Thursday, April 3, 2014

Taking the Right Steps, To Help People Take the Next Step

Triathlon. A sporting event that tests the limit of ones athletic abilities and puts them through three vigorous sports consisting of running, cycling and swimming. So when Harmar's West Coast Territory Business Manager, Khrystyna Cusimano, completed the Eighth Annual Pasadena Triathlon held in California on March 15th, we had to find out more about the triathlon and her experience. 

The race benefited Next Step Fitness, an organization that provides the opportunity for lifelong health and recovery for people living with paralysis and mobility impairments in communities nationwide.  This is a non-profit organization that “believes that all persons living with paralysis and other physical disabilities deserve the hope and opportunity to live long and healthy lives."  Next Step provides programs to help people with mobility impairments to reach their fitness goals, stay fit, and even help train people to walk again. With the help of those who donate to their organization or who raise money for their races, they are able to profoundly impact the lives of those in several communities.   

When asked what inspired her to sign up for the triathlon, Khrystyna responded, "My friend Melissa, a Next Step Fitness recipient, inspired me.  It was an honor that I got to raise funds to benefit people like her. Another motivation was, I just wanted to do my part.  I work for, HARMAR, a company that helps people lead fuller lives, I just felt I wanted to play my part along with that!"   This was Khrystyna's first triathlon, but she also got inspired after running her first marathon for the Sempre Fi Fund, an organization that "provides immediate financial assistance and lifetime support for injured and critically ill members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families."

Though Khrystyna's energetic and warm personality prepared her for the race ahead, when asked how she felt approaching the race, she said, "Can I do this? How much will this hurt? I pushed those thoughts away, and knew why I was doing this and who I was doing this for, after that I knew I could do this, and I did it!"  When asked how she felt during and after the triathlon, she said, "During?  I kept thinking I can do this! The best moment was when I caught up to my girlfriend on her hand cycle [during the cycling portion of the race] , I kept telling her 'You got this girlfriend.' Then I realized, if I said this to her, I better believe it for myself as well. When I finished the race, I asked, where is the masseuse? " 

Khrystyna did an amazing job in her race and we are proud that she was able to help raise money for such an amazing organization.  Khrystyna signifies the passion that we at Harmar hold for those we serve with our products.  Our goal is to continue to help individuals increase their independence and quality of life.

When asked if she would do a race like this again she said, "50 yards from the finish line at this race, I asked my partners if they wanted to do the triathlon in April (laughing).  But seriously, now that I completed this one, I CANNOT wait to do another triathlon, the sense of accomplishment and inner strength gained is worth it. I'm thinking Half Iron Man may be in my future. My advice to everyone, don't just sit on the couch, GET OUT AND DO SOMETHING.  Do something for those that can't, for those that just need your help." 

Congratulations Khrystyna! 


Friday, December 20, 2013

A Christmas Story: Harmar's Adopted Veteran Family

Christmas came early for Navy Vet John Ryder and his family yesterday when they were surprised with gifts under Harmar's Christmas tree.   Ricky, 5, Ellie 2, and Baby Jacob, 10 months got to meet Santa and play with the gifts that were bought for them.

The Adopt-A-Family program is one that Harmar holds dear to its heart. It is an opportunity for everyone in the company to come together and give back to a Veteran's family and thank them for their courage and bravery in fighting for this country. This year, Harmar was able to raise money through a raffle, as well as having people donate gifts from  Santa's "wish list". Over the course of a few weeks, presents started piling up under the Christmas tree and plans were being arranged to surprise the Ryder's, and surprised is what they were.

When John and his wife Ashley walked through the doors with the little ones, the room was filled with warmth as the children realized that Santa came early just for them. Though shy at first, after a few minutes, Ellie seemed to be glued to her new rocking horse. She warmed up to Jolly old St. Nick and even insisted on sharing her candy cane with him. Ricky loved his new art easel, and Baby Jacob couldn't get enough of his Winnie the Pooh bear.

It was a great joy to meet the Ryder family. Seeing the smiles on the kids faces represented the true meaning of Christmas. It isn't about receiving or getting the most expensive gift. It is about the warmth, love  and wonderful presence of family. Harmar is happy to have given John, Ashley, Ricky, Ellie, and Jacob a Christmas to remember and we wish them and you a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Key Ceremony for SSG Dillmann

Thursday was the Key Ceremony for SSG Dillmann and his family. Homes for Troops, a non-profit organization that builds homes for wounded veterans, presented SSG Dillmann and his wife with a new home that would make it easy for SSG Dillmann to regain a sense of independence and increase his quality of life. 
SSG Dillmann received an entrance fit for a true hero from Veteran riders who escorted him in to the driveway of his new home. Afterwards, everyone gathered to listen to speeches presented by friends of SSG Dillmann, a representative from HFOT, SSG Dillmann's wife , Holly, Holly's mom, and SSG Dillmann himself.  Once Holly Dillmann and SSG Dillmann took the floor, there was not a dry eye in the room. Holly spoke about the horror she felt the night she received that phone call about her husband.  "The only thing I asked that man on the other line was, is my husband coming home," Holly said as she tried to hold back tears. As she gave her speech, however, she spoke about her husband's courage, and his resilience. 
"Through it all, not once has he ever complained...he is truly a strong man." 

