For immediate release:
Contact: Doug Hamlin (518) 339-6046
JUNE 5 OUR ABILITY FUNDRAISER TO FEATURE NYS CANAL CORPORATION DIRECTOR BRIAN STRATTON
360 mile Journey will once again focus on everyone’s Abilities
Our Ability, Inc. will embark on their second annual Journey Along the Erie Canal later this month. To draw attention and financial support to their effort, a fundraiser will be held at the Skaneateles Country Club on Thursday June 5 from 6:00 to 9:00pm. Brian Stratton, Director of the Canal Corporation will to attend to lend his support to this unique effort.
John Robinson and Doug Hamlin will once again board their adaptive bicycles along with family and friends on an ambitious twelve-day ride across upstate New York on the Erie Canalway Trail. The Journey will raise awareness and funds to provide expanded employment and education opportunities for people with disabilities.
“We knew we were successful in 2013, when a young man with a physical disability approached us on the street and very quietly asked us if he can join us in 2014!” said Robinson who, through his organization Our Ability, mentors, connects and inspires people with disabilities toward education and employment.
“The New York State Canal Corporation is proud to partner with John, Doug, and everyone at Our Ability for the second consecutive Journey Along the Erie Canal,” said Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton. “Last year, the message of inclusion and inner strength that is at the heart of this great trek was met with an outpouring of support at each stop along the historic Erie Canal. Through our partnership with Our Ability, NYSARC and our other sponsors, we will ensure 2014’s Journey will be even larger and its message is spread even further.”
The Journey begins on June 30 in Tonawanda and will end at the State Capitol in Albany on July 11.
Our Ability is partnering with the New York State Canal Corporation, the Disability Education Forum of New York, Inc., the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, New York State Industries for the Disabled, Inc. (NYSID), and NYSARC, Inc. which is celebrating its 65th anniversary, to make this year’s Journey even more successful than last year.
As the tour makes its way across New York, NYSARC chapters have planned daily celebrations on the route, including riders that will join Robinson and Hamlin for parts of the trip. The Journey will conclude on the Capitol steps in Albany coinciding with NYSARC’s 65th anniversary celebration.
As a congenital amputee born without full arms and legs, John Robinson overcame countless obstacles to become a successful businessman, family man and inspirational speaker. He founded Our Ability with Doug Hamlin, a 28-year veteran of the software industry who is a quadriplegic as a result of an accident, as a way of helping to mentor and inspire people with disabilities through positive video stories.
Robinson was inspired to undertake the first Journey Along the Erie Canal by his wife, Andrea, and two children after receiving a three-wheeled, hand-operated bicycle as a donation. His family helped him learn how to ride and then train for the statewide journey. Hamlin joined Robinson in 2013 and saw what the ride symbolized. He once again rides alongside Robinson on his own specialized bicycle.