Greg Welgan

Fundraising campaign helps Nanaimo family become more mobile

NANAIMO – Real Canadian Superstore and President's Choice Children's Charity gives $20,000 for wheelchair accessible van for local family.

A Nanaimo family will become more mobile thanks to a $20,000 grant from Real Canadian Superstore and President’s Choice Children’s Charity.

Benjamin Estes, 13, and his brother Maxwell, 18, whose disabilities force them to rely heavily on wheelchairs to get around, and their parents Janet Cook and Gary Ong, were presented with the grant by staff at the Real Canadian Superstore in Nanaimo Wednesday.

The money will help purchase a van with a sliding ramp that will make it easier to load and unload the brothers and their wheelchairs.

“We have a Subaru Forester, so we kind of stack [the wheelchairs] on top of each other,” Cook said. “The van will have a manual pull-out ramp and Max also has an electric wheelchair – because neither of the boys can walk long distances and he’s quite heavy – so it’s easier for us with that. We have three foster kids too and it’s impossible for us to go anywhere in one vehicle, so the van will allow us to go out as a family.”

The money was raised from customers through in-store fundraising campaigns, direct employee contributions and several barbecues throughout the year.

“All funds that are raised in our communities, Nanaimo, whatever store, those funds are directed to the individuals in that market, so the funds don’t go to families in Toronto. It’s coordinated to those communities they’re in,” said Greg Welgan, store manager.

In 2013 alone, President’s Choice Children’s Charity granted more than $1 million to 107 families and 211 nutrition programs, which feed more than 33,000 children in B.C.

For more information, please visit or call 1-800-361-1168.

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