Triumph Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to help children, adults, and Veterans with Spinal Cord Injury/Disorder (SCI) to triumph over their disability and to inspire them to keep moving forward with their lives by pushing themselves to get better every day.
Rick's brother Bill became a quadriplegic following a car accident in 1995 and passed away in 2013. Rick honors his brother’s memory though his volunteer work and service on the Board.
Back in 2015 Rick Hollman was trying to figure out a new and inspiring way to help the members of the Triumph Foundation Family and honor his brother Bill Hollman who suffered from a severe spinal cord injury back in 1995 and passed away in 2013.
In thinking about those things important to Bill, Rick remembered the many conversations they had together about people, all of us, needing to be productive in order to feel relevant, no matter what our condition or circumstance in life. Bill was always very productive in his business life and beyond. After Bill retired from real estate he went on to get a Masters degree in Psychology and volunteered his time at the Beverly Hills Women’s center as a therapist.
After his accident, Bill continued to counsel a select group of individuals and also went back to work trading currencies and stocks as well as working on real estate deals in order to help defray the huge burdensome costs of being a quadriplegic.
This brought Rick to the conclusion that Bill would love a grant given to those who want to work and be productive in order to give them just enough seed money to either start their own business or purchase something that would help them get or keep a job. This would help fuel their productivity and boost morale.
The first recipient, Austin Whitney, was able to form his own Non-Profit organization called Accessible Festivals which impacted scores of people in wheelchairs to be able to go to festivals like everyone else and enjoy themselves. We could not have asked for a more deserving recipient.
The next recipient was Bardo Ramos who was able to purchase power wheels for his wheelchair, which enabled him to travel long distances across the Veterans Administration property in West LA where he worked when his job changed and required him to travel much further across campus.
The next winner of the award was Rob Balucas to develop a new version of his Website design and Marketing Agency that he had prior to his injury.
This Grant has inspired a few of the larger Triumph Contributors to want to offer the same type of Grants and the award has now been rebranded as the “Employment Achievement Award”. It is spreading at a very rapid pace affecting the lives of many fortunate recipients. Bill would be thrilled to see how this has affected so many and helped create such positive results from so many worthy recipients.
Austin Whitney won the Bill Hollman Return to Work Award in 2015 to help him build his business, Accessible Festivals. Watch the testimonial video on how he was enabled to follow his dreams and make a positive impact on the entire disabled community with the $5,000 investment. Triumph is very proud to say we had a small part in helping Austin and the important work he does with www.AccessibleFestivals.com
Bardo works at the Dept of Veteran Affairs in West LA. He was making a great impact with all the staff and the veterans. In a way, having a physical disability gave him the ability to really connect with the veterans. However, his job required him to push his wheelchair between multiple domiciliary houses to serve 300 veterans located up and down long and strenuous ramps. Bardo won our essay contest and your support got him the wheels that are necessary to propel his career forward.
Rob lost control of his bike and crashed suffering a L1 burst fracture to his spine that left him paralyzed. But that's not the end of his story, it's only the beginning. He is determined to reclaim his life.
He submitted his business plan and was chosen to receive the $5,000 Employment Achievement Award. This 2017 award was funded by Rick's other brother Bob Hollman, who wanted to honor his brother Bill as well.