Shannon Cullen with son Saxon have set up a fundraiser for Jan Lees (right) who had her scooter stolen.
Shannon Cullen with son Saxon have set up a fundraiser for Jan Lees (right) who had her scooter stolen.

Helping a well-loved woman back on her feet

AFTER former Citizen Of The Year Jan Lees’ scooter was stolen last month, her faith in humanity was restored when she got a phone call from a community member offering to raise money to get her a new one.

Now, after another phone call, she’s just blown away.

That last phone call, again from fundraiser Shannon Cullen, told her that an anonymous donor had offered to make up the shortfall of $4200.

“I’m in shock,” Ms Lees said, on her way to pick up her new wheels. “I just didn’t believe it at first.”

Jan Lees rides her new mobility scooter home after an anonymous donor helped her purchase it after her old one was stolen
Jan Lees rides her new mobility scooter home after an anonymous donor helped her purchase it after her old one was stolen

The offer came first to Ms Cullen through the GoFundMe she had set up, and said she believed the donor had spotted the cause through a previous Daily Examiner article.

“It was so exciting,” Ms Cullen said. “I was in the middle of work when I got the call, and I got off the call... and I just cracked a wine. I couldn’t wait to tell everyone.”

Ms Cullen started the fundraiser after seeing Jan’s plight on Facebook, and said she couldn’t believe someone would stoop so low to steal her transport.

The GoFundMe raised almost $1000, with people and businesses around town chipping in to the cause.

Another business to help out was Independent Living Specialists, who helped get Ms Lees her new scooter at a discount.

Jan Lees on her new scooter with Michelle from Independent Living Specialists
Jan Lees on her new scooter with Michelle from Independent Living Specialists

Manager Mark Butler said they would also throw in a lockable panier for the new scooter.

“We’ve known Jan for a long time here, she’s a fantastic lady,” Mr Butler said.

Ms Lees said she wanted to thank all the community not only who had donated, but had sent her messages of support.

She said she would take the new scooter around to give Ms Cullen’s child Saxon - who also donated $50 - his very own ride.

“I told her she didn’t have to do anything,” Ms Cullen said. “Just to see her enjoy the scooter and be able to visit her grandkids is reward enough.

“She’s a very well loved woman.”



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