12/05/2012 04:41 EST | Updated 02/04/2013 05:12 EST

Change from Centennial Flame awarded to man for project on disabled

OTTAWA - An Edmonton man is the recipient of all the small change that visitors to Parliament Hill have tossed into the Centennial Flame fountain for the last year.

A House of Commons committee awarded $5,750 to Larry Pempeit, who will carry out a project documenting four people with disabilities "who have played a role in making Alberta a more inclusive society."

The annual award follows a competition each fall that invites disabled Canadians to pitch a research project.

Wish-makers at the Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill toss as much as $6,000 each year into the bubbling fountain that has stood as an informal gathering place for almost half a century.

Following an Act of Parliament in 1991, the rain of change has been gathered regularly and put into an award fund destined for a disabled Canadian to complete a project showing the contributions of the disabled to the country and to Parliament.

The Centennial Flame, created for 1967, was to have been dismantled after a year but proved so popular it was given a permanent stay of execution.