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Windows for a Cause will help veteran stand again

Posted: 10:47 PM, Apr 20, 2016
Updated: 2016-04-20 23:47:49-04
For 40 long years, a wheelchair has been John Green's only way of getting around. Multiple Sclerosis stole his ability to use his legs.
 
"It's difficult, especially when I first got sick."
 
Another troubling memory for the Oshkosh veteran is the treatment he received after the Vietnam War.
 
"We'd get a lot of derogatory remarks thrown at us and stuff." 
 
But soon, John will get the long overdue thank you he deserves.
 
"We're all humbled to be able to help him," says Brian Gottlieb, Owner and President of Tundraland Home Improvements.
 
The company installs over 12,000 replacement windows each year. Gottlieb came up with the idea of turning the old windows they remove from people's homes into works of art to keep them out of our landfills and raise money to help John.
 
"We believe that if we can affect an individual's life, we begin to change the world," Gottlieb explains.
 
Tundraland reached out to local artists, organizations and community leaders who volunteered to paint how they view Northeast Wisconsin when they look out the window.
 
Gregory Frederic of Crewl Art in Suamico painted two windows. One represents people's love for the Packers and the other shows a salute to military service in honor of John.
 
"I don't have money. I don't have anything else I can give. I have my talent," Frederic says.
 
Even NBC26 staff members pitched in to create a scene of people enjoying a view of the Fox River near the Leo Frigo Bridge.
 
"I'm blown away. I'm grateful for what the artists have done," Gottlieb said with a smile.
 
The decorated windows will be auctioned off, with proceeds going to buy a specialized wheelchair that will allow John to move from a sitting position to a standing position for the first time in four decades.
 
"It's a real blessing for me," he says. "Thank you to everybody, and I'm really excited for this to happen."
 
Frederic and Gottlieb are also anxious and say there won't be a dry eye when John finally stands again.
 
"It just gives me goose bumps," Gottlieb says.
 
Frederic adds, "I know his wife is going to be happy to get a kiss standing up again."
 
With 80 windows to bid on, organizers hope to raise $15,000 to cover the cost of John's new, electric wheelchair.
 
The Windows for a Cause auction event is being held on Wednesday, May 25th at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in downtown Appleton. It includes food, a silent auction from 5:00 to 7:30pm, and a live auction from 7:30-8:30pm. The event is open to the public.