Leduc Sweepers In The Drop Zone – An Easter Seals Story

Pipestone Flyer

What would compel two Leduc business owners to leave their professional duties for one day to rappel down 29 stories of a downtown high-by rise on a cool summer morning?

Deciding that the Easter Seals Campaign was a worthy cause and, Ralph Wiesner, owner of Fireplaces by Leduc Chimney Sweep, and his brother-in-law Hans Deweerd, owner of Cabana Pet Resort, raised $3,000 to participate in the Drop Zone –a rappel day for Easter Seals – whose motto is “EMPOWERING people with disabilities”. On Wednesday, August 28, participants who met the fitness and fundraising criteria ($1,500 minimum) joined radio and TV personalities from CBC, who of course helped boost the campaign’s exposure.

Spectators were welcome, and they were delighted to see that some participants were costumed as their favorite Superheroes – a subtle indication that they are, in fact, heralded as Easter Seals Heroes.

The Easter Seals is a national organization that helps children and adults with disabilities to meet the costs of essential equipment and services. As children grow and their disability progresses, their support equipment needs to be upgraded or replaced; these overwhelming costs, sometimes reaching $10,000 to $40,000 a year place a heavy burden of stress on the families. Each year, thousands of families are helped by generous individuals and corporate donors through Easter Seals- Alberta.

Hans Deweerd and his wife Charlene, foster parents for many years, know firsthand the challenging disabilities that can affect the development and life of a youth. Prior to the Drop Zone, the rappelling event at the Sutton Place Hotel in Edmonton on Thursday, August 28, participants attended a mandatory training session at Vertically Inclined Rock Gym.

Following the rappel day, a banquet was held at the Sutton Hotel: MC’d by the vivacious and big-hearted Bridget Ryan, it introduced the Easter Seals 2014 Northern Alberta Ambassador Portia Dugan.

As used mobility equipment can be donated such as van lifts, power wheelchairs and power scooters, this campaign has raised awareness and donations are still accepted until October at www.easterseals.ab.ca.

Innisfail-Sylvan Lake MLA Kerry Towle, also the Wild Rose critic for Human Services, Seniors and the Solicitor General, was among the rappelers: she is well aware of the many challenges facing people with disabilities and believes the Easter Seals Drop Zone rappel experience was a “fantastic challenge, safe and…terrifying!” In memory of her brother who passed away at 35 after a brave battle with Huntington Disease, MLA Towle appreciates the increased awareness the Drop Zone has brought to the Easter Seals’ mission to alleviate the many fears faced by people with disabilities, and their need in securing mobility aids and agency services. To date, this Northern Alberta Rappel Day has raised $120,547.

Well done, “Leduc Sweepers” Ralph Wiesner and Hans Deweerd! Along with Alberta MLA Kerry Towle and many other brave supporters, your kind heart and adventurous nature has served the Easter Seals well.

The Pipestone Flyer wishes to thank Karen Wiesner for submitting photos and valuable details to this reporter.

Pictured: Below: DROP ZONE participants Ralph Wiesner & Hans Deweerd. Photo submitted by Karen Wiesner

Just Posted

Pro wrestling coming to Wetaskiwin

Prairie Wrestling Alliance coming to Edmonton International Raceway July 21

Writer says NDP government ignores Albertans they don’t like

Government obsessed with ‘victims:’ writer

Wetaskiwin man facing more charges after second raid in two weeks

RCMP execute search warrant at same senior citizen’s Wetaskiwin residence

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

Maskwacis RCMP suspect Delaina Lace Cutarm, 29, killed by vehicle

Maskwacis RCMP investigate pedestrian fatality

Angry giant baby Trump balloon makes him feel ‘unwelcome’ in London

Trump told The Sun newspaper that he felt unwelcome in London because of protests, including a giant balloon that was being flown over Parliament on Friday.

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

Almost every part of Canada’s largest national park deteriorating: federal study

Drawing on decades of research — the report lists 50 pages of citations

Canadian soccer fans brace for World Cup final between France, Croatia

First ever final for the Croatians, while it’s France’s third, going into match as betting favourite

Belgium finishes 3rd at World Cup, beats England 2-0

France and Croatia will play in the final on Sunday at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow

Police arrest Indigenous pipeline protester occupying B.C. park

Led by Kanahus Manuel, the Tiny House Warriors moved into park in Clearwater last week

‘Flipping Amazing’ Pancake Breakfast welcomes 6,000 Central Albertans

Westerner Days is, unofficially, underway after Bower Place held their annual Pancake Breakfast.

Most Read