“We cruised around Salem and Beverly. ... It was great,” Pacheco said. “It holds all nine of us.”
Pacheco said the van also allows Dominick a better view during rides, since he can remain in his wheelchair and upright during trips.
“He can see everything, instead of slouching over in his chair,” Pacheco said.
Pacheco said she’d be using the van to take Dominick to school at the Northshore Education Consortium in Beverly, and to Forest River Park to watch his brothers play baseball once the warmer weather arrives.
The Pachecos courted donors in a number of ways, including the fundraising website Gofundme.com, an event at the Franco-American Club in Beverly last autumn, and letters that went out to 500 local businesses and organizations.
Among the contributions they received were $4,000 from the Stephen R. Baum Foundation; $3,333 from the Weber Foundation of Helping Hands; $3,000 from Northeast Arc; and $850 via an account that Bob Swisher set up at the First Church in Wenham. A great-aunt and uncle of Dominick’s also gave $4,000.
Neil H. Dempsey can be reached at email@example.com.