October 15, 2004 -
Bishop Alexander Carter Secondary School in Hanmer Ontario may only house 187 students, but their size doesn’t affect their community spirit.|
Bishop Alexander Carter recently hosted its first “Wheel “N” The Hoops" wheelchair basketball exhibition match, helping create awareness and raise funds for both Sudbury's premier wheelchair basketball team - Sudbury Rolling Thunder - and for Ontario March of Dimes North East Region. Students raised $1,300 in support of Ontario March of Dimes' Recreation and Integration Program, and to help Sudbury Rolling Thunder purchase a sports wheelchair.
“Students demonstrated incredible spirit towards both our causes during this event," says Richard P. Migneault, Ontario March of Dimes North East Region fundraising coordinator. "They truly rallied together and made a significant impact in helping to support community programs which will greatly benefit people with disabilities."
As part of the event, Bishop Alexander Carter students and teachers rolled onto the court to challenge “The Thunder” to two afternoon wheelchair basketball exhibition matches. Counsellor Ron Dupuis and MCTV news anchor Tony Raina joined the teachers on the celebrity team. For many of the challengers, the matches represented the first time they had attempted to manoeuvre a manual wheelchair. As a result, Sudbury Rolling Thunder won both contests.
"Wheel “N” The Hoops is a wonderful educational vehicle to promote the talents and abilities of people with disabilities through the game of wheelchair basketball," states Richard Marcotte, Sudbury Rolling Thunder's team captain. "Many are often reluctant to interact with people with disabilities on a social level, however, these matches help to break down some of these types of barriers."
Organizers wish to thank Beverly Belanger, teacher and event coordinator from Bishop Alexander Carter Secondary, for being so instrumental in organizing the event. Beverly did a marvellous job in coordinating all necessary aspects of the event, and clearly motivated everyone to take part. A very special thanks is also extended to the event timekeepers and referee for ensuring that players from all teams played honestly and fairly. These matches would not have been possible without their involvement on the court. Mr. Brian Beaupre, who supplied outstanding commentary during the matches, must be recognized for his super play-by-play action and for adding so much great humour to the environment. Shoppers Home Healthcare must also be acknowledged for providing several manual wheelchairs for the event, as well as Rolly's ATV, Marine & Snowmobile, for sponsoring Sudbury Rolling Thunder.
We also wish to congratulate Eric Bellefeuille, the event’s highest pledge earner. Eric collected $320 and won a Sony Discman and a Sony MP3 player. Many thanks go to the Sony Store, Toppers Pizza and other local merchants for supplying prizes for the pledge competition. Last but not least, we once again thank all the students. Their genuine interest and participation has played a significant role in ensuring our programs continue, grow and meet the needs of the disabled community.
Sudbury Rolling Thunder is a group of individuals with its own distinct identity within the sporting community. Sharing a common passion for the game of wheelchair basketball for the past 10 years, the team is the only one of its kind in the Sudbury area dedicated in integrating persons with disabilities and able-bodied game enthusiasts of all ages.
To book a wheelchair basketball exhibition match, please call 1-705-521-1301.
Story reprinted with the permission of Ontario March of Dimes North East Region. Visit their website to learn more.