U of G Wheels in Motion Team Is Top Fundraiser
Money raised through 2006 event now available to help people with spinal cord injuries in Guelph area
BY LORI BONA HUNT
The Health and Performance Centre (HPC) team was the top fundraising group in Canada at the Guelph 2006 Wheels in Motion, it was recently learned.
“Quality of Life” funding raised by that team and others during the annual national event sponsored by the Rick Hansen Foundation is now available to help people with spinal cord injuries who live or work in the Guelph area.
“It was very rewarding to learn that our team raised the most money of any group in the country,” says Cyndy McLean, director of the HPC and captain of the team that raised nearly $12,000. A former marathon runner and elite-level athlete, McLean was left paraplegic after a fall in 2003. She is a member of the local event organizing committee and is a national ambassador for the Rick Hansen Foundation.
As a prize, the HPC team won five round-trip tickets from Air Canada, which were awarded to the team's top fundraisers.
“But even more rewarding is the fact that a significant portion of the money we raised will stay right here in Guelph to help address high-priority needs and provide services in the community,” says McLean.
The Guelph Wheels in Motion, held last June on campus, raised close to $30,000 and set a local record. About half of the money goes to support national research efforts overseen by the Rick Hansen Foundation, and the remaining funds stay in the host community.
The portion that remains in Guelph will go directly to local residents with spinal cord injuries to help improve their quality of life, says McLean. Individuals or their families can apply for the funding to address personal needs; support a recreational or sports initiative; or help provide services, assistance or resources.
A maximum of $800 per application has been set to ensure that as many people as possible receive support, she says. The deadline to apply for funds is March 1. For an application form or more information, contact Mairin Viol, a member of the Guelph Wheels in Motion organizing committee, at 519-716-1320 or email@example.com.
Almost 200 people participated in or volunteered at last year's Guelph Wheels in Motion. The 2007 event will be held June 10. This year, in addition to a wheel/walk/run, the day will feature new team events, including a wheelchair challenge in which participants compete against other teams at completing everyday tasks from a wheelchair.
President Alastair Summerlee has agreed to serve as honorary chair of this year's event.
For more information about Wheels in Motion, send e-mail to McLean at firstname.lastname@example.org.