A fund has been established to help Lincoln Elementary School, Ogden, purchase a lift device that will allow handicapped students and parents to ride from the main level to the downstairs cafeteria.

The cafeteria serves as the school's social center, with assemblies, music and other activities.The need for the lift was highlighted in a Sunday Deseret News story about the plight of Phillip Reese, a 9-year-old student who is confined to a motorized wheelchair by Duchenne's muscular dystrophy. He can't reach the cafeteria unless he travels around the school on the sidewalk to a back door - which can be hazardous in bad weather - or rides a device called a stair tracker. The stair tracker is a rickety, lurching machine that frightens him.

The need for a lift goes beyond Phillip's situation, however. If one were installed, handicapped parents would be able to see school productions and other students with disabilities would have access to the cafeteria and auditorium.

A lift would carry a person in a wheelchair smoothly along the stairwell. The device costs $17,500. About $800 has been collected.

Anyone who wishes to contribute to the Lincoln Elementary Lift Fund may call the Ogden School Foundation at 1-801-625-8721.