River John resident remains optimistic despite contest changes

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RIVER JOHN – Eric Heighton, a quadriplegic from River John, has amassed nearly 30,000 votes in his bid to win a wheelchair accessible van through a National Mobility Awareness Month contest.

His vote count of 27,164 as of Wednesday leaves him in fourth place overall but all is not lost as, according to his wife Maxine, the winners are determined differently than previously reported.

“They take the top five per cent of the contestants and they will go before a panel of judges who will select the three winners, which will be announced on May 31,” said Maxine.

Although the news was only recently brought to the Heightons’ attention, the contestant still remains positive about his chances.

“It was in the fine print, but it’ll be more fair and honest,” said Eric. “With any contest, there are computer people who know how to get votes. There’s one girl with 50,000 votes. She’s getting 5,000 votes a day.”

Heighton said with the way the contest works, it will be easier for them to get into the top five per cent and have a better shot at winning a van.

“I’ll be in the top five per cent if people keep voting,” he said, still keeping his positive attitude. “It’ll be based on my story, not by age or anything.”

A former marine engineer, Heighton was paralyzed a decade ago when he fell down the stairs while sleepwalking.

For more information on Heighton and his accident, visit: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Help-Eric-Heighton-Win-a-Wheel-chair-Van-We-need-votes/274947139304439?fref=ts

To cast your vote for Heighton, visit: http://www.mobilityawarenessmonth.com/entrant/eric-heighton-river-john-nova-scotia/

 

jturner@trurodaily.com

Twitter: @TDNjocelyn

Geographic location: River John

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  • nancy ashby
    May 22, 2013 - 11:56

    We did vote daily but if he doesn't win we would definately donate so he could get the transportation he needs. We are in you corner, Eric....

  • Paula
    April 15, 2013 - 18:33

    I have never met Eric but he is from my Mum's hometown. I read his story and was inspired by it (and my mother's encouragement!) to vote everyday. If Eric does not end up winning a vehicle, as a regular voter, I for one would be happy to donate towards one and contribute to any fundraising possibilities. I just KNOW all who vote from his tiny town and well beyond, will not give up after the contest is over. I know I won't. He IS going to get that van, one way or another!

  • Mike
    April 11, 2013 - 18:11

    How degrading in this day and age that someone like Eric has to enter a stupid contest to acquire basic transportation. This is like the reality shows that are for the entertainment of the rich. If each of the people that wasted time voting would have donated $3.00 each, he would have been able to purchase a vehicle. That's almost $90,000.00. Remember there are great vehicle dealerships in his area that could step up to the plate here. Instead he is at the mercy of a popularity contest. Shame on the people who orchestrated and participated in this. If the community of River John want to truely help this man, then start by dropping this and encourage those who voted to donate. When I see an announcement in The News that this has been started, I will contact and contribute. Until then, stop playing with this man's dignity.

    • Barry
      April 12, 2013 - 18:20

      I don't see this contest as playing with Eric's dignity. He seems to like seeing all the vote support he is getting. Also it is something different for him to do and follow each day. If he wins that's great. If not he has had a lot of public awareness which may lead to other ways to (step up to the plate) fulfill his transportation need.