Ryan Benoit's Unique Abilities Serve Him Well In His Role as Provincial Ambassador for the Easter Seal Society
Ryan Benoit is in many ways like any normal 13 year old boy. He lives in Val Caron with his parents, Mike and Joyce and he has two older brothers, Stephen, 15 and Jason, 18. 

He will be entering Grade 8 at Ecole Notre Dame de l'Esperance in the fall of 2006 and, like many boys his age, he is still not sure which high school he will be attending. His grade average is in the mid to upper 80's and his attitude towards school is very positive. His teachers refer to Ryan as one of their classroom leaders, always willing to lend a helping hand and always willing to take on new challenges. Ryan also loves public speaking and is getting along quite will on the computer. He enjoys fishing with his family in the summer and loves swimming. Ryan is also a "hockey nut" and knows just about everything there is to know about the sport. He is also eager to talk to anyone about the players and the game in general.

To look at Ryan in the photo above, he looks like any normal teen age boy. 

Ryan, however, has cerebral palsy, a crippling disease which causes damage to the spinal cord during prenatal developmental stages. It has left him physically disabled - unable to walk and do many of the normal things we take for granted. His wheelchair is more clearly evident in the photo below, but the boy in the picture is the same young boy you first saw in the photo above.

An Honour To Be Chosen From All Of The Candidates - A Tremendous Responsibility For A Young Boy To Shoulder

Ryan was chosen to be one of the two Provincial Ambassadors for the Easter Seal Society. He and his partner, Kaitlyn Lenchak of Aurora, were introduced at the prestigious Con Smythe Fundraising Dinner & Auction on February 9, 2006 in Toronto. He and Kaitlyn are shown in the group photo with many of the stars and celebrities in attendance at the event which raised over $400,000 for Easter Seals.

As official Ambassadors of the Easter Seal Society for the 2006 calendar year, both Ryan and Kaitlyn feel very honoured, but at the same time, they also realize the tremendous responsibility they have in representing the organization at various public functions during the year. Most of the functions are fund-raising in nature, designed to raise a lot of money which will be used to improve the quality of life for many others who are physically challenged.

Here we see Ryan and Kaitlyn with his favourite hockey coach (next to his father), the Sudbury Wolve's Mike Foligno.

Ryan's parents, standing directly behind him, Mike and Joyce Benoit, are extremely proud of the way their son has handled the responsibility of being a Provincial Ambassador. In this photo they are with Mr. Don Ferguson on the left, and Mr. Roger Abbott on the right, both members of the Canadian Airfarce.

John Ferguson and Ross Rebagliati stop by to chat with Kaitlyn and Ryan during the Con Smythe Dinner and Auction.

Ryan is well aware of up coming hockey stars, so he was very excited when he met with John Tavares of the Oshawa Generals, who many are calling the next Wayne Gretzky.

Back at home, in the familiar surroundings of his bedroom, Ryan demonstrates a down-to-earth, level-headedness that is quite astounding considering the attention he has been receiving this year. He takes everything in stride and sincerely feels good about being able to do something to make a difference for other kids and adults who are confined to a wheelchair or otherwise 'disabled'.

It is precisely because of Ryan's natural abilities and giftedness that he has become a perfect choice as Provincial Ambassador for the Easter Seal Society. He is very sociable and enjoys meeting people. Ryan never lets his physical impairments prevent him from doing just about anything that other children do, he just has to "work harder" at some things than others. And he realizes this, so it never gets him down. Ryan, however, also realizes that there are some things, such as public speaking, talking to people, going out in public and making speeches in front of stars and celebrities and simply being able to take on the challenges of being a leader, that he does with ease. These are things that many others, especially his age, have a great deal of difficulty with.

And so, as Ryan continues to fulfil his responsibilities until February 2007 when another two young people will take over, he plans on using his "abilities" to make a difference for the Easter Seals Society and all of the people they serve. He plans on continuing in his role as a ' Public Ambassador' for the Easter Seals Society for the rest of his life. He is a role model and an inspiration, not only to people with physical impairments, but also to the perfectly healthy individuals who, once they meet Ryan,  will realize how important it is to focus on your abilities and talents rather than on your inabilities and struggles.

  
Valley East's Ryan Benoit Serves His Role Well as Provincial Ambassador For Easter Seal Society

Ryan Benoit is in many ways like any normal 13 year old boy. He lives in Val Caron with his parents, Mike and Joyce and he has two older brothers, Stephen, 15 and Jason, 18. 

He attends Grade 8 at Ecole Notre Dame de l'Esperance. His grade average is in the mid to upper 80's and his attitude towards school is very positive. His teachers refer to Ryan as one of their classroom leaders, always willing to lend a helping hand and always willing to take on new challenges. Ryan also loves public speaking and is getting along quite will on the computer. He enjoys fishing with his family in the summer and loves swimming. Ryan is also a "hockey nut" and knows just about everything there is to know about the sport. He is also eager to talk to anyone about the players and the game in general.

To look at Ryan in the photo above, he looks like any normal teen age boy. 

That is until you see him in a photo with the Right Honourable Paul Martin, former Prime Minister of Canada. Or, until you notice that he gets around in a wheelchair.

Ryan has cerebral palsy, a crippling disease which causes damage to the spinal cord during prenatal developmental stages. It has left him physically disabled - unable to walk and do many of the normal things we take for granted. 

Ryan was chosen to be one of the two Provincial Ambassadors for the Easter Seal Society. He and his partner, Kaitlyn Lenchak of Aurora, were introduced at the prestigious Con Smythe Fundraising Dinner & Auction on February 9, 2006 in Toronto. 

As official Ambassadors of the Easter Seal Society for the 2006 calendar year, both Ryan and Kaitlyn feel very honoured, but at the same time, they also realize the tremendous responsibility they have in representing the organization at various public functions during the year. Most of the functions are fund-raising in nature, designed to raise a lot of money which will be used to improve the quality of life for many others who are physically challenged.

In the photo to the left, he and Kaitlyn are shown with the Hon. Brian Tobin, former premier of the Province of Newfoundland and Belinda Stronack, M.P, Aurora, Newmarket District. They were all attending the recent Toronto Tribute.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here, Ryan is shown with The Honourable Bob Rae, a former Premier of the Province of Ontario and one of the front-runners at the Federal Liberal leadership convention held recently.

 

 

 

Ryan and Kaitlyn are shown here with the Mayor of Toronto, David Miller.

 

 

 

Here Ryan is shown with singer Jack Soul. 

And so, as Ryan continues to fulfill his responsibilities until February 2007 when another two young people will take over, he plans on using his "abilities" to make a difference for the Easter Seals Society and all of the people they serve. He plans on continuing in his role as a ' Public Ambassador' for the Easter Seals Society for the rest of his life. He is a role model and an inspiration, not only to people with physical impairments, but also to the perfectly healthy individuals who, once they meet Ryan,  will realize how important it is to focus on your abilities and talents rather than on your inabilities and struggles.

If you wish to read a previous story about Ryan that we featured earlier this year in Valley East Today, click here>>>>

 
 

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