Paralympian Kelly Smith to climb down Vancouver building to help children with disabilities



    VANCOUVER, Sept. 12 /CNW Telbec/ - Paralympian Kelly Smith will be
repelling down a 20-storey Vancouver building on September 17 to raise money
for children with disabilities.
    It's an especially difficult test for Kelly, 42, as he was injured in an
October 1991 rock climbing accident in Kelowna, BC that left him partially
paralyzed.
    "Mentally, this will not be a cake walk for me. I can't look down anymore
when I'm climbing, whereas before (the accident) I used to get a big thrill
out of it," said Smith.
    But for Smith the cause - raising money for Easters Seals - is worth
facing "the mental fear."
    Since his accident, Smith has done climbs of no more than 20 feet in the
gym that almost made him pass out. The Vancouver building climb will be more
than 10 times the height of those gym climbs, but he's willing to take on the
challenge to raise money to provide opportunities for children with
disabilities and help set them on a fulfilling life path.
    "I'm connected to the cause and I'm glad I've been able to give back to
this community since retiring from competition," said Smith, who won silver in
the wheelchair marathon at the 2004 Athens Summer Paralympic Games.
    Smith will be participating with others in the Easter Seals Drop Zone
fundraiser taking place at 999 West Hastings Street in Vancouver. Money raised
at the Vancouver event will benefit Easter Seal houses in Vancouver, Prince
George and Victoria as well as summer camps for children with a physical or
mental disability in Shawnigan, Winfield and Squamish.
    Repels down tall buildings are also happening in Victoria, Calgary,
Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax on
September 17 as part of a larger Canada-wide Easter Seals Drop Zone
fundraising event.

    The Easter Seals Drop Zone in Vancouver is produced by the BC Lions
Society for Children with Disabilities. If you would like to sponsor Smith, go
to www.thedropzone.ca.




For further information:

For further information: Kelly Smith, Paralympian (wheelchair silver
medalist, Athens 2004), (604) 787-2014, kelly@wheel-power.com; Norma Reveler,
Canadian Paralympic Committee, (613) 569-4333, ext. 227, norma@paralympic.ca;
and Jenny Hubbard, BC Lions Society for Children with Disabilities, (604)
873-1865, jhubbard@lionsbc.ca.


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