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Rotarys provide PET Florida grant to powder coat trikes

For Clay Today
Posted 4/11/24

PENNEY FARMS – PET Florida, a non-profit enterprise producing hand-powered trikes for those who can’t walk, has been gifted a major upgrade to its metal painting capabilities through a grant from …

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Rotarys provide PET Florida grant to powder coat trikes


Posted

PENNEY FARMS – PET Florida, a non-profit enterprise producing hand-powered trikes for those who can’t walk, has been gifted a major upgrade to its metal painting capabilities through a grant from several participating Rotary clubs. Their new technology is called powder coating, an electrostatic process that delivers superior protection to the metal parts and a safer environment when applied.

PET spokesman Dave Quirk said this improvement had been needed for a long time.

“The durability of coating these metal parts is really critical since our carts are often used by people living in third-world countries where they keep getting wet and driven over rough terrain,” he said. “Until now, our approach to coating the metal parts has been effective but pretty primitive. We did our painting using spray cans –hundreds of them over every production year. Our new powder coating facility is a huge improvement in production cost, in the quality of the metal protection, and also in eliminating the fumes of the old spray process.”

The impetus for this cooperative project was sparked by two volunteers at the PET production facility, both Rotarians. One is retired physician Tom Ritter, a shop regular who heads the metal painting section of the shop, and the other is retired naval officer Bo Norton, who has worked weekly in the shop for many years. Coordinating the project with the various participating clubs involved was “Super Rotarian” Russ Miller. Participating clubs in  Rotary District 6970 for Northeast Florida were Orange Park, Orange Park Sunrise, Orange Park Sunset, Green Cove Springs, Fleming Island, and Interact Clay High.

PET stands for personal energy transportation. A PET cart is a rugged-terrain trike powered by the rider’s arms, designed to provide mobility for leg-disabled persons. Production labor and support staffing are provided entirely by volunteers, reducing costs to the parts alone. They are given to recipients at no charge. Since its founding in 2001, PET Florida has produced and given 14,500 life-changing mobility carts to recipients in more than 50 countries.

Call Don Arnold at (847) 340-1345 for volunteer inquiries.