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We'd like you to meet Lane Mooney

At the end of his work day at Rise, nothing makes Lane Mooney happier than to tinker in his make-shift work shop in the corner of Mark and Sarah Gustafson’s barn in Champlin. There, whatever has wires, lights, or electrical components - is of particular interest to Lane. 

Mark and Sarah provide three hours of respite care four days a week until Lane’s adult foster care provider of nine years, Blaine Newberg, gets home from work. Blaine is the program coordinator for Rise’s statewide Minnesota Employment Center (MEC) for People who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deafblind program.

As a young student, Lane received some vocational training when he attended the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf in Faribault where his interest in all things electrical was likely “sparked.”    

“Lane is a genius when it comes to constructing his electrical creations,” said Blaine. “Give him wires, tubing, and a bulb and he can make you a flashlight.”  

“He is so curious about how things work,” Sarah added. “Lane will spend hours at his work bench taking things apart and putting them back together -- especially if they have a lighted screen like a laptop computer or cell phone! And if you need something fixed, he can do that, too.”

Lane, who is 52, has worked through Rise’s Day Training and Habilitation Sensory Support Unit for close to 20 years and currently works on a wide range of subcontracts in Rise’s Spring Lake Park production facility. He has also worked in area businesses, including HOM Furniture in Coon Rapids where he prepped furniture for home delivery, putting knobs on dressers, legs on sofas, etc.  Lane also worked at the Grassroots Coop in Anoka where he helped unload shipments, stock shelves, and clean until the store closed in November 2016. 

Lane is currently working with Angela Mannila, an occupational communication specialist / placement specialist to find a job in the community for which his skills and interests are well-suited. A special grant from the Greater Twin Cities United Way is funding his specialized placement services. Lane will also be working with State Services for the Blind to fund job tryouts during his job search.  

In addition to his creative electrical projects, Lane enjoys going camping with Blaine in Minnesota’s northern woods and loves swimming in rivers and lakes. Lane collects different kinds of lights and is the proud owner of a real traffic light which he found at an Ax-Man Surplus Store.

"Lane also likes just hanging out and being included as one of the family,” Blaine noted. “He is kind and charismatic -- the kids in our family adore him and love to dance with him. They call him The Moon Man. Lane makes special friends wherever he goes.”