Pony Express rides into town to raise funds for disabled

By Lisa Heller
Arizona Daily Wildcat
October 4, 1996

Nicholas Valenzuela
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Brian Corrigan, Pony Express assistant coordinator, sets up a sign next to a 1997 Ford Mustang convertible, one of the prizes in the Dick Tomey Pony Express.


The Dick Tomey Pony Express rides into town tomorrow as people race to raise money for students with disabilities.

The second annual Pony Express is a fund-raiser for the University of Arizona Center for Disability Related Resources, an organization that provides resources for disabled students.

Last year, about 300 runners and 35 people in wheelchairs raised about $7,000, said Brian Corrigan, assistant coordinator for the event. He said he expects the number of participants this year to be 500.

Corrigan said the race is also designed to increase the community's awareness about people with disabilities.

"The athleticism of wheelchair athletes is awesome," Corrigan said. "(The Pony Express) is kind of like running, stock car racing and bicycling all in one; it's pretty competitive."

UA football coach Dick Tomey, who lends his name to the race, said he became involved because of the strong feelings he has for the disabled athletes in the campus community.

"Just knowing that you're helping is the biggest reward," he said. "The real heroes are the people that benefit from the funds being raised."

Corrigan, who has been in a wheelchair for 11 years because of injuries suffered in a car accident, said he owes the Center for Disability Related Resources a lot.

"After being hurt, I got really depressed," Corrigan said. "I found sports as a way out. With CeDRR, I found an outlet to get involved with positive things and am able to network with other people with disabilities."

The Pony Express offers opportunities for participants to raise pledges, and in return they are entered in a chance to win various prizes, including a one year lease on a 1997 Ford Mustang convertible donated by the Jim Click car dealership.

The races begin tomorrow with a 5-kilometer walk and run at 8 a.m. open to able-bodied and wheelchair participants; a 5-kilometer wheelchair race at 8:45 a.m. for novice athletes; and a 10-kilometer wheelchair race at 9:30 a.m. for advanced wheelchair athletes.

Race-day registration begins at 7 a.m. tomorrow at the Ina E. Gittings Building on the north side of the UA Mall near North Campbell Road.