Campus News

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

News Release

June 14, 2007

U of G Helps Raise $30,000 at Wheels in Motion

The University of Guelph community helped raised $30,000 to support national spinal cord research and address high-priority needs in the community during this year’s Wheels in Motion.

In addition, the U of G team headed by president Alastair Summerlee, who also served as the event’s honorary chair, placed second in the relay challenge. The new event involved teams competing against one another to complete everyday tasks like grocery shopping and getting dressed from a wheelchair.

“The relay was a big success and certainly a wonderful opportunity to have people spend time in a wheelchair doing everyday tasks,” said Cyndy McLean, director of U of G’s Health and Performance Centre (HPC) and a member of the event organizing committee.

Wheels in Motion was held on campus Sunday, attracting more than 300 participants and volunteers. McLean said she was impressed by the turnout, which she attributed to the increased awareness and media coverage leading up to the event.

“We had a week of people spending a day in a wheelchair, including Mayor Karen Farbridge and president Summerlee,” she said. “The increased awareness of the issues that are faced by people with spinal cord injuries and other physical disabilities and the knowledge of the event are priceless.”

McLean was also captain of the HPC team, which raised more than $11,000, and was the top individual fundraiser, bringing in close to $3,000.

As part of Wheels in Motion, people obtain pledges individually or as part of a team and then wheel, bike, skate, run or walk a 2.5-kilometre course. 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. This year’s event marked the 20th anniversary of his groundbreaking journey.

Half of the funds raised remain 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 Athletic Club, the Centre for Students With Disabilities, Scotia Bank, HPC and CIBC Wood Gundy.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982.

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