Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs 519 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

June 12, 2006

U of G Community Helps Raise $27,678 at Wheels in Motion

The University of Guelph community helped set a new record Sunday during the local Wheels in Motion event, raising $27,678 to support national spinal cord research and address high-priority needs in the community.

“This is a tremendous accomplishment, and I’m so proud of the University and Guelph communities,” said Cyndy McLean, director of U of G’s Health and Performance Centre (HPC), who was instrumental in bringing the event to Guelph three years ago. “I want to sincerely thank everyone who participated for their dedication and hard work.”

A former marathon runner and elite-level athlete who was left paraplegic after a fall in 2003, McLean is a member of the local event organizing committee and is a national ambassador for the Rick Hansen Foundation.

She was also the captain of the HPC team that raised more than $11,000. McLean and Laurie Arnott, a human rights adviser with the University’s Human Rights and Equity Office, were also the top individual fundraisers, each bringing in close to $3,000.

Nearly 200 people participated in or volunteered at the Guelph Wheels in Motion event, which was held on campus at the Athletics Centre. People obtain pledges individually or as part of a team and then wheel, bike, skate, run or walk a 2.5-kilometre course. U of G president Alastair Summerlee participated again this year from a wheelchair, completing the course twice.

The annual fundraiser was initiated by Rick Hansen, the Canadian Olympic wheelchair marathon champion who wheeled 40,000 kilometres to raise money and awareness for spinal cord research.

Events are held in hundreds of communities across Canada and are run entirely by volunteers. Half of the funds raised stay in the host community to address high-priority needs and services; the remaining funds go to the foundation to support research. Locally, the funding has gone to provide services, assistance and resources to people with spinal cord injuries.

The main sponsors of the Guelph Wheels in Motion event were the University, the Centre for Students With Disabilities, HPC and Chris Bedard of CIBC Wood Gundy.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982.

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