Community Medal Bearer revealed for Rick Hansen Relay

 

The City of Penticton is proud to announce that resident Amanda Lewis will be the final community medal bearer during the last leg of the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay into Penticton on May 3.

"Amanda is incredibly deserving of the community medal bearer title," said Lori Mullin, City of Penticton Recreation Supervisor. "She embodies the spirit of Rick Hansen's Man in Motion Tour, and is an inspiration to us all."

Beginning on Aug. 24, 2011 on the easternmost point of North America at Cape Spear, Nfld., the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay began the process of retracing the Canadian segment of the original Man in Motion Tour. This time, however, the Man in Motion would be represented and celebrated by many in motion; engaging 7,000 participants from across Canada who have made a difference in the lives of others. These individuals were selected as community medal bearers to run, walk, wheel or bike their segments into local celebrations in their respective communities.

The Penticton Relay Community Planning Team issued a call for nominations last fall, seeking "difference makers" throughout the area willing to not only take part in the Relay but be catalysts for positive change. Twenty-three-year-old Amanda – a long-time volunteer, passionate advocate and motivational speaker – was selected.

"Rick Hansen is an amazing role model, not just for people with special needs, but anybody," Amanda said. "He was the one who championed the idea that it doesn't matter what obstacles stand in your way, you can do whatever you dream of and what you set your mind to. He's a personal hero of mine because of that.

"I am so honoured to be part of this Relay connected to this wonderful man, who has made such a difference."

Katie Bowling was selected as the medal bearer for the first leg on Saturday, May 5, when the Relay will depart the community from the Penticton Farmers Market. In addition to working for the United Way, Katie is long-time community volunteer who has been recognized with the Duke of Edinburgh Young Canadians Award. She will also serve as Amanda's alternate, should the need arise.

The Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay will travel through more than 600 communities as it makes its nine-month, 12,000-km journey across Canada before concluding in Vancouver on May 22.

Details of the May 3 celebration in Penticton scheduled to mark the arrival of the Relay will be released in the coming weeks. Amanda says she hopes the community marks the date on its calendar so they can take part in the planned activities.

"It's a day and an event for people to be proud of and for everybody, regardless of physical abilities or societal barriers, to come together and celebrate our community and this Canadian role model," she says. "I think it fits with my personal credo: The impossible isn't impossible, it just takes a little longer."

For more information about the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay, visit www.rickhansenrelay.com. You can also download [PDF - 91 KB] the PDF version of the press release and the biography of Amanda Lewis.