Austin Hatcher Foundation uses donation to replace stolen vehicles
A big donation from a Texas couple is giving pediatric cancer patients an opportunity to build a new vehicle. This is after police say a trio of thieves stole two others they spent months working on. Chattanooga police found the stolen vehicles Wednesday, abandoned and totaled.
“We had seen the footage from where they used the Ford to ram through the gate so we were kind of prepped for that but to see the Jeep it's completely stripped as well. There’s really nothing left but the bare bones,” Julia Sharp, Development Coordinator said.
The theft stripped the foundation of funding for its therapeutic programs. However, several donations, including one the Mauzy family of Midland, Texas, is giving the team motivation to start over. Out of respect for the family's privacy, the foundation would not disclose the amount donated.
“We have the hope again of something to look forward to,” Sharp said.
With the donations, the Austin Hatcher Foundation bought a 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, which they named, IASO.
“It's named after the Greek goddess of healing and we really see it as a way for the foundation and our kids to heal at this time,” Sharp explained.
The goal is to transform the vehicle into a one of a kind show car. In January, it will replace the two stolen vehicles and be auctioned off in Arizona. The money helps fund the foundation’s therapy programs.
“It will be kind of a race to the finish but we've got some families who are already excited to get working,” Sharp said. “So much of what we do helps them thrive and this vehicle is just going to do that even more.”
The Austin Hatcher Foundation is still seeking donations to continue its mission. To donate, click here.