Eleanore’s Project began in the summer of 2003, when the principal of Colegio La Alegría en el Señor in Lima, Peru, wrote Don Dubuque of Polson, Montana about her students’ need for wheelchairs. The school serves approximately 100 students with disabilities ages 3 – 18, from the poorest parts of Lima. Don had already begun raising funds when he approached Tamara (an occupational therapist specializing in wheelchair mobility) for technical advice. Don christened the effort Eleanore’s Project, as a memorial to Tamara’s daughter.
Eleanore’s Project began as a name for one wheelchair project, but it had a good ring and was retained when the Kittelson-Aldred family established a private operating foundation in Eleanore’s memory in 2004. Eleanore’s Project was incorporated on August 2, 2004; several months later the IRS granted 501(c) 3 tax exempt status retroactive to that date. The coincidence with Eleanore’s birthday on August 2 was not planned, but is appreciated as a happy accident.