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Funder's Story, a Family Tie:

Rich Brooks Hill, Vancouver Investment Manager

Charitable organizations, such as the Disabled Sailing Association, operate in a very competitive climate in terms of potential funding sources. It's of course interesting to know how benefactors such as Rick Brooks-Hill choose who they will support.

While monitoring a particularly volatile day on the stock market from the Vancouver office of his investment firm, Rick said, "I'm an ex-jock, and 'ex' is the operative word by the way. I'm a life-long sailor and I'd call sailing a necessity.

"You can't imagine, unless it's been denied to you , how essential it is for people to get out into the natural environment. That's especially true for people who are confined or restricted due to a disability. And sailing is one of the few sports disabled people can practice and compete in a totally independent manner."

How does someone who is a senior partner in a very busy investment firm know so much about the participants of the program he generously supports? "I don’t get down to the water as much as I'd like to. A lot my information comes from my two daughters who were both DSA volunteers."

DSA is grateful that generosity runs in the family.

Hooked on Volunteering with DSA:

Colin Lee, Radiology Consultant

Colin Lee ran a co-operative sailing program before becoming involved with the DSA program. He was a staff captain at the Kitsilano Club and was commodore of the sailing cooperative for four years. Colin agreed, somewhat reluctantly he admits, to give it a try. His first teaching experience converted him into one of the DSA's strongest supporters.

His student was a young girl with cerebral palsy. It was nearly impossible for them to communicate on a verbal level, but sailing is an experience that is hard to put into words anyway. Colin took his protégé around the harbour, gradually hiking up the boat to a point where it was sailing "flat out" in the strong winds. He thought they had had a lot of fun and was taken aback when, back on shore, the young girl's mother took one look at her daughter and asked what Colin had done. Colin thought he might have gone too fast for the first time out until the mother added, "I've never seen her smile this way before."

Asked about his motivations concerning DSA, Colin uses superlatives to describe the program and the gratification he receives from participating. He feels, however, that superlatives don’t really do it justice.

  Image: Colin Lee, DSA volunteer.

Colin Lee - Volunteer

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