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UVic grad continues adventures in philanthropy

To celebrate his graduation, UVic student Sam Wade has organized the Easter Seals on Wheels fundraiser. He and a pal are cycling 3,000 km to Mexico.  - Travis Paterson/News staff
To celebrate his graduation, UVic student Sam Wade has organized the Easter Seals on Wheels fundraiser. He and a pal are cycling 3,000 km to Mexico.
— image credit: Travis Paterson/News staff

Graduating University of Victoria psychology major Sam Wade likes an adventure and he likes to help others.

Coming up in the 21-year-old’s calendar is a six-month scholarship to practise speaking Mandarin in China as well as a 3,000 kilometre bike ride to Mexico. The former comes as a welcome surprise. Wade won a recent singing contest at a Chinese Bridge Competition, an annual exchange to promote inter-cultural awareness between Canada and China.

The trip to Mexico, however, has been in the works since Wade, his pal Brian Tong, and two others, rode their bikes across Canada two years ago. Along the way, they raised $13,000 for The Prostate Centre in Victoria.

“That started with me wanting to do something in 2008. I’d been thinking of doing a fundraiser for the Prostate Centre and, the next month, my grandfather was diagnosed with prostate cancer. It all just clicked.”

They called it Pedalers for Prostate and hit up newspapers across the country to spread the word. His grandfather has since recovered and Wade is happy to have put something toward the cause.

Now Wade and Tong are onto their next campaign, Easter Seals on Wheels.

It’s just the two of them. They embark for Mexico on April 30.

“This time we set our goal at $8,000. We learned a lot about fundraising when we set a goal for $25,000 last time, though we’re very happy to have brought in more than half that.”

So dar, they’ve already gathered $2,000 for their new cause.

The inspiration came from Wade’s numerous volunteer stints as an outdoor pursuit programmer at Camp Squamish.

“It’s a big deal for me. For these kids it’s one of their only chances to spend a night outdoors tenting and roasting marshmallows.”

For more information, or to donate to the cause, e-mail contact.esw@gmail.com or visit www.eastersealcamps.ca/easter-seals-wheels.

sports@vicnews.com

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