Heart Full of Cash author wins provincial award

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Steve McGrail with Cash McKinnon at a Petrolia cross country event several years ago.

What started out as a pandemic project has lead to provincial recognition.
Lambton Centennial teacher Steve McGrail has been given the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario 2022 Children’s Literature Award for his book A Heart Full of Cash.

McGrail wanted to write an inspiring kids book and decided there was no one more inspiring than his student Cash McKinnon. The 12 year-old has cerebral palsy but participates in as many sports as he can, most notably cross country events. The book tells the true-life events of Cash’s hard work and determination to run at the annual cross country meet – a goal he reaches with the help of his coach.

“Unfortunately, we continue to live in a society where, every day, individuals face barriers that exist due to ongoing systemic discrimination,” says ETFO President Karen Brown.

“Steve’s heartwarming story teaches children about the obstacles some individuals face and demonstrates what it is to have the heart of a champion.”

This is not the first time the book received accolades; Heart Full of Cash was also nominated for The IODE Jean Throop Book Award in the spring.
And, as the book about him receives an award, McKinnon is also being honoured.

The Sarnia Lambton Sports Hall of Fame has named McKinnon the receipent of the Joe DeRush Memorial Award for athletes with physical disabilities. McKinnon started playing sledge hockey in 2018, quickly gaining a reputation as a highly competitive performer. He has also taken part in cross country and challenger baseball events.