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Warrick Co. woman’s visit to the beach goes viral

Dorothy "Donnie" Schneider visits Orange Beach, Alabama.
Dorothy "Donnie" Schneider visits Orange Beach, Alabama.(WFIE)
Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 7:37 PM CDT
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CHANDLER, Ind. (WFIE) - A Chandler woman’s recent vacation to Alabama is going viral, all thanks to a selfless act from total strangers.

In October, Dorothy “Dottie” Schneider was sitting on the sandy beaches of Orange Beach, Alabama, only after some help from selfless guys and gals.

This is because Dottie is 95 years old. At the beach, her family struggled to push her wheelchair through the sand.

That’s when Orange Beach Surf Rescue stepped in.

“Luckily, the lifeguards have all-terrain vehicles,” says Beach Safety Division Chief Brett Lesinger. “They can pull up next to people and easily scoop them up and move them around. So, as long as there are lifeguards present, that is a service we like to provide.”

Lifeguards swooped Dottie up and brought her to her own slice of sand every day of her trip.

“They carried me,” says Dottie.

Dottie’s family shared photos of their experience on the Surf Rescue Facebook page.

The rescue squad also arranged rides to and from the beach and checked on Dottie throughout the day.

“That is our main goal,” says Lesinger. “We want to keep people safe when they visit our beach, but we are also there as public service and a public presence just to make sure people have a good time.”

It is safe to say Dottie did have a good time.

“I had fun,” says Dottie.

To the lifeguards who made her vacation a little sweeter, Dottie shared one message.

“Thank you,” she said with a wave.

“She definitely kind of got close with a few of our lifeguards,” says Lesinger. “It was sad on the final day when they parted. I think a few the lifeguards may have shed a tear.”

When asked if she wants to go back to Alabama, Dottie answered with a grin as wide as the sea.

Until then, she sits in her own piece of paradise at home in Indiana.

Dottie’s family says one of the vehicles she used is provided by Molly’s Patrol - an organization working towards implementing beach and water safety standards, in honor of a 16-year-old who died in the gulf coast.

Dottie’s family says this organization is now near and dear to their hearts.

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