Feature Story Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Some Kind of Hero
The indomitable John Wichers is taking the leap again in Winnipeg for Easter Seals
Staff/Voice fiole photos
Canadian hero John Wichers is still raising money for kids. This time it's the Drop Zone for Manitobans with Disabilities.
ohn Wichers, 80, called this morning to say he's still going strong. He still stays in touch and it's always great to hear from him. The Voice featured him last year.
Wichers, a runner and cyclist, rode from Winnipeg to Chilliwack and back again. His goal then was to raise money for 10 handicapped kids' bicycles at a cost of $3000 each.
Well, he did it and got the bicycles. They'll be his legacy for many years to come.
"The kids love them," he says. "They'll be around a long time with just some fixing up."
On his initial trip, he wanted to avoid the traffic of Vancouver so he decided to make Chilliwack the hub where he spun around and headed back east.
While here, he stayed at the historic Royal Hotel. Staff helped him with his bicycle up to the room. He enjoyed the rest and of course to freshen up with a shower.
Wichers was on a mission then and nothing could stop him. After all he had a city backing him up and received a heroes welcome upon his return.
He loved the countryside on his ride so much that he brought his wife back via vehicle to show her the places he traveled to.
Last year, after his magnanimous trip, he took what's called the Drop zone August 22, where tethered participants rappel 75 metres down the Manitoba Hydro building in downtown Winnipeg to raise money for Easter Seals.
The Society for Manitobans with Disabilities must have liked the money he raised because they've invited him back.
Wichers, a former marathoner, is also involved in the Winnipeg Runners Association and still laces up 3 times a week. In addition to that, he cycles a couple of days a week when he can and when the weather cooperates.
As anyone who's ridden in the prairies can tell you, if there's a headwind, you can pedal as hard as want and get absolutely nowhere.
So far Wichers has raised $1000 but is still short $500. If he reaches the $1500 entry fee, there is always room for more donations on top of that.
For those interested in cheering Wichers on and helping him to raise money for The Easter Seals, please visit the Drop Zone. Just mention to which participant you're donating your money to.
After this latest fundraising effort, he's volunteering at the Canada 150 Games.
"I may be driving or something like I did at the Pan Am Games," he says.
After that the Dutch-born Wichers will be flying to Amsterdam to see a sister and then from there they'll go on a 5-week adventure to Greece.
"I've never been there before," he said. " But they recently had a 6.7 earthquake and we need to know it's safe to go there."
He was featured in a Winnipeg Free Press item.
Wichers is an inspiration to all Canadians.
God speed John Wichers and thank you for everything you've done for Canada.