‘She just won’t quit’ (2024)

‘She just won’t quit’ (1)

Elizabeth Shank of Newton Falls shakes hands with Salem Eagles Aerie 316 president Randy Fast after being presented with a check for $24,000 at her Trackchair presentation Tuesday. Shank had been seeking the funds for the chair for the past decade.

‘She just won’t quit’ (2)SALEM — Mahoning County Federation of Conservation Clubs Trustee Rudy Nelson said most people would have given up a long time ago if they had experienced what Elizabeth Shank of Newton Falls had experienced at the age of 20.

Nearly 30 years after the car accident that left her unable to walk, Shank’s drive and efforts were being appreciated, as local outdoors organizations, loved ones and community members came together to present her with a Trackchair and trailer at Salem Eagles Aerie 316 Tuesday evening.

Nelson explained efforts for the chair ramped up when members of the Federation approached him about Shank — an avid outdoors woman — pointing out that she started a GoFundMe for the chair so she could hunt and fish more easily, raising $900 at the time.

Nelson said he took the $900, had it deposited, then went to multiple organizations such as the Salem Eagles Aerie 316 and individual donors to help collect more money for her.

“She gave me a writeup on everything she had accomplished from the time she became paralyzed up until that date, and I presented that to everyone.” Nelson said. “She did not go on welfare or anything. She worked up until a few years ago. And it just escalated when they read the writeup and what she had accomplished.”

“She just won’t quit, I’ll be honest with you. Most people I know that have gone through what she did would have quit a long time ago,” Nelson added.

Mahoning County Federation vice president Danny Donoghue explained efforts for the chair ramped up two-and-a-half years ago, reaching the needed $24,000 through banquets, individual donors and matching funds.

“The Mahoning County Federation, the Ohio Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs and the Columbiana County Conservation clubs and the Stark County conservation clubs all got together and made the initial donation, along with many individuals that threw in a little bit of money here and there. Anywhere from $50 to $500,” Donoghue said. “And then the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Local chapter, the Steel Valley Struthers. They have an annual banquet. It’s fundraising, and they get to keep local money. So they donated $3,000. So then the Eagles chipped in a matching fund here, and then the Grand Aeries matched that so that became an additional fund. And then an anonymous donor came in and donated additional money to matching funds until we got to the finish line with the help of the Eagles.”

Shank, who became very emotional when she was presented with the chair, said it will open up her world.

“I’ll be able to do things a lot more. I’ll be more independent to be able to do things out there in the woods. I’ll be able to help everybody else, you know,” Shank said. “And if I shoot a deer, I’ll be able to go out there and help look for the deer. I might be able to see something a little bit easier than they would be able to see.”

Shank said her own efforts for the chair began 10 years ago, when her son, Justin’s kindergarten teacher wanted to help her out and started the original GoFundMe. From there, she started writing letters to different places to see if they would donate.

Shank explained that she felt she dealt with the accident pretty well when it happened, as she was working as a nursing assistant prior and worked with people with similar injuries.

“Those people kind of actually helped me, I guess, live my life in the wheelchair. I was the kind of person that if I wanted to do something, I went and did it. I used to go horseback riding. I used to go to Camelot Center and ride all the time.” Shank said. “I would use leg braces. My legs don’t work, but I do have leg spasms, but I can’t stand with them. But I had leg braces, so I told my therapist, I said, ‘hey, let’s try this out.’ So usually if I get an idea in my head and I want to try something that’s usually what I do.”

Shank added that the idea of just getting out there drives her, saying that she doesn’t want to be the kind of person who just sits around and does nothing.

“I get really bored easily, so for me to be at home all day not doing anything, to keep myself busy. I’ll hop on my ham radio,” Shank said.

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‘She just won’t quit’ (2024)


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