VANCOUVER, Jun 16, 2004 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) — Canadians heard the call from Canada’s Man In Motion, Rick Hansen, as they came out in communities across Canada on Sunday, June 13 to help keep his dream alive. The 2nd annual Rick Hansen Wheels In Motion invited Canadians to wheel, bike, skate, run or walk to help improve the quality of life of people with a spinal cord injury (SCI).
Preliminary results indicate that more than 28,000 people participated in over 204 events across the country. Already, more than $1.17 million has been raised. Results will continue to roll in over the next few weeks and will be posted at www.rickhansen.com as they become available.
“We’re thrilled with the results. Canadians have really heard how important it is to help improve the quality of life of people with spinal cord injury. Due to their commitment and generosity, the funds raised this year have increased by more than 75% from last year and participation has doubled. That’s just incredible!” said Rick Hansen, just home from attending the event in his former hometown of Williams Lake, BC.
“I’ve heard so many stories, from across the country, about how people have already been touched by being involved in organizing and participating in these events, especially those people with a spinal cord injury. We couldn’t have done this without the extraordinary dedication and commitment of our event organizing teams, volunteers and corporate partners, especially Scotiabank”, said Hansen.
Half the net proceeds from Rick Hansen Wheels in Motion will be directed to priority needs identified to improve the quality of life for people with SCI in event communities. The other half will be directed to fund research priorities identified by the Rick Hansen SCI Network, comprised of leading researchers and clinicians from across the country.
“As Presenting Partner of the 2nd annual Rick Hansen Wheels In Motion, all of us at Scotiabank are very proud to have been a part of an event that will make important contributions to research and programs benefiting people living with spinal cord injury across Canada,” said Rick Waugh, President and CEO, Scotiabank. “The thousands of Scotiabank employees who were involved this year as both organizers and participants demonstrated the Bank’s ongoing commitment to the communities in which we live and work. The success of this year’s events proves that Rick’s drive and courage have inspired people across the country to truly embrace this event.”
The Rick Hansen Man In Motion Foundation is a registered charitable organization founded by Rick Hansen in 1987. Recognized as an international leader in the field of spinal cord injury (SCI), the Foundation is committed to bringing together diverse communities to accelerate improvements to the quality of life of people with SCI. Rick Hansen came to the world’s attention with his legendary Man In Motion World Tour (1985-87) when he wheeled 40,000 kilometers around the world to prove the unlimited potential of people with SCI and raised over $26 million for SCI.
Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which its employees and customers live and work, both in Canada and abroad. Recognized as a leader among Canadian corporations for its charitable donations and philanthropic activities, in 2003 the Bank provided $30 million in sponsorships and donations to a variety of projects and initiatives, primarily in the areas of healthcare, education and social services. Scotiabank is on the World Wide Web at www.scotiabank.com
For further information: Media contact: Lorraine Wilson, Rick Hansen
Wheels In Motion, Direct: (604) 709-6346, cellular (604) 351-9205, Email:lwilson(at)rickhansen.com
News release via Canada NewsWire, Toronto 416-863-9350
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