Local residents to build ramp for governor

RAYMONDVILLE — A group building ramps for disabled poor residents is gearing up for its biggest project — a ramp for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Veterans from American Legion Post 390 have joined members of First United Methodist Church to volunteer as part of the Texas Ramp Project.

Since last month, the group has built ramps for two residents in Raymondville and Sebastian, George Solis, the project’s Willacy County leader, said yesterday.

“I get excited about it,” said Solis, a former longtime Justice of the Peace who serves as commander of the local American Legion post. “It’s work. To me, it’s real gratifying to help someone in need.”

As part of the project, the group builds ramps recommended by health care professionals.

“It helps being self-sufficient for those who can’t go down steps or stairs,” Solis said. “It helps being able to be mobile to access vehicles, to access your yard, your family.”

For most projects, the group buys materials used to build the ramps.

But for the project to build Abbott’s ramp, the Republican Party will obtain the building materials, Solis said.

On Nov. 3, the ramp will help Abbott, who is wheelchair-bound, deliver a speech at the Willacy County Republican Party’s Lincoln-Reagan Dinner fundraiser at the Willacy County Historical Museum and Community Center.

Abbott will become the first Texas governor to visit Willacy County in more than 50 years, said Wolf Chapa, president of the county’s Republican Party.

Chapa, who asked Abbott to speak at the local fundraiser, said the governor’s topic will likely focus on “the economics of Willacy County.”

“Just the fact he’s coming here is a good thing,” Solis said. “He’s our leader. It will give positive attention to Willacy County. We need him now more than ever.”