Canadians unite to help people living with spinal cord injury

    Preliminary Results indicate Rick Hansen Wheels In Motion has raised more
    than $2 million

    VANCOUVER, June 10 /CNW/ - Thousands of people came together this past
weekend in communities across Canada to gain a better understanding of what it
is like to navigate through life in a wheelchair. In the process they raised
millions of dollars for people living with spinal cord injury (SCI). Funds are
still coming in, but preliminary results indicate that the 6th annual Rick
Hansen Wheels In Motion, presented by Scotiabank, has raised more than $2
    "I am overwhelmed by the support Canadians have shown for this event,"
said Rick Hansen, President and CEO of the Rick Hansen Foundation. "Thanks to
the hard work of thousands of volunteers and participants, this year's Wheels
In Motion looks to be the most successful ever. I am amazed by the commitment
that people from across this country have made to help improve the lives of
people with spinal cord injury, and I am proud to say that their efforts are
making a difference."
    Canadians have now contributed more than $9.6 million to Wheels In Motion
since its inception in 2003 to support more than 750 Quality of Life projects
in communities from Victoria to St. John's. These life-changing projects have
given thousands of Canadians the opportunity to live their lives with greater
dignity and independence and allowed them to play a more active role in their
    "So many people have united with a desire to make this country a better
place for people living with spinal cord injury, and we will make sure that
their efforts result in a country that is more accessible and inclusive," said
Hansen. "Through Quality of Life initiatives we will help as many people as
possible live active and healthy lives."
    For the sixth straight 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 couldn't be such a success if not for the generousity
of partners like Scotiabank 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. "The results of these
incredible efforts can be seen in the hundreds of projects we have funded and
thousands of lives we have touched through Wheels In Motion."
    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 Association des
paraplégiques du Québec, the Association québécoise des sports en fauteuil
roulant, and the Fondation pour la Recherche sur la Moelle Epinière.
    Funds raised through Rick Hansen Wheels In Motion are allocated through
the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions Network, composed of people with SCI,
researchers, service providers and others who are are passionate about
developing solutions for Canadians living with SCI. The Spinal Cord Injury
Solutions Network works 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 until June 30, 2008.

    About the Rick Hansen Foundation:
    The Rick Hansen Foundation is a registered charitable organization that
works to create more accessible and inclusive communities for people with a
spinal cord injury, and supports the search for a cure. Through Rick's
leadership, the Foundation has generated over $200 million for spinal cord
injury related programs and initiatives.
    The Foundation is particularly grateful to our Premier Partner,
Scotiabank, for its outstanding commitment to making a difference in the lives
of people with spinal cord injury.

    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 2007 the Bank provided more than $43 million in sponsorships
and donations to a variety of projects and initiatives, primarily in the areas
of healthcare, education and social services and arts and culture. Please
visit us at

For further information:

For further information: Dylan DeMarsh, Communications Manager, Wheels
In Motion, (604) 709-6340, Email:; Livy Feldgajer,
Scotiabank Public Affairs, (416) 866-6203,

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