'Wheels in Action’ to Raise Awareness, Funds for Spinal Cord Injury

June 17, 2013 - News Release

The University of Guelph will host the 10th annual “Wheels in Action” June 23 to raise money, support and awareness for people with spinal cord injuries (SCI). U of G has hosted the event since it began in 2004.

The event will begin at noon at the University’s Athletics Centre; registration starts at 11 a.m.

“Wheels in Action helps improve the quality of life for people SCI, but it’s also about inspiring those around you to make a difference,” said Laurie Arnott, event co-chair and a senior consultant for faculty and academic staff relations. A Guelph graduate, Arnott has used a wheelchair since age 18 after a virus that attacked her spinal cord left her with permanent nerve damage.

“Our 10th anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate what Wheels has accomplished, and look ahead to the future and how we can continue to support our community.”

Wheels in Action is a Guelph spin on the annual Wheels in Motion event started by Paralympic wheelchair champion Rick Hansen.

Guelph Wheels in Action will include a 2½-kilometre walk-roll-run, wheelchair activities, a free barbecue, entertainment and children’s activities. Participants collect pledges individually or as a team.

This year, pledges and donations are being made and processed on Indiegogo. Prizes for online donations include cottage getaways, yoga sessions, massages and canine unit demonstrations.

“We are a small grassroots organization that is trying to maximize how your money is used within the community, and using this site aids us in that effort,” said event co-chair Cyndy McLean. A former marathon runner who became paraplegic following a 2003 accident, she brought the original Wheels event to Guelph.

“Over the years, the donations received have allowed us to make a tremendous impact on our community and directly support the needs of individuals living with spinal cord injuries.”

Wheels in Action and Wheels in Motion have helped raise more than $150,000 to support numerous programs for Guelph residents with spinal cord injury. Projects include new wheelchairs and adaptive equipment, a ceiling track lift system for KidsAbility, fitness equipment for the Victoria Road Recreation Centre, and an adjustable medical table for U of G’s Student Health Services.

For more information, visit the Guelph Wheels in Action website.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or lhunt@uoguelph.ca; or Kevin Gonsalves, Ext. 56982, or kgonsalves@uoguelph.ca.

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1