 SSG Dillmann
                                                                                          Chris , Fallen Soldier

The moment that really hit home was when SSG Dillmann took the floor. He thanked everyone for coming and for all the contributions that were made in the effort to build this home.  The most emotional part of this day, was when SSG Dillmann turned to thank the parents of fallen soldier, Chris. Remembering Chris, the soldier who sacrificed his life to save SSG Dillmann, brought a flood of thankfulness and tears. 

After the ceremony, the raising of the flag, and the cutting of the ribbon to the house, it was amazing to see how wonderful the custom built house turned out. With a wheelchair accessible shower, low counters, and drop down counters SSG Dillmann will feel right at home.

It was a great honor and pleasure to be a part of this ceremony and being able to contribute something that will be for the betterment of SSG Dillmann and his family.  We wish them the best in their future. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Three Partners. One Home. One Happy Family.

"Army Staff Sergeant Alex Dillmann was on his second deployment when an IED blast left him paralyzed with catastrophic injuries while in the Province of Ghazni, Afghanistan on February 27, 2011...Suffering from multiple broken and fractured bones, TBI, lacerations, and internal injuries, Alex’s most serious injuries, burst fractures to the T3, T4, and L4 vertebrae, would result in paraplegia from the chest down"
Homes For Our Troops, the power behind building the new home for SSG Dillmann and his wife, is national non-profit organization.  They commit themselves to helping those who have selflessly given to our country and have returned home with serious injuries since 9/11/2011.  HFOT is dedicated to assisting Veterans and their families by raising money, providing building materials and professional labor, and by coordinating the process of building a home that provides maximum freedom of movement and the ability to live more independently.  
Harmar has partnered with 101 Mobility in order to bring joy to SSG Dillmann and his family.  With our role of donating the Vertical Platform lift and 101 Mobility installing it, we are hoping that he new home provided by HFOT will bring a sense of ease and independence to SSG Dillmann. 

This project has been in progress for months, and with the key ceremony so close, efforts on all fronts are being made so that everything is perfect for SSG Dillmann, his wife Holly, and their dog  Fauste.  Knowing that this new home will bring a sense of freedom to the Dillmann's is all the assurance needed to keep everyone hard at work, and looking forward to the Key Ceremony on 12/4 at 4pm in Tampa. 

With a sense of normalcy being returned to their life,  SSG Dillmann and Holly can focus on a future in their new home. We thank SSG Dillmann for his dedication and bravery in fighting for his country. We also hope that this new home brings him and his family loads of Joy. 

To Be Continued...

Monday, November 4, 2013

United Access Dealers Meeting with Harmar - St Louis, MO, 11/1/2013

It was a great time this past weekend in St. Louis, MO, when Harmar sponsored a "I Surviveed the Raceway" event with United Access Dealers across the country. This event happened at the Pole Position Raceway in Missouri.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Harmar's Khrystyna Cusimano Completes Marine Corps Marathon

Harmar’s Khrystyna Cusimano fulfilled an amazing goal this past weekend, completing the Marine Corps Marathon held in Washington, DC— In case you didn’t know, that’s 26.2 miles!  Known as “The People’s Marathon” because it’s open to all runners ages 14 and above and is the largest marathon that does not offer prize money, the Marine Corps Marathon’s mission is to “promote physical fitness, generate community goodwill and showcase the organizational skills of the United States Marine Corps.” (SOURCE- Marine Corps Marathon – Wikipedia)

Having many friends in the service, this race was the “right fit” Khrystyna says.  “Knowing what these men and women go through to allow me to be safe in my country I wanted to give something back.”  Khrystyna also helped raise money for the Semper Fi Fund, a non-profit organization which helps purchase equipment for our disabled Veterans such as wheelchair vehicle lifts and porch lifts and similar products that Harmar offers. The most impressive thing about the Semper Fi Fund is 94 cents of every dollar goes back to our Veterans in grant money. 

Khrystyna took up running as a hobby in honor of her aunt, a long-time marathon runner who passed away at age 50 of brain cancer.  “She was a role model for me and someone I looked up to.  So, I always wanted to run a marathon like her.”

Congratulations Khrystyna on this impressive accomplishment!

For information on the Marine Corps Marathon, visit: