Jonesville honored one of its own Monday night as Miss Wheelchair North Carolina 2013 visited the town council meeting.
Ashley Macemore of Jonesville spoke to the council about the struggles facing individuals in wheelchairs in and around town.
Macemore was diagnosed with Friedreich ataxia (FA), a progressive, neurological, and debilitating disease. Manifestations include the loss of balance and coordination that can affect many other aspects within the body. The disease eventually led her to being wheelchair-bound, with Macemore saying she had been in a wheelchair for a year.
She was awarded the title of Miss Wheelchair April 6 at a competition in Asheville. The award is presented to an individual who represents and advocates well for those with disabilities.
Macemore told the town leaders that added features such as handicap-accessible ramps and automated doors would benefit the public as well as herself.
She said that her disease was especially hard because she was only 22 and her difficulties were not the result of a long, active life like the elderly.
Macemore will be traveling to Houston, Texas in July for the national competition. The trip requires her to raise more than $2,500 for the travel and pageant fees, but Macemore said she was only asking for $2,500 as her goal to be realistic.
In an earlier interview with The Tribune, Macemore said “I feel that this is the beginning of raising awareness to my medical condition, and I’ve never asked for anything in my life. I just feel that getting to nationals and competing in it can put us on the map and change the lives of so many people living just like me,” she said.
Mayor Lindbergh Swaim read a proclamation to the audience.
“Whereas, Ms. Ashley Macemore is a resident of Jonesville, North Carolina and has provided leadership and friendship to many residents, property owners and visitors to Jonesville; and
Whereas, Ms. Macemore recently participated in the Ms. Wheelchair North Carolina pageant in Asheville on April 6, 2013; and
Whereas, at the aforementioned Pageant, Ashley Macemore was crowned Ms. Wheelchair North Carolina; and
Whereas Ms. Macemore is actively planning for a trip to Houston, Texas during the week of July 15-21, 2013 where she will compete in the 2014 Ms. Wheelchair America Pageant for the National title; and
Whereas, Ms. Wheelchair America is a competition based on advocacy, achievement, communication and presentation to select the most accomplished and articulate spokeswoman for persons with disabilities; and
Whereas, the Town Council of the Town of Jonesville desires to recognize and express congratulations to Ms. Macemore for her positive and invaluable service provided to the community and to express the Town’s best wishes in this and all her future endeavors.
Now therefore, be it resolved that the Town Council of the Town of Jonesville in regular session this 13th day of May 2013, does hereby pay tribute to and say thank you to Ashley Macemore for representing Jonesville in a positive and inspirational manner;
Be it further resolved that the Town Council of the Town of Jonesville does hereby direct that this Resolution be made part of the permanent minutes of this meeting and that a copy shall be presented Ms. Macemore.”
Commissioner Andy Greene presented the proclamation to Macemore for Swaim, and he commented that he had a difficult time being mobile as well.
Swaim has had health problems over the last few months and walks with a walker.
Greene presented the paper and thanked Macemore for being an ambassador for Jonesville.
Town Manager Scott Buffkin presented Ashley with an anonymous envelope with an undisclosed amount, with hopes the donation to her fundraiser would inspire others.
Several others came forward after the meeting and gave donations as well.
Ashley will be doing lots of public speaking this week. Monday night prior to the town hall meting she appeared on WXII Channel 12. Tuesday night she spoke at the town hall meeting in Ronda, and she will make an appearance at the Yadtel grand opening in the Foothills Market Shopping Center in Jonesville Friday at 10 a.m.
An online site has been created to assist Macemore in raising the needed funds. Donations are accepted by www.giveforward.com. Search ‘Macemore’ at the homepage to redirect to Macemore’s page.
Yadkin Valley Bank in downtown Elkin also has an account set up in Ashley’s name where those who do not want to use the Internet can donate.
To contact Taylor Pardue call 336-835-1513 ext. 15, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.