Rick Hansen will be in Hope on May 10.

Rick Hansen relay stops in Hope

Community celebration planned in Memorial Park on May 10

Rick Hansen is returning to Hope next Thursday to retrace the original route of his Man in Motion World Tour.

The 25th anniversary relay began on Aug. 24 in Cape Spear, Newfoundland and will have stopped in more than 600 communities across Canada before concluding in Vancouver on May 22. Along the way, the relay features medal bearers who have made a difference in the lives of others.

“It’s a way to recognize the difference makers in our community and also to come and raise awareness about the challenges that are faced by those people who have mobility challenges,” said Inga Wilson, one of the local event organizers.

“So much only happens in our community because of all the hard work and energy of difference makers. Sometimes we don’t do a great job of recognizing them and thanking them for everything that they do.”

About 20 people will be carrying the special medal created by the Royal Canadian Mint through Hope. The relay enters the community along Old Hope Princeton Way and makes its way to the Fraser Hope Lodge, where the first medal bearer begins the journey to the Memorial Park celebration. There will be a wheelchair race along Wallace Street at 3:30 p.m., live entertainment, food concessions and a visit from Ronald McDonald. The official ceremony takes place at 5 p.m. Bob Melnyk, who chaired the 1987 Man in Motion end of day event in Hope, will reprise his role as MC and make a presentation to Hansen.

The relay stops briefly at the four schools in Hope and McDonalds on Old Hope Princeton Way before leaving town on May 11. It will cross the Fraser River courtesy of Fraser River Raft Expeditions to the Chawathil band office on Highway 7 before continuing west to Agassiz.

All money raised through the business sponsorship of 44 event banners along Wallace Street will pay for a Pete Ryan carving that Hansen is unveiling on May 10, as well as local road improvements for individuals with mobility challenges.

For more details about the event, contact the Hope Visitor Centre at 604-869-2021.