American Business Clubs (AMBUCS) is a non-profit service organization consisting of a diverse group of men and women dedicated to creating mobility and independence for people with disabilities. Members of AMBUCS fulfill the organization’s mission by performing various forms of community service, awarding scholarships to therapists, and by providing AmTryke therapeutic tricycles to individuals who are unable to operate a traditional bike. These unique tricycles, which can be hand and/or foot operated, are designed to accommodate riders of all ages, sizes, and varying degrees of physical limitations. To date, more than 15,300 AmTryke vehicles have been distributed around the world free of charge to financially-needy children.
More than 16 years ago, while living in Longview, Laura Mattheis was a member of AMBUCS and served the organization for five years. Due to her relocation and work schedule, Mrs. Mattheis had to leave the Longview chapter of AMBUCS. However, with the development of a Tyler chapter, Mrs. Mattheis is once again an active member of AMBUCS and serving as the chapter’s current president.
“I encourage community members to become involved with AMBUCS. We meet on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 12:00 p.m. at the Jalapeno Tree, and on the second and fourth Tuesdays at 6:15 p.m. at the Potpourri House,” Mrs. Mattheis said. “We know people have varying schedules, so members can have a choice of convenient meeting times. We always have interesting speakers and enjoy new friendships while sharing a meal together.”
On Tuesday, August 2, 2011, at On The Border in Tyler, ten percent of all purchases will be donated to AMBUCS if patrons mention the organization to their server. This opportunity to support the club’s projects is available from 4:00 p.m. to close on that day only.
Mrs. Mattheis has lived in Tyler for ten years and is an active member of Marvin United Methodist Church. While living in Longview, she served on various boards including Community Partners for Children, AMBUCS Too, The Great Texas Balloon Race, Alley Fest, and others.
“Volunteer service always gives back to one’s soul, as we’re doing what God would have us do. Only He knows the plan for our lives, and upon reflecting on my life’s journey thus far, volunteerism has been and will always be a blessing,” Mrs. Mattheis said.
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Mrs. Mattheis is a graduate of Pine Tree High School in Longview, Texas. She attended Kilgore College and earned her bachelor’s degree in management from The University of Texas at Tyler. She and her husband, Vern, have been married for 19 years. Mrs. Mattheis is the executive director for the East Texas Center for Independent Living.
“As the saying goes, it is better to give than to receive, and the Tyler community truly reflects this generous spirit. Tyler is a beautiful town to live in and a great place to call home,” Mrs. Mattheis said.