Keynote Speaker Announced For 11th WESPYs

Dominic Papa (r) and Dave Cassidy announced that Heather Abbott would be the keynote speaker for the 11th annual WESPY Awards to be held 28 March 2016, at the Caboto Club.Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Dominic Papa (r) and Dave Cassidy announced that Heather Abbott would be the keynote speaker for the 11th annual WESPY Awards to be held 28 March 2016, at the Caboto Club.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Column header Ian ShalapataBy Ian Shalapata

(WINDSOR, ON) – At a press conference at the Unifor Local 444 hall, Dominic Papa, of WE-TV, and Unifor’s Dave Cassidy announced the key note speaker who will appear at the 11th Annual WESPY Awards, to be held March 28, 2016.

Heather Abbott.

Heather Abbott.

Departing from the traditional athlete key note speaker, appearing in Windsor at the Cabot Club will be Heather Abbott, a survivor of the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing.

Tradition dictated that Abbott, 38 at the time, of Newport, RI, and six friends would attend a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park before watching the runners complete the Boston Marathon from a vantage point near the finish line. On April 15, 2013, Abbott was struck by shrapnel from the second of two pressure cooker bombs that had been placed and detonated Boylston Street.

After three surgeries in four days, Abbott made the difficult decision to amputate her left leg from the knee down. Through the help of family, friends, and fellow amputees, she made a long, slow, and painful recovery and transitioned into a life with a customized prostheses.

Today, Abbott is now a certified peer counsellor with the American Amputee Coalition and has started the Heather Abbott Foundation, which provides customized prostheses to those who have suffered limb loss through trauma.

In March 2016, there will be another batch of incredible local athlete nominees as well as the key note address from Heather Abbott.

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About the Author

Ian Shalapata
Ian Shalapata is the owner and publisher of Square Media Group. He covers politics, the police beat, community events, the arts, sports, and everything in between. His imagery and freelance contributions have appeared in select publications and for organizations in Canada and the United States. Contact Ian with story ideas.
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