Raising awareness, changing attitudes and removing barriers for people with disabilities in the built environment


Published: June 14 2010

Thousands of Canadians join Rick Hansen’s journey towards a fully inclusive and accessible world

Vancouver, BC – In the 25 years since his legendary Man In Motion World Tour captured the nation’s imagination, Rick Hansen has continued his journey to realize the dream of a world that is inclusive and accessible to all. This past weekend, thousands of Canadians demonstrated their support for this dream at Rick Hansen Wheels In Motion events across Canada. Preliminary results indicate that the 8th annual Rick Hansen Wheels In Motion, presented by Scotiabank, has already raised more than $1 million, with additional funds still to come.

"This year saw the launch of the 25th Anniversary of the Man In Motion World Tour with many exciting initiatives planned over the next two years until May 22, 2012, and Wheels In Motion marked another milestone in our journey towards making Canada a better place for people of all abilities," said Rick Hansen, President and CEO of the Rick Hansen Foundation. "It is inspiring to see so many people striving to realize the same dream – a Canada that is inclusive and accessible for everyone."

Funds raised by Wheels In Motion will support a wide range of life-enhancing programs that allow people with spinal cord injury (SCI) to fully participate in their community and live life to its full potential. The majority of funds will stay in the community where they were raised to support local projects, with remaining funds directed toward national projects that hold the promise of benefiting all Canadians living with SCI. Since the inception of Rick Hansen Wheels In Motion in 2003, Canadians have raised more than $10 million to support some 900 projects in communities across Canada that improve the quality of life of people living with SCI.

For the eighth 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.

"The success of Wheels In Motion is due to the generosity of our corporate partners and the dedication and hard work of thousands of volunteers who organize Wheels In Motion events every year," said Bill Barrable, CEO of the Rick Hansen Institute. "The contribution that these people and organizations have made, along with the thousands of people who participated in Wheels In Motion this weekend, will make an incredible difference in the lives of people living with spinal cord injury across Canada."

"Since 2003, Scotiabank has been a proud sponsor of Wheels In Motion and the work of the Rick Hansen Foundation," said Scotiabank Executive Vice-President of Personal & Commercial Canadian Banking, Anatol von Hahn. "This year, thousands of Scotiabank employees across Canada participated in Wheels In Motion events in their communities, helping to build further awareness about spinal cord injury while raising funds to make their local communities more accessible and inclusive for everyone."

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 SCI community partners which include the Canadian Paraplegic Association, Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association and Canadian Wheelchair Basketball Association.

Wheels In Motion events are organized across Canada by the Rick Hansen Institute – a national network of individuals and organizations passionate about improving the quality of life of Canadians living with SCI. Comprised of people with SCI, service providers, researchers, healthcare professionals and others, RHI works at the local, regional and national levels to identify priority unmet needs and support solutions that make a genuine difference in the lives of Canadians with SCI. For more information about the Rick Hansen Institute, please visit: http://www.rickhanseninstitute.org/

Canadians can donate at Scotiabank branches across Canada or online at http://www.wheelsinmotion.org/ until June 30, 2010.

About the Rick Hansen Foundation:
A registered charitable organization, the Rick Hansen Foundation provides the leadership to create more accessible and inclusive communities for people with a spinal cord injury, and supports the search for a cure. The Foundation achieves its goals by connecting the people and resources that make innovation possible. 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 2009 the Bank provided about $39 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 us at http://www.scotiabank.com/.

For more information please contact:

Dylan DeMarsh
Communications Manager, Wheels In Motion

Livy Feldgajer
Scotiabank Public Affairs

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