The Sno-Posse Snowmobile Club of Chewelah presented a $300 donation to Julie Symonds on Friday, Jan. 11 to help with the various needs that will arise as a result of her husband’s recent snowmobiling accident. Jon Symonds, principal at Jenkins Middle School, was paralyzed from the mid-section of his body down after being thrown from his snowmobile. He was introducing their current exchange student, a former exchange student and friend to the sport on Christmas day when the accident occurred.
Dave Magart, representing the Sno-Posse club, said he first learned of the accident in the newspaper and brought it to the attention of the group at their monthly meeting. The club did not hesitate in proposing and agreeing to make the donation to the Symonds family. Magart said the group strives to promote snowmobiling safety and enjoyment and that this accident will serve as a reminder to their members about the importance of awareness and safety.
“We wanted to do what we can to help you and Jon through this,” Magart said to Julie Symonds after presenting the donation.
Rick Linehan, Chewelah Schools superintendent and close friend of Jon Symonds, said that insurance will cover most of the medical expenses and that Jon has accumulated nearly one year of sick leave to cover his time away from work. However, some major expenses will not be covered such as remodeling their home to provide for adequate wheelchair access and modifying a vehicle to be used by Jon.
“It would be a huge benefit if the community could donate to this cause,” Linehan said.
Julie said that Jon is currently at St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Center in Spokane for physical therapy and learning to adapt to daily activities without the use of his legs. She expects that he will be discharged at the end of February. Julie has been with Jon daily at the hospital and St. Luke’s since the accident.
“This is an awesome community to live in,” said Julie of all the support and encouragement she and Jon have received.
A “Benefit Account for Jon Symonds” has been established at Spokane Teachers Credit Union and donations can be made at one of their branches or by calling 509-326-1954 or 800-634-0311. Donations may also be made at the Chewelah School District office. Additionally, Cindy Fullmer, Administrative Assistant for Chewelah Schools, is coordinating a volunteer list for anybody who would like to help the Symonds family with chores and projects while Jon is recovering or after his return home. Fullmer can be reached at the district office at 685-6800. office at 509-685-6800.
By Jared Arnold, The Independent Staff
In This Photo: Dave Maggart presents $300 to Julie Symonds from the Sno-Posse. Jared Arnold photo