Tacky Jacks, Orange Beach, Alabama crew with veteran Jorge Tabares.

By John Mullen

August 15, 2019 – Orange Beach, Al – (OBA®) – When Tacky Jacks owner Buddy Skipper found out people liked to have their pictures made with the big blue marlin hanging up at his three locations an idea was born.

“He said we ought to try and raise some money with that,” CFO Ken Kichler said. “We put a donation box and originally it was for different charities. We’ve done several different charities over the years. Whatever money our customers drop into the boxes we match that money and make charitable arrangements around that.

“The last five years it’s been with action-track chairs or beach chairs.”

And, those have gone to veterans with a goal of increasing their mobility and quality of life. The latest recipient is Jorge Tabares who has a scooter-like wheelchair but was looking to expand his horizons.

“He used to be a very outdoorsy person, until due to the injuries he sustained while on active duty, he fell and broke his neck,” Tacky Jacks Director of Marketing Susan Sizemore said. “He does have some movement in his hands and legs, but just not much. We are looking forward to Jorge becoming an outdoorsy person once again.”

In the past two years, community groups have joined in to help with the effort. This is the second year for the Treasures of the Isle Mardi Gras krewe presented a check for the program and this year the South Alabama Parrotheads also made a contribution. Tacky Jacks matched both contributions.

Tacky Jacks has been involved with six all-terrain or beach buggy type wheelchairs and five of those have been given to disabled veterans. A sixth one was bought from Beach ‘n’ Buggy owners and manufacturers Chance Blaker and Marie Palmer.

“So, if a veteran comes to the beach and wants rent a wheelchair and this one is available they get to rent it for free,” Kichler said. “In the summertime it’s hard to get because every week someone wants it.”