Stony Plain welcomes Rick Hansen Relay
Twenty-five years after Rick Hansen travelled across the country as part of his Man In Motion World Tour, his message of hope and inspiration returns to Stony Plain on Mar.15 – Day 205 of the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay.
Stony Plain will be among 600 communities across the country that will welcome the Relay, a nine-month journey that will move east to west, which began in N.L. last August and will conclude in Vancouver on May 22.
"I encourage residents to come out and show support for the Rick Hansen Relay," says William Choy, deputy mayor of Stony Plain. "Rick Hansen inspired an entire generation. This is our opportunity to share that inspiration and raise awareness about accessibility and inclusion in our community."
The route into Stony Plain will begin at 5:00 p.m. at the local McDonald’s Restaurant and will make its way down south along South Park Dr., west along 44 Ave., south down 48 St., across 50th Ave to 50 St., and then down to Heritage Park, where it will conclude with end-of-day-celebrations from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at ‘The Pavilion at Heritage Park.’ The Rick Hansen exhibit will be on display in conjunction with the relay, and all are welcome to come see the exhibit. The Town has collected stories, photos, videos and memorabilia from residents who have loaned their items for this display of memories of Hansen’s historic visit to the community in 1987.
Fifteen participants from Stony Plain and surrounding areas will carry the medal, which has been designed by the Royal Canadian Mint, during the local leg of the relay.
Shauna Paisley Cooper, the final medal-carrier, will bring the medal into the Pavilion. After a mountain biking accident at Rabbit Hill in Edmonton in July 2008, the 39-year-old mother of twin daughters fell and broke her neck. Her severed spinal cord injury left her paralyzed from her chest down, and she is now a quadriplegic.
The Relay, which began on Aug. 24, 2011 in Cape Spear, N.L. and Labrador - the easternmost point in North America and approximately 15 km south-east of St. John's, will retrace the Canadian segment of the original Tour; this time, however, one man in motion will be represented and celebrated by many in motion.
The nine-month relay will cover 12,000 kilometres and visit more than 600 communities from coast to coast - in every province and territory. This exciting and inspiring journey will celebrate and showcase more than 7,000 Canadians who are the pride of their communities, recognizing everyday heroes, including youth, who are making a difference in the lives of others and who motivate us all to better our country and our world.
To find and recognize these participants, the Rick Hansen Foundation launched an online public contest in April 2011, which allowed Canadians to enter to win a spot for themselves or nominate a worthy individual to participate in the Relay as a Medal-Bearer.
"This is an exciting time for Canadians across the country, as we connect the nation and provide opportunity for people who are making a difference in the lives of others to be recognized for their accomplishments and to share their stories," said Hansen, president and CEO of the Rick Hansen Foundation in a statement. "This is the start of a movement to help inspire the nation and live by the credo that ‘anything is possible.’"
The Relay entered Alberta on Feb. 15 and will move through the province until Mar. 19, when it enters B.C. for the final leg of the journey.
As it travels across Canada, the Relay will engage more than 70 per cent of Canadians and be celebrated in a number of exciting ways. Various events planned in conjunction with the Relay will provide the opportunity to bring communities together, highlight and celebrate progress made in accessibility and inclusivity, recognize local difference makers who are champions for positive change, inspire youth to take action and showcase the local talent that makes Canadian communities so extraordinary.
About Rick Hansen
Twenty-five years ago Rick Hansen had a dream - to make the world more accessible and inclusive and to find a cure for spinal cord injury (SCI). Inspired by a deep-seated belief that anything is possible, Rick's dream took shape in the form of the Man in Motion World Tour (MIMWT).
For 26 months, he and his team wheeled more than 40,000 kms through 34 countries, raising awareness of the potential of people with disabilities. The completion of this epic Tour was a testament to willpower, physical prowess and the ability to lead a seemingly impossible campaign. It was the beginning of a lifelong and selfless journey to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
Through the Foundation that bears Hansen’s name, more than $250 million has been raised to accelerate progress towards a cure for SCI and a more accessible and inclusive world.
For more information, visit www.rickhansenrelay.com or www.stonyplain.com.