Oct 4, 2018
By James Oloo
On Saturday September 22, 2018, several people of different age groups gathered at the Saskatoon Civic Square in downtown Saskatoon for the 19th annual Spinal Cord Injury Saskatchewan Wheelchair Relay.
The relay race, which featured teams of four participants competing to see who would be the first to cross the finish line, started with a race involving Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark, Brad Kraft of the Saskatchewan Rattlers professional basketball team, and Spinal Cord Injury Saskatchewan President Bill Lehne, who is also an Employment Services Manager at Gabriel Dumont Institute Training and Employment, Saskatoon.
For the second year in a row, Gabriel Dumont Institute was represented by wheelchair relay team, Sashy Wheelers. Team members included Justin Basaraba (Accounting Clerk, Gabriel Dumont Institute Training and Employment), Gary Kachula (Accounting Coordinator), James Oloo (Research Coordinator), and Bill Lehne.
Sashy Wheelers advanced to the final heat. Justin Basaraba was recognized for being the individual who raised the highest amount of funds, while Sashy Wheelers took home the hardware for highest team pledges.
The cold, wet, and snowy day did not dim the passion and enthusiasm of the competitors, volunteers, and attendees. Rather, it was a testament to the challenges faced in real life conditions by wheelchair users.
As part of its community engagement and social responsibility, Gabriel Dumont Institute was this year’s Silver Sponsor of the Relay. The fund raiser event was successful in meeting its two main objectives: creating and promoting awareness of spinal cord injury, and raising in excess of $20,000.
Spinal Cord Injury Saskatchewan assists individuals with spinal cord injuries or any other physical disability to live more independent and productive lives. The organization serves more than 1,700 clients across Saskatchewan.