Canadians unite to help people living with spinal cord injury

Published: June 16, 2009  |  Source: finance.yahoo.com
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More than $1.2 million raised at Rick Hansen Wheels In Motion last Sunday with more funds to come

VANCOUVER, June 16 /CNW/ – Thousands of Canadians demonstrated how they can make a difference in the lives of others by coming together this past weekend in communities across the country in support of Rick Hansen Wheels In Motion, presented by Scotiabank. Fundraising is ongoing to June 30, but preliminary results indicate that the 7th annual Rick Hansen Wheels In Motion has raised more than $1.2 million.

“So many people have united with a desire to make Canada a better place for people living with spinal cord injury, and we will make sure their efforts result in a country that is more accessible and inclusive,” said Rick Hansen, President and CEO of the Rick Hansen Foundation. “We are all on this journey together and it is incredibly inspiring to see thousands of people working together to change the lives of their fellow Canadians.”

Funds raised by Wheels In Motion support community based projects that benefit local organizations and individuals, along with national initiatives that hold the promise of improving the quality of life of all Canadians with spinal cord injury (SCI). Canadians have now contributed more than $10.8 million to Wheels In Motion since its inception in 2003 to support more than 850 national and local projects in communities from Victoria to St. John’s. These life-enhancing projects and National Solutions initiatives have given thousands of people the opportunity to live their lives with greater dignity and independence and allowed them to play a more active role in their communities.

For the seventh consecutive year, a cross section of Canadian corporate leaders, disability organizations, volunteers and members of the SCI community joined forces to make Wheels In Motion a day to remember.

“Wheels In Motion is successful due to the generosity of our corporate partners and the dedication and hard work of thousands of volunteers who organize and stage this event every year,” said Bill Crook, Executive Director of Rick Hansen Wheels In Motion. “In these difficult economic times, it is inspiring to see so many people give their time and support to Wheels In Motion. These efforts will truly touch the lives of thousands of people.”

“The thousands of Scotiabank employees who get involved with Wheels In Motion events across Canada are helping build awareness and raise funds that come back to our communities to make them more accessible and inclusive for everyone,” said Rick Waugh, President and CEO, Scotiabank. “For the past seven years, Scotiabank has been a proud sponsor of Wheels In Motion, supporting the work of the Rick Hansen Foundation. This reflects our commitment to an inclusive and accessible workplace and community for our employees and customers across the country.

Wheels In Motion benefits greatly from the commitment and involvement of presenting partner Scotiabank, along with other Wheels In Motion corporate partners. The success of the event is also made possible through the support of spinal cord injury community partners which include the Canadian Paraplegic Association, Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association and Canadian Wheelchair Basketball Association.

Funds raised through Rick Hansen Wheels In Motion are allocated through the SCI Solutions Network, a Canada-wide collaboration of people with spinal cord injuries, researchers and service providers, along with their respective organizations, all committed to addressing priority needs and generating solutions for Canadians with SCI. While Wheels In Motion focuses on orchestrating the event itself, the SCI Solutions Network assumes responsibility for allocating the funds raised, and has established Solutions Teams that work at the local, regional and national levels to identify priority needs and deliver customized solutions, from point of injury to full community participation.

Canadians can donate at Scotiabank branches across Canada or online at www.wheelsinmotion.org until June 30, 2009.

About the Rick Hansen Foundation:
As a social innovator, the Rick Hansen Foundation has two primary goals: Create accessible and inclusive communities for people with spinal cord injury, and champion research for a cure for spinal cord injury. Inspired by the extraordinary achievement of Rick Hansen’s Man In Motion World Tour, the Foundation strives to make a positive difference in the quality of life of people with spinal cord injury. Visit the website at www.rickhansen.com

About Scotiabank:
Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad. Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for its charitable donations and philanthropic activities, in 2008 the Bank provided about $43 million in sponsorships and donations to a variety of projects and initiatives, primarily in the areas of healthcare, education, social services and arts and culture. Visit the website at www.scotiabank.com.

For further information
Dylan DeMarsh, Communications Manager, Wheels In Motion, (705) 874-0266

Source: Scotiabank – Sponsorships & Donations; Scotiabank; RICK HANSEN FOUNDATION