Gabrielson seeks donations for concert to help people with disabilities
Brad Gabrielson of Jamestown has started a nonprofit organization to help people with disabilities that he named in memory of his late fiancee, Polly Ann Neumiller. He is working to raise money to bring a two-day music concert he’s named Buffalo JAM! to Jamestown in August of 2021 and then use the proceeds from the event to help people with disabilities.
The Polly Ann Neumiller Memorial Organization (PANMO) was founded this year and has nonprofit status in the state, according to the North Dakota Secretary of State Office. Gabrielson is awaiting federal approval for PANMO to be a 501(c)(3), a tax-exempt, charitable organization, he said. PANMO’s mission is to provide equipment and services to people with disabilities.
Neumiller, in addition to being Gabrielson’s fiancee, had also been Gabrielson’s personal attendant and a caregiver for others before her death in 2015. Gabrielson was born with cerebral palsy.
“She helped me for 30 years,” he said.” We were together for 30 years, we raised two kids together.”
Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affects a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cases can be mild to severe and symptoms can vary in people.
Gabrielson wants to hold Buffalo JAM! at the Stutsman County Fairgrounds on Aug. 6-7, 2021, and make it an annual event. He is seeking donations and businesses to participate to book Nashville bands and North Dakota bands for the concert, he said.
Three partnership levels are available, ranging from platinum ($10,000) to gold ($5,000) and silver ($2,500) but donations of any amount are encouraged, Gabrielson said. An account - PANMO - has been set up at Gate City Bank where donations may be made.
Gabrielson said he’s aware the pandemic could be a factor in when the event is held but is optimistic that the outdoor event will be able to go on by that time. If that’s not possible, it would be pushed back to 2022.
“Nobody knows when this COVID is going to go,” Gabrielson said. “... anything can happen. We could have a rainstorm that day too, so who knows. It all depends on the good lord and Mother Nature.”
Gabrielson plans to use proceeds raised from the concert to help people with disabilities with equipment, outdoor wheelchairs and other services including those not covered by Medicare and Medicaid. People with disabilities should be able to take part in activities like everyone else, he said. But sometimes the equipment they have - a wheelchair, for example - may not be able to be used for outdoor activities such as fishing because getting it wet would damage it.
“If you want to go fishing or hunting you have to use other means to do it,” he said.
He said he is an advocate for issues involving living with a disability and his goal in life is “helping other handicapped people be as independent as possible.”
Those tools to help people could be a ramp, outdoor and off-road all-terrain wheelchairs, handicap accessible vans, home modifications or other items, he said.
“I’ve had 60 years of experience being in a wheelchair because I was born with cerebral palsy so I know, I know what it’s like," Gabrielson said. "I just figured with the right equipment - if we have the right equipment we can be as independent as possible.”
For more information, go to www.panmoorg.org.