Time is flying toward the big day when the Rick Hansen 25 Anniversary Relay touches down in Williams Lake. With just over a month left until March 25, plans are falling into place, say organizers.
Coun. Surinderpal Rathor says the event is being made possible because of the hard work of the Rick Hansen End of Day Celebration Committee and the exceptional buy-in of local businesses and volunteers.
“Scotiabank, Rocky Mountain Ranger cadets, and Stampede royalty and contestants have all stepped up to the plate,” Rathor says.
Cariboo Regional District director Joan Sorley hopes people will mark their calendars to welcome Hansen to his home town.
“Rick is truly an inspiration and a role model for our youth. He has overcome adversity and challenges in his own life, and used them to touch the lives of people around the globe.”
The celebration kicks off at 4:25 p.m. at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex. There’ll be a Rotary Club-sponsored barbecue in the parking lot with hot dogs and hamburgers and a 25th anniversary cake in the lobby near the skating rink.
A lineup of entertainers, slated to begin at 4:30 p.m., will be heralded in by master of ceremonies local radio announcer Dale Taylor.
Chief Ann Louie and the Williams Lake Indian Band will provide a traditional welcome and drumming, followed by entertainers such as Cariboo Men’s Choir, Sam Tudor and Robyn Ferguson, LeRae Haynes, Cindy Lightfoot and friends, the Goddard Family and Don Alder.
By 5:30 p.m. it will be time to greet the guest of honour Hansen and the final medal bearer Bruce MacLeod, both accompanied by local piper Mike Berns.
Both Mayor Kerry Cook and CRD Chair Al Richmond, along with Hansen, will speak at the event.
At the Feb. 7 council meeting Rathor told council that $41,000 out of the $55,000 has been raised toward the cost of the Rick Hansen monument, slated to be installed outside the Tourism Discovery Centre on Highway 97.
“I’m fully confident we will meet the budget and there will be no cost to the taxpayers,” Rathor says, adding everyone the committee has approached about providing food for the event has said yes.
“I’m inviting every citizen to come out for the event.”