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Fundraiser nets $230K for spinal cord research

Funding to go to John and Penny Ryan B.C. leadership chair at UBC for spinal cord research


By Andrew Mitchell

In 1999 WhistlerÕs John Ryan hand pedalled a bike 8,688 kilometres across Canada, raising more than a million dollars for spinal cord research.

On Saturday Ryan raised almost a quarter as much money in one night, as he hosted the second annual ÒReservedÓ fundraiser for the John and Penny Ryan B.C. leadership chair at UBC for spinal cord research.

Guests for the event included Dr. John Steeves from Vancouver General Hospital and UBC, Man In Motion Rick Hansen, Steve Podborski, CBC Hockey Night In Canada personalities Kelly Hrudey and Kirk McLean, and Vancouver Canuck Trevor Linden.

Altogether the event raised $230,000 for the chair, mostly through a range of live auction items:

¥ A ski day with Steve Podborski, including lunch on the mountain at ChristineÕs, a massage from Whistler Physiotherapy, and dinner with John and Penny Ryan with chef Roland Pfaff of Val DÕIsere went for $40,000.

¥ Tickets to see U2 in LA, with airfare and a stay at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills Hotel went for $15,000.

¥ Box seats to see Sarah McLaughlin in Vancouver with up to 14 people went for $11,000.

¥ A five-litre bottle of Mouton Rothschild Vintage went for $12,000.

¥ A day of sturgeon fishing with Rick Hansen went for $7,200.

¥ A chance to do Hockey Night in Canada with Kelly Hrudey went for $9,600.

Dozens of other items were up for bid in the live and silent auction at the gala evening at the Four Seasons which featured hors dÕouevres by the Culinary Team Canada, and the band Bluesberry Jam.