25 YEARS AGO - Rick Hansen (centre) gathers with Miss Princeton Leah Buhler (left)

25 YEARS AGO - Rick Hansen (centre) gathers with Miss Princeton Leah Buhler (left)

Princeton celebrates Rick Hansen 25 years later

The Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay is making one of its last stops in Princeton as part of a cross-country tour.

The Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay is making one of its last stops in Princeton on May 9 as part of a cross-country tour.

The relay will not only travel through Princeton, but will also stop for an end-of-day celebration.

Princeton medal bearers will be welcomed at Veterans Square at 4 p.m., but the show starts an hour earlier.

Highland dancers, local band Back Door Blues, a barbecue, stagecoach and kid’s activities will begin at 3 p.m.

Hansen stopped in Princeton on his Man In Motion World Tour when he wheeled across Canada from Cape Spear, N.L. to Vancouver 25 years ago.

He is joining the relay at stops throughout Canada, but won’t be making an appearance in Princeton this time.

This year 7,000 people will follow in his tracks to continue the journey of making Canada more accessible and inclusive.

“This is a big deal. It’s part of Canadian history, especially since Rick Hansen was born in B.C.,” said Princeton recreation co-ordinator Nadine McEwan.

“It’s an honour for Princeton to be selected as an end-of-day celebration town.”

Princeton resident Ken Carlson is the final medal bearer who will lead the relay into Veterans Square.

Carlson, who has multiple sclerosis, is involved with the Princeton Accessibility Committee and has advocated for handicap parking and bathrooms and proper curving in Princeton.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The relay route will start on Highway 3 just outside town, up Bridge Street, take a loop around Tapton Avenue, down Old Hedley Road and back down Bride Street.

The next day, the relay will travel down Vermilion Avenue onto Highway 3, onto Ridgewood Drive close to the Princeton Hospital and loop back down to Highway 3.

The best viewing points are the Bridge of Dreams, the Brown Bridge and Veterans Square.

The relay team will be stopping in Cawston, Keremeos and Hedley before Princeton.

One medal will be passed between 600 communities along the 12,000-kilometre relay route across Canada.

A large group of people welcomed Hansen to Princeton 25 years ago, in a celebration the Spotlight said gathered one of the largest donations in B.C. – $15,000 for spinal cord research.

Alicia Myers will be carrying the medal from Old Merritt Road to Bridge Street in Princeton.

Myers went to China and India two years ago to volunteer at an orphanage. She rallied her community to raise $15,000 worth of shoes, medical and dental supplies, clothing and money.

Last August, Myers flew to Puerto Vallarta to help with the conservation of sea turtle eggs and releasing baby turtles.

She is also a coach for youth soccer and is a new member of the Disabled Skiers Association.

She hopes to become a geo-physicist and is working towards the Duke of Edinburgh gold award.