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Thursday, March 20, 2003
Local Resident Honored With DAR Community Service Award 
    Lakeland Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution has presented the Society’s Community Service Award to George R. “Bobby” Boedicker.
    Boedicker is the president and co-founder of Help the Handicapped, Inc., a non-profit organization that helps handicapped citizens of Polk County.
    His nomination will compete with others from around the world for the Society’s National Community Service Award Recipient of the Year.
    DAR Lakeland Chapter Regent Lola DeGroff said, “A 1978 car accident which left him a quadriplegic crushed more than Bobby’s body.”
    “It also crushed his dreams of a baseball career. Two weeks earlier, then 20 years old, he had attended a Cincinnati Reds tryout camp.”
    Boedicker spent a long time in a nursing home and had to be fed for almost two years. Nevertheless, he was determined to be able to live alone and take care of himself.
    Ms. DeGroff said, “He has done that and more.”
    “He started Help the Handicapped, Inc., in 1989 with as he calls it, ‘a shoe box, six dollars and faith.’ The organization still runs on a shoestring budget.
    “Bobby frequently sits in front of stores in Polk County accepting donations from people who want to help others. Their donations have helped build
wheelchair ramps and pay for the rent, utilities and medicines of numerous people with disabilities.
    “He also sponsors an annual golf tournament to raise funds and awareness.”
    Boedicker thanked the ladies of the chapter for the award.
    “I am honored. You have made me feel warm and welcome and I thank you for recognizing my work to help the needy in Polk County,” he said.
    “I will continue to do what I have been doing for the last 14 years as long as my health holds up.”
    Ms. DeGroff said, “The first time I met Bobby I was impressed.”
    "He has a strong faith in God and devotes all his energy to helping the handicapped of Polk County, Florida. His work has been recognized by The Tampa Tribune and Governor Jeb Bush.”
    More information about Help the Handicapped, Inc., is available on the web at www.helpthehandicapped.org or by calling 863-683-1764.

Reprinted with permission from The Polk County Democrat

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