Relay unites community

More than 30 Penticton residents were identified as "difference makers" for the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay

The Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay arrived in Penticton on May 3, day 254 of the journey which started on Aug. 24, 2011 in St. John’s Nfld. It was my pleasure to represent the City of Penticton to host an End of Day Celebration together with many community organizations and individuals.

Over 30 local residents who were identified as being “difference makers” were selected as medal bearers. These individuals donned the 25th Anniversary Relay Medal, a powerful symbol of hope. The relay highlights the progress made over the past 25 years and tells the stories of Canadians — those everyday heroes who are making a difference in their communities, their country and the world. I had the pleasure of meeting many of the medal bearers and was overwhelmed by their stories of adversity, advocacy and connections to Rick Hansen.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to everyone who came together to put on this event and create such a warm welcome to the relay in Penticton. A big shout out to the amazing staff of the Downtown Penticton Association, who set up the park and recruited the talents of Nikita Afonso, Will Schlackl, Jolene Hayter and Dr. Eclectic as well as Camille the face painter and Par-T Perfect activities.

Thanks to Dennis and Kevin, our celebrity emcees, the Penticton Indian Band Drumming Group and the organizers and participants of the power wheelchair soccer game. Appreciation also to all the community groups who participated on the community committee and participated in the event: Scotiabank, Agur Lake Camp, Quota International, School District 67, Penticton Indian Band, OSNS, SOSBIS, Girl Guides, Dragonfly Pond, and the Kinette Club. And finally, a thanks to all the city staff who contributed to the success of the event.

I believe our community event achieved Rick Hansen’s goal of “uniting the community, recognizing difference makers and encouraging others to believe anything is possible”.

Lori Mullin, chair


Rick Hansen Relay Community Committee