Recently, Lady’s Island resident Chuck Rettig was announced as WTOC’s Hometown Hero and awarded based on a nomination by Anne Guthrie, Founder of The Little Red Dog Foundation. Below is Guthrie’s nomination letter:
“I am writing to nominate Chuck Rettig from Beaufort as a WTOC Hometown Hero. Our nonprofit, The Little Red Dog Foundation has been giving specially equipped cycles to children with disabilities since 2006. Chuck has been instrumental to our nonprofit work and its successful mission for five years. The Little Red Dog Foundation is a chapter of National Ambucks, a nonprofit organization that has been helping the disabled since 1922. About 15 years ago, Ambucks developed the AmTrykes which are specially designed cycles for many types of disabilities.
When we first started our mission, we had the cycles shipped to the Sams Point Fire Station where the firefighters assembled them. With the increasing number of cycles we ordered, we realized the firefighters needed help.
Lead by Chuck Rettig, The Kiwanis Club of Beaufort heard about our incredible need and quickly came to our rescue. He volunteered to head up the committee to assemble the special AmTrykes and organized a group of members to assemble about a dozen cycles at the Fire Station for an upcoming “cycle give-away event.” We named him Chief Chuck of Tryke Assembly, and made him an honorary member of Little Red Dog Foundation due to his efforts.
Chuck doesn’t just organize his fellow Kiwanis members to assemble Trykes, but delivers Trykes to the physical therapy facilities for final fitting, does repair work when needed, and does any little thing needed involving the Trykes. Sometimes he even assembles a Tryke all by himself or with the help of his friend Roger Comes. Chuck doesn’t stop with his assembly projects, but also helps us with increasing awareness of our mission, fundraising, events management, and other tasks. In addition, he works with other Kiwanis and community projects.
He has probably bought in at least $3,000 in donations because he talks about Little Red Dog to everyone with whom he comes in contact with such compassion, a donation usually follows. Chuck has been involved in the assembly of about 200 special cycles. Chief Chuck is already a hero to a huge group of our disabled community and we think he needs to be recognized as a WTOC Home Town Hero.
Every time a Tryke is given to a child who is struggling to take a step with his walker or leave his wheelchair to ride a Tryke, I see Chuck’s eyes well up with tears of happiness knowing the child will have the independence and normalcy lacking in his life. What a wonderful man!”