The McVicker family’s multi-generational involvement with SCIO began when Ulric McVicker sustained a spinal cord injury in 1999. Not long after, he was assigned Elizabeth Zarnowiecki as his Regional Services
Co-ordinator. It was during this time that Ulric was introduced to SCIO and the benefits of our services. Ulric’s daughter, Vanessa recalls the time fondly, “Elizabeth was so warm and friendly, he took to her. We saw first-hand the wonderful things the program offered and we wanted to give back.”
And give back they did – for decades since, the McVicker family have been a huge part of SCIO’s community. The family have put their heart and soul into raising funds and awareness for the organization, including donating their invaluable time and effort. Vanessa has fundraised at every event in the London/Kitchener region. Her children, Sarah and Nathaniel, grew up volunteering with SCIO and have since become staples of the community events. In addition to all of this, Vanessa, her sister Simone, and their spouses have formed a powerful Wheelchair Relay team for many years, with their Mom and other family members on the sidelines cheering them on. It’s a real family affair!
As way of thanks to the McVicker family, SCIO’s team in London ensured that they were featured at the London Community Celebration event in 2019. Sheila Daniel, Development Officer in the South Western Region, noted, “It has been a pleasure having the McVicker family play such an important role in our events, their involvement has gone a long way to enhance the occasions. It has been wonderful seeing their children grow up and continue to be involved. Vanessa herself continues to volunteer her time with the London Event Planning Committee. We’re so grateful to the whole family for everything they have contributed to SCIO.”
Why do the McVicker family still support SCIO and volunteer their time so many years later? Vanessa tells us, “We will continue to give time and energy to SCIO. We’ll never forget what my Dad went through when he sustained his SCI and it’s important to remember that others will experience the same. We just have to be there to support them.”
Oda Al-anizi is Information and Resource Specialist at SCIO’s Toronto location.