Fishing Challenge reels in over $155,000 for spinal cord injury

  • Jul. 2, 2007 7:00 p.m.

Submitted article–Fifty-three business leaders from across North America joined Rick Hansen to raise $155,000 at the 10th Annual Rick Hansen Fishing Challenge at Langara Fishing Lodge June 23-26. The challenge has now raised more than $1,155,000 since 1998, with the money dedicated to making Canada more accessible and inclusive for people with spinal cord injury, and supporting research for new treatments leading to a cure. Money raised this year will be directed to the Rick Hansen Foundation Ambassador program. Ambassadors share their personal stories of inspiration and courage in communities across Canada to raise awareness about the potential of people with disabilities and to motivate people of all abilities to reach for their dreams. The “big fish” of this year’s tournament – all with catches of Chinook salmon – were: . 1st Place: Mark Tupper, President of T&T Parts Ltd., Maple Ridge, 39 lbs;. 2nd Place: Larry Schmidt, First Vice President of CIBC Wood Gundy, Winnipeg 36 lbs; and. 3rd Place: Tracey Leiweke of Bellingham, WA and brother of Tod Leiweke, CEO of the Seattle Seahawks, 35 ½ lbs. “I am honoured to be part of this event which brings business and community leaders together to enjoy some of the best saltwater fishing in the world, all while raising funds that will make a significant difference in the lives of people with spinal cord injury,” said Rick Hansen. Mr. Hansen, a passionate angler since childhood, launched the challenge in 1998 and the event has since become an integral part of the Rick Hansen Foundation’s mission to advance spinal cord injury research and remove barriers that prevent people with disabilities from participating in and contributing to our communities. The event also raises funds and awareness for salmon conservation issues, with 10 percent of funds raised being donated to the Pacific Salmon Foundation.Members of the business community travelled from Eastern Canada and the US. “The privilege of supporting Rick, while spending time with so many great people is one of the highlights of my year,” said Seattle Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke, who this year attended his eighth Fishing Challenge. “The Rick Hansen Foundation would like to recognize Scotiabank as well as the incredible generosity of the event’s hosts, Langara Fishing Lodge.