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United Way and Border City Connects team up for trishaw

By July 20, 2022No Comments
Tricia Hunter and her husband, Jamie, were more than willing to take a ride on the trishaw last week as Heather Klages gets some training in with Paul Harris. Taylor Weaver Meridian Source

 

When it comes to bettering the community and those living in it, there’s always an ample number of people in the Border City willing to lend a helping hand.

The Lloydminster and District United Way has stepped up to fill a gap for Border City Connects and will now be responsible for the scheduling and volunteers for the organization’s trishaw, which has been very popular with area seniors since coming to Lloyd three years ago.

“It’s going to be a great relationship here and it’s the key,” said Border City Connects executive director Glenn Fagnan. 

“The United Way is coming in and they’re going to be managing and coordinating the riders and the volunteers. The United Way has graciously stepped up and they’ve offered to do that component and get our seniors back out onto the road, so to speak, and let the wind blow through their hair.”

It’s only been three years, but Border City Connects has seen the positive impact the trishaw has had on, not only its riders but also its pilots.

“For the people themselves, just having the wind go through their hair, or when you hit something like lilacs, that smell triggers all sorts of memories. They tell you more things about Lloydminster than you could ever imagine, and lots of times they’re singing or making jokes, but there’s also some tender stuff,” said Paul Harris, a Care-A-Van driver and trishaw pilot.

“Lots of times they don’t know it, but I’m at the back of the bike crying because I’m so honoured to be there to listen to the discussion. This is especially true when one of the two riders has been in a wheelchair for many years and the able-bodied person and the disabled person are now sitting side-by-side, equal, travelling outside with the wind through their hair.”

Tricia Hunter, a former board member and newly-inducted executive member of the Lloydminster and District United Way, has also seen the positives that come out of the trishaw experience. 

“Last year I got trained and was a pilot for a few different rides throughout the summer. The first time I did it, when I got back in my truck after, there were a few tears because it’s emotional to see how excited the seniors are to get in there, and (you get) thinking about your own grandparents and stuff; what it would mean to get them out.”

Anyone interested in becoming a trishaw pilot or volunteer is asked to get in contact Border City Connects. 

Training to become a trishaw pilot takes just under an hour, and once you’re trained, your name and contact information will be added to the United Way’s list for scheduling.