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UAW goes ‘further’ to help Orrick man in need

Mike Mansell, foreground, headed up an effort to get a wheelchair ramp built at the home of Richard Hershberger, seated, in Orrick. Mansell and Larry Rogers are members of the First Baptist Church of Orrick, which was able to complete the project after the UAW Local 249’s Community Service Committee came forward to help.

Mike Mansell, foreground, headed up an effort to get a wheelchair ramp built at the home of Richard Hershberger, seated, in Orrick. Mansell and Larry Rogers are members of the First Baptist Church of Orrick, which was able to complete the project after the UAW Local 249’s Community Service Committee came forward to help.

By Sara Seidel/Richmond News

“Go Further.”

It’s Ford’s catchy slogan, designed to sell cars and trucks.

But it also describes an effort that brought members of a Ford/UAW building team to Orrick to help some of its residents help one of their own.

Mike Mansell, who’s retired from the Ford Claycomo plant but who still reads his UAW Local 249 newspaper, contacted the building team when he couldn’t quite get a neighborly project to come together. He tells it this way:

Richard Hershberger, who spent his work life testing and repairing scales, developed hip problems. He still mowed the lawn at Orrick’s First Baptist Church, and Mansell, a member of the church, watched as Hershberger’s gait failed. Hershberger uses a wheelchair in his home, but he had no way to get it outside down his steep front steps.

“I got to thinking, we have enough carpenters in this town, we ought to be able to get something done,” Mansell said. Church members could build a wheelchair ramp at Hershberger’s home, Mansell thought.

He said, however, that although he had plenty of helpers, he had no design to follow. He faltered for months until he read a recent issue of First Local News.

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