The Michel Garant Challenge for Mira is now in full swing

339

Michel & Mollo - Mai 2012. Courtoisie Guylaine Asselin
Michel & Mollo – Mai 2012. Courtoisie Guylaine Asselin

THUNDER BAY – The Michel Garant’s Challenge for Mira is now in full swing as Michel Garant, paraplegic for 8 years now, crosses Canada using a Top End model, 27 Speed adaptable strong arm bike, accompanied by Mollo, his faithful Mira Service Dog. Michel has completed the Provinces of British Colombia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. After his passage through Kenora and the many communities along the way, Michel is approaching Thunder Bay.

He will make a stop in front of the Terry Fox Monument tomorrow July 18th at 10 o’clock to honour his courage as well as his determination and to meet the community.

Left physically challenged following an unfortunate snowboarding accident, Michel has maintained his contagious joie de vivre and is more active and happier than ever. With this spectacular endeavour of 83 cities, 7,302 km in 90 days that started in Vancouver on June 9th 2012, Michel will be the first paraplegic athlete to cross Canada on a strong arm bike and for a cause.

The task is quite daring but Michel is determined, with the support of his sponsors and supporters, to bring awareness to as many Canadians as possible to the fact that Mira offer free services by providing top quality specially trained dogs to individuals with one or many visual or motor disabilities, and to children presenting Pervasive Development Disorders such as autism.

Along with this extraordinary athletic challenge, Michel reiterates that Mira has given 46 dogs to Canadians living outside of Quebec and the Maritimes. In fact, 18 of Mira’s Service Dog have been given in Ontario. In order to meet the ever expanding demand for Mira’s free Service Dogs, he is rolling out the first pan-Canadian campaign, calling upon the generosity of Canadians of all provinces.

The avant-garde vision of its founder Eric St-Pierre has made Mira a pioneer and precursor in training Service Dogs for challenged people in a unique and innovative way. Each year, approximately 180 new handicapped people are served, and follow-up services are provided to the users of over 800 dogs already in service. Mira has provided 2,000 guide dogs and service dogs since its creation in 1981. Each dog represents an investment of $30,000 and is given free of charge.

The Mira Foundation is a non-profit organization employing 83 people. Receiving no government funding, its annual financing depends entirely on fundraising events organized by thousands of volunteers and generous donors.