FRANKLIN FURNACE — A middle school student from Green Local Schools recently received the perfect gift passed down by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.
In February 2020, a gift bag was presented to Governor Dewine from the Union Sportsmen Alliance. The bag was then handed to the director of Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, Kevin Miller, who asked Mary Armstead, the director of the Wheelersburg Office, to locate a young person who loves the outdoors, is active in the community, and would get good use from the items inside.
Tate Ratliff, a robust kid who has been in a wheelchair almost all of his life has not let that slow him down one bit.
The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the process until recently when finally on Friday, August 6th, 2021, they were able to make the presentation to Ratliff.
Ratliff is 15 years old and attends Green Jr. High School. “The kit has bait, a fishing pole, duck, deer and turkey calls, a whole bunch of fun stuff. I love it! I’m planning on going to my aunt’s pond to fish.” Ratliff continued, “We have a bunch of turkeys here.”
Despite being diagnosed with hereditary spastic paraplegia as a young boy, Ratliff has made the most of his opportunities to compete. Ratliff recently competed in the Ohio Jr. High state track and field meet and placed fourth overall among all classes in his competition.
“I was 4th in the state this year and this was my first year going to it,” he said, about the experience. “It was most definitely great, because around here, I don’t meet a lot of people in wheelchairs.”
As for receiving the gift handed down by the governor’s office, Ratliff said, “Well that’s pretty cool to think about who gave it to me, DeWine, that’s real cool.” He said that he loves to be outdoors which is why this gift is so special. His mother, Mandy Ratliff, said, “He was absolutely tickled to death.”
Ratliff plans to use his new gear with his family all camp and that they spend a lot of time fishing and being outside.
Ratliff also is a member that this year he is in the Green High School Marching band playing the drums and he loves it. “I’ve just had a great year this year,” he said.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
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