Golf cart donation helps woman get around Viera
Robbie Rosenberger, chief financial officer for GolfCarts Unlimited, right, stands next to the new gas golf cart his company donated to Pamela Bridges, center, and her 10-year-old son, Kye. The $5,000 golf cart was donated to Bridges after her battery-powered golf cart was destroyed in an accident last April 4 in Viera.
There are two dates Pamela Bridges will never forget — Dec. 23, 2016 and April 4, 2019.
The first date is when the 10-year Viera resident suffered a stroke that left the right side of her body paralyzed. As a result of the stroke, Bridges suffers from aphasia. Aphasia affects a person's ability to express and understand written and spoken language. Once the underlying cause is treated, the main treatment for aphasia is speech therapy.
Because she lost her ability to drive a vehicle following her stroke, Bridges was forced to use a battery-powered golf cart to get around Viera from her Sunstone home and drive her son, Kye, to and from the Viera Charter School, her volunteer work at the Viera Pro-Health and Fitness Center and her part-time job at the Viera Children’s Academy.
At around 11:30 a.m. on the second date, Bridges was involved in a crash with her golf cart and a vehicle near the fitness center crosswalk along Stadium Parkway.
The accident destroyed her golf cart, and she suffered a contusion to her head and injuries to her right foot that forced her to be treated for three hours at Viera Hospital.
“I thought I was lost after the accident,” Bridges said. “I didn’t know how I would get my son to school and I couldn’t work. I was desperate.”
Following the accident, 10-year-old Kye, a fifth grader at the Viera Charter School, told his teachers what had happened to his mother.
Word got around the Viera community that Kye’s mother needed help. The help came from Robbie Rosenberger, the chief financial officer for GolfCarts Unlimited.
Bridges received a Yamaha, four-passenger gas golf cart, which retails for about $5,000, from Rosenberger.
The golf cart can travel 150 miles on a tank of gas, as opposed to the 15 to 20 miles on a battery-powered cart. Other unique features include street tires, seat belts, turn signals, brake lights, a horn, a windshield and an expandable rear compartment that can hold groceries and other items.
“It was unbelievable,” Bridges said. “It was lovely, a God sent. I couldn’t stop crying.”
Rosenberger said the golf cart is legal to drive around the sidewalks in Viera.
Rosenberger said his parents started the company in 2010, and they have three locations — The Avenue Viera, Melbourne and Titusville.
“For some people, golf carts are their only means of transportation,” he said. “We try to help our community, especially police, fire and military personnel. When I heard about Pamela, I wanted to help. We help individual people in need.”
Rosenberger said the company offers a golf cart wash day once a month.
“People can bring their golf carts to our locations and we will wash them, check their tires and do safety inspections,” he said. “We are concerned about safety.”
To reduce the number of golf cart and vehicle crashes, Rosenberger said the company also will install LED safety lights to the roofs of any golf cart that was purchased from GolfCarts Unlimited.
In a further attempt to improve golf cart safety in Viera, Rosenberger said his company, in cooperation with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and Brevard Public Schools, will offer four golf cart safety classes at Viera High School beginning in mid-August.
“There are about 100 golf carts that are driven by students to Viera High School,” Rosenberger said. “These kids need to know about safety.”
For more information about the company, go to spacecoastgolfcarts.com or call 321-610-7011.
Bridges also wanted to thank all the people who helped her, especially Rosenberger, the Viera Charter School staff and Smile Viera Dentistry and Dr. Dominic Roppa for giving her free dental implants.
“I don’t know where I would be today without the help from all these people,” she said. “I am really grateful and thankful.”