Difference makers nominated in Williams Lake

Three local people were nominated as difference makers in Williams Lake.

  • Mar. 9, 2012 7:00 a.m.

Three local people were nominated as difference makers in Williams Lake.

The Rick Hansen Final Medal Bearer Difference Maker Award recognizes individuals who have made a significant impact in the area of accessibility, researchers who have advanced discoveries related to Spinal Cord Injury research, community leaders and youth who have put “service above self” to make an extraordinary difference in the lives of others.

Three nominations from Williams Lake were recommended to the Rick Hansen Foundation.

These were Bruce MacLeod as the final medal bearer and Kane Fraser and Diana Donnelly as back-up medal bearers as per foundation guidelines.

MacLeod, a resident of Horsefly, was awarded the position of final medal bearer for the End of Day Celebration on March 25. He will proudly be alongside Rick Hansen on the main stage and have an opportunity to share his story.

MacLeod moved back to his hometown of Horsefly after an accident which resulted in a spinal cord injury. He quickly realized that accessibility in the small rural community needed improvement and went straight to work.

MacLeod has spent numerous hours increasing accessibility and is proud to say that today the entire town is accessible for wheelchair users, with the highlight being an accessible fishing platform.

Fraser has overcome many obstacles after his spinal cord injury. In particular, he sought out a new career as an accountant even though business and technology was not his forte. He is an inspiration to others with disabilities and does not let his mobility challenges get in the way of doing what he loves including fishing, hunting, construction, and trail building. His latest adventure and challenge took him to Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula for the Baja 1000 race in November 2011 to raise funds for the Rick Hansen Foundation.

Donnelly started the Pacific Riding Organization for the Disabled in Williams Lake. Donnelly ensured that horses were transported to the arena and spent countless hours grooming horses, cleaning stalls and making certain volunteers were happy and fed. She gave children with disabilities confidence to try new things and challenged them to reach their full potential.

The End of Day Celebration will take place on March 25 at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex starting at 4 p.m. Come see Hansen and MacLeod, along with local entertainment and special guest Don Alder. Bring your appetite for the family barbecue.

For more information call 250-398-7665.