This blog is not about politics, the environment or the media, it’s about a person.
In what now seems like another life, I raced and coached Alpine skiing in Canada for a number of years.
The work and time I spent with high performance athletes, and the dedication and commitment required to achieve excellence has stayed with me all my life. Sometimes there were tragedies.
In the Toronto Star this morning there is a story written by Randy Starkman about Scott Finley, a former ski racer. It is a follow-up piece to a weekend feature published on March 12th called; “The Skier, When Love Runs out of Time.”
In 1978 at the Canadian Alpine Championships in Lake Louise, Scott was racing for the National Capital Ski Division and, in the downhill that day, he went off the course near the finish line and hit a tree. I remember it to this day. I was there; I saw it happen.
Scott is from Napanee, Ontario and he suffered a severe brain injury that changed the course of his life and that of his family. His mother and father have looked after Scott since that day. Rosemary and Hugh are now 80 and 81 respectively and they are concerned that Scott will have no place to go after they are gone.
They have undertaken a tremendous project. Hugh and Rosemary are the driving forces behind the establishment of a 12-bed home in Napanee for brain injury patients like Scott. It is a $1.6 million dollar fund raising effort and the response has been great. The skiers in Canada who knew Scott have made a commitment to raise $800,000.
I am very pleased that Jeff Armstrong, formerly one of my racers on the Northern Ontario Ski Team, and now a successful businessman in the area has taken a lead in assisting the Findley’s. He has a simple message to everyone: “Let’s show the Findley’s that Scott is one of us and that we haven’t forgotten him.”
A Fund has been established called; Napanee Acquired Brain Injury and Rehab Home, Box 33, Napanee, Ontario, K7R 3L4. All donations are being held in trust and a charitable, non-profit status has been applied for. Tax receipts will be issued for all donations.
In my eight years coaching I saw some terrible accidents. A racer of mine, Rene Dallaire, went off course one afternoon, hit a tree and will be a paraplegic for life. I recall another US racer dying from a fall on the downhill at Whistler. Scott is a remarkable man and he has, with the help of his parents and friends, stayed with us so let’s make sure he can continue his quality of life and, as Jeff says, “is not forgotten.”
Thanks in advance for any donations to assist this worthy cause, not only for Scott, but others in the same position.
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