Canadians unite to help people living with spinal cord injury

    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
    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 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

    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

For further information:

For further information: Dylan DeMarsh, Communications Manager, Wheels
In Motion, (705) 874-0266, Email:; Livy Feldgajer,
Scotiabank Public Affairs, (416) 866-6203, Email:

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