Saturday, December 3, 2011

Day 99, how fitting, Woodstock to Brantford, Ontario

Day 99 St. Mary's High School in Woodstock, Ontario. The medal bearers are front and center for the Rick Hansen 25th anniversary relay presentation.

One of the medal bearers today was Kathryn, who is the daughter of my friends from Woodstock, Rob and Barb. She is very active in her school and community, and is a very deserving medal bearer today.

Kathryn on the bus with Kayla as her host. I was back on the pace motorhome today.

Lis,a our photographer today being a little camera shy?

A little hint of snow this morning. Here's Kathryn with our newest bike escort Ken, who also worked on the Olympic Torch relay with me. He was part of the Coke team.

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, or hail will stop the medal bearers and their families from completing their 250 meters!
There they go. I try to judge my distance from the medal bearers by that little red line in the middle of the square.

Outside of Oliver Stevens School in Woodstock.

A little celebration with the medal bearer.

St. Rita's catholic school in Woodstock. Saint Rita, born in 1381 and forced to marry at 12 has quite a story. If you are interested here it is:

Ground-hog day again, another sponsor stop at McDonalds, and arguably my favorite clown.
Our next visit was in Princeton, Ontario. That made me think of a more familiar Princeton in B.C.

Another school stop, this time at St. Francis Catholic school in Princeton. The town has a population of about 500

Introducing Eamon, the schools' choice to be their difference maker today.

Every time we went to a different county we had to change our police escorts. It was either local police, or the O.P.P. depending on the jurisdiction. Here our security lisason Mike and our relay command Otto, have a strategy meeting with the police.

While we wait, Deena (participant operations), Lisa, and Marilyn catch up on some work, a little chill time.
Josh and Ken taking advantage of the free popcorn at the Brandt Sports Complex in Paris, Ontario, population approx. 11,000

Tyrone, our endurance athlete seems to have some fans.

Kinda got blocked in by our own team.

These students at Cobblestone Elementary in Paris worked hard to make signs in support of Rick Hansen and the relay.

I should pay attention to the road, but couldn't resist this shot in my rearview mirror, I can just barely see the people walking with the medal bearer behind the motorhome.

One more shot of the medal bearer from my side mirror.

Paris was a really cool little town.

A very nice repception at the Paris city hall.
A little shrine to the Olympic torch relay when it came through town in December of 2009 (I don't really remember coming through here)

Deena and Kyle hamming it up. .

What did you expect? Of course they fed us lunch. Thank-you all the wonderful people of Paris that made us feel so welcome once again.

Another relay first. Medal bearer Doug here decided to do his segment on his stilts, very impressive. Here is Doug's Story:

-Past member of the Ontario Cerebral Palsy Assoc. -inducted to the OCPA builders Hall of Fame -Helped start a Wheelchair Basket ball team in

Brantford -part of the Southern Ontario Wheelchair Basketball League Presently the Director of Fund Raising, Marketing & Volunteer Services at

Participation House Brantford. Three times nominated Brantford Citizen of the year. Brantford Tourism Ambassador Award winner, Guinness

World Record for Tallest Heaviest Stilts & Most People on Stilts which raised funds for Persons with Physical Disabilities and served on the

Brantford Rick Hansen Committee twenty five years ago!

Brantford court house
Downtown Brantford

Darkness sets in on the relay

End of day celebration in Brantford at the Wayne Gretzky sports complex. That was my reference to day 99, Brantford is home to hockey's greatest player. Here Jordan is introducing the co-end of day medal bearers Mary and Walter, Wayne's dad. 

On-ice dignataries

At every end of day celebration we sing O Canada, tonight we were fortunate to have this very harmonic youth choir sing the anthem

The difference makers of the day.
I was taking pictures for the medal bearers with Walter Gretzky, when he said it was my turn for a pic. How could I resist a photo op with a local celebrity almost as famous as his son.

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