Cole Sanderson, 25, has been supported by the Parksville Qualicum Elks Lodge since he was just over a year old and he continues to receive their backing.
When Sanderson was 14 months old he was diagnosed profoundly deaf and attended the B.C. Family Hearing Resource Centre (formerly the Elks Rehabilitation Centre) with his family.
For five years, he attended pre-school with his lifelong buddies, his parents’ were involved in the parent group and his sister attended the siblings program. This helped to build a strong foundation.
The Elks have continued to be in Sanderson’s life, supporting his sporting endeavors as well. As a young boy, Sanderson started the first little league baseball team for deaf children such as himself. The Elks were there to help buy the baseball team the, “Deaf White Sox,” their uniforms.
In 2009, Sanderson represented Canada in Taipei at the 21st Deaflympics in the sport of Beach Volleyball and finished fifth. And again, the Elks supported him by providing some financial assistance as all athletes are required to pay all their expenses.
On July 21, Sanderson will head to Sofia, Bulgaria www.sofia2013.com to compete in the 22nd Deaflympics once again in beach volleyball for Canada, with the assistance of the Elks. Parksville Qualicum Elks Lodge are one of only four lodges that can say, “We have supported this young man for most of his life — whether it be with helping to create a strong educational foundation or through athletic pursuits.”
“The Elks are an amazing organization. They believe in deaf people and have been there my entire life, not only financially, but providing a belief in my potential and I’m very grateful for them”, said Sanderson.
— Submitted by Parksville/Qualicum Elks lodge