This post was a long time coming, but the time for it has finally arrived.
But first, let me go into a little bit of background information. My good buddy, Trevor Stride, whom I might add I taught when he was back in my second and third years teaching in Conne River. He came to me in grade 11 and was in a big fancy wheelchair. Each morning, noon and evening after school his father would bring him to school and have to lift him from the truck to the chair, and vice versa. I remember thinking that this was a little unorthodox because it would be so much easier to have a ramp or a lift so not to have to manually move Trevor to and from the chair each time…. And this was just for going to school.
Trevor was an outspoken student and made no bones about it; after he graduated I basically had no choice but to go have coffee with his father. So of course I did, because I never turn down a coffee.
Over the years I got to be great friends with Trevor and his family, but there was still always one issue, and that was just that he was not privy to getting out of the house much because it was so much hassle and so much work to get him in and out of the family vehicles.
Back in 2010 around the holidays Trevor began fundraising for a new wheelchair accessible van. He would, over the years accost me to help selling tickets on things, and help update his blog with the most recent news about his fundraiser – “Trevor Stride’s Fight For Wheels.”
The community of Conne River was highly supportive of Trevor’s endeavours and with each passing week were always more than happy to contribute to his campaign.
Chief and Council in Conne River were entirely supportive as well, and made every effort to ensure that Trevor’s fight for a new van became a reality, just in time for Christmas.
It has been about three years and one heck of a fight, but back in November of this year it became a reality. Over $17,000 was raised and put toward a down payment on a 2014 Ford van that will be made wheelchair accessible with rear access ramps so Trevor can drive his chair right on board. To make things happen, the Conne River Band struck up a deal with Trevor and his father (which I will spare the details about).
While the new van is not yet in Trevor’s driveway, it has become a reality. And given what I know about Trevor over the years, he is none to patient about things. Although he has little choice but to wait as the van is retrofitted with the wheelchair ramp and windows. He should have the van by the middle of January if all goes according to plan.
Everyone is excited about the new vehicle and the promise of making things a lot easier for Trevor’s father. Maybe one of these days Trevor will make it to Saskatchewan to visit his buddy who helped so much with the fundraising.
I think it is awesome that this happened the way it did. Most of the money was contributed from strangers at the annual Powwow and local community members. Everyone who donated and helped should give themselves a pat on the back.
See what I mean? Best Christmas present ever!