neighbors house to get it, because it needs to be stored indoors.

The modern woodmen already have four more houses lined up in need of ramps.

Comment below or join the conversation at

Powered by Frankly