Campus News

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

News Release

June 17, 2005

U of G Community Helps Raise $21,000 for Spinal Cord Research

The University of Guelph community helped raise more than $21,000 to support spinal cord research and address local high-priority needs through the Rick Hansen Foundation’s Wheels in Motion event.

Preliminary results released by the national foundation Thursday show that Canadians raised more than $1.8 million in events that took place in communities across the country. “This is a tremendous accomplishment, and I’m so proud of the Guelph community for playing such an important role,” said Cyndy McLean, director of U of G’s Health and Performance Centre and a Wheels in Motion volunteer.

McLean, a former marathon runner and elite-level athlete, was left paraplegic after a fall in 2003 and is now a national Rick Hansen ambassador. She headed a Health and Performance Centre team of 54 people who raised nearly $13,000 during the June 12 event.

“Wheels in Motion is about more than raising awareness and improving the quality of life for people with spinal cord injuries,” McLean said. “It is also about inspiring those around you to make a difference, and that is exactly what people have done by supporting this event. I want to sincerely thank everyone who participated for their dedication and hard work.”

The annual fundraiser is an initiative of Hansen, the Canadian Olympic wheelchair marathon champion who wheeled 40,000 kilometres to raise money and awareness for spinal cord research. Participants obtain pledges individually or as part of a team and then wheel, bike, skate, run or walk a course. 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.

The Guelph event was sponsored by U of G, Guelph Services for Persons With Disabilities, the City of Guelph and other community volunteers.

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

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