Fundraiser completes $6 million endowment for spinal-cord research Whistlerites John and Penny Ryan are celebrating the success of the third annual “Reserved” gala fundraiser with family, friends and the provincial government. The money raised at the event completes the $6 million endowment to fund the John and Penny Ryan B.C. Leadership Chair in Spinal Cord Injury Research.
The Chair was established in 2003, supporting the work of a senior academic position at the International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD). The incumbent, Dr. John Steeves, is leading the development of the new spinal injury research centre, to open in 2008.
The “Reserved” event on April 29 at the Four Seasons Hotel raised some $220,000 — more than enough to complete the endowment.
The Ryans’ mission began in 1999 when John hand-pedaled a three-wheeled bike across Canada on his Regeneration Tour with a goal of raising money for Canadian spinal cord injury research.
“Penny and I are both thrilled to have achieved our $6 million goal in support of John Steeves and ICORD,” said John Ryan. “It was a true team effort with Rick Hansen, government, ICORD and our annual ‘Reserved’ fundraising team coming together to complete this research chair.”
With a commitment of $2.25 million each from the Rick Hansen Man In Motion Foundation and the B.C. government’s Leading Edge Endowment Fund, and a commitment from the Ryans to work with the foundation to raise the balance of $1.5 million over five years.