Rich Brooks Hill, Vancouver Investment
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.
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.