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Stickz Of Thanks

On Easter Sunday Virginia Whitford and Josh Lewis took Virginia’s son Asher on a hike.

The Deansboro family relished being outdoors after seven weeks at Golisano Children’s Hospital in Syracuse. Asher, who turned 7 June 8, spent almost two months in the hospital for surgery and recovery from blood vessels on his brain stem that caused clotting and put his life at risk.

Lewis, who operates Co-Movement on Skyline Drive, believes in the power of outdoor recreation. Prior to Asher’s health taking a serious turn in December, hiking and outdoor play was part of their daily lives.

Despite just a few weeks out of the hospital, needing a wheelchair to first get around, Asher hiked the whole 3 miles on his first outdoor adventure after surgery and physical therapy. A second grade student at Madison Central School, his curiosity took him to examining a beaver pond at the midway point of the walk.

The pond, and the beaver dam constructed there, had provided Asher one of his favorite hikes before he had surgery. And on Easter Sunday, that special place not only brought his bright smile to his face, but launched an idea for a business.

Looking at the sticks the beavers had stripped of bark, Asher found one perfect for a hiking stick back to the car. “Then I took a whole bunch of sticks to the car,’’ he said.

With enthusiastic help from Virginia, Josh and ‘Papa’ Ron Whitford, Asher founded the company Beaver Stickz. The slogan Busy with a Purpose captures both the spirit of the animal and the boy.

Stickz sell for $20 for kid sized ones and $25 for adult stickz, although there is a pay what you can option so, Asher said, everyone can get a walking stick.

The three-person company, with Asher in charge, runs a simple…


The full story is in this week's edition of the newspaper. 

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