Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Days 204 and 205, Edmonton to Spruce Grove, to Stony Plain, Alberta

Day 204, great day for a relay. Temperatures hovering around plus 7 celsius. I was on shuttle 4 today working with Russ. (He is usually working with the communities and the school program)
Our medal bearer meeting point today was at Westmount Junior High School in Edmonton.

These photos leave me to believe this school had been around a long time.

Our medal bearer meeting point was originally going to be in one of the classrooms. We had to move the meeting to an old music room in an annex building. For the second time on the relay ( with meetings I have been involved with) we were at a school that was not accessible to wheelchairs. We have come a long way in 25 years since the original Man in Motion World Tour, but there is still a lot of work to do.
and with the help of people like these difference makers, we will get it done.

the best bus driving job around, the passengers are always in a good mood

It was such a nice day, the staff of the Glenrose Rehab Hospital  brought some of the patients out to enjoy the Rick Hansen relay.

wow, that's a deal!?
One more to go, Andrew and Russ hangin with the last medal bearer in our segment, Ephren, who is the Westmount Junior High School choice for their medal bearer. Ephren, who does well academically and in sports, recently immigrated from Africa.

A little celebration in front of the Westmount school.

Ephren with the bike patrol, Kenn, Eric, our endurance athlete Herve, and Marilyn.

Marilyn listening intently as Efphren shares his experience. The end of day celebration today was in Spruce Grove, about 38 KM away from Edmonton. Russ and I decided to stay in Edmonton and get ready for a special treat.
Tonight, Russ, Marilyn , Dawn and I attended  the Edmonton Symphony midweek classic series, featuring Sue Hoeppner , (2012 Juno award nominee)  as a guest soloist flutist. Russ knows Sue, and she was kind enough to give us tickets to attend. This was my first time going to a symphony, and it was a great experience. (and a little culture never hurts). Thanks for inviting me, Russ. Understandably, we were not allowed to take pictures while the performance was on. (I had to sneak one to prove I actually went!)

It was about a 10 minute walk back to the hotel, which included going by the art gallery,

Edmonton city hall,

and this downtown skating rink, which was ice this morning and is now a large puddle!
Day 205, I can see Natalie, Dawn, and Marilyn have started breakfast without me, again!

I have this figured out, it's light, but there is no people in the mall, must mean it's early morning!

Today I leave the parking lot in Activation 3 (little bird), I'm on the events team today. Our end of day celebration is in Stony Plain, about 45 kilometres from our hotel. (and only about 4,800 kilometres from Cape Spear, Newfoundland where we started this journey on Aug. 24, 2011)

Heading out
a little tricky, you have to go north before you can head west (at least Stony Plain way)

There is still a little farm land left in this area, but development is closing in all around.

Future stops on the 25th anniversary relay.

Stony Plain, population  about 15,000 (according to one of the locals, the population has almost doubled in 11 years, and real estate prices are climbing as well, the house he bought for $150,000 11 years ago is worth about $350,000 now)
This little church which probably was once out in a rural area, is now at the end of the off ramp of the highway.

As we were setting up for the celebration, this medal bearer group was on their way out for the 250 metres of fame!

My office for the next two days.

and the wind is blowing the right way!
Another booming town with another new complex, this pavilion was built in 2011.

These tanks at the back that resemble grain silos actually collect snow and rain water, for use for the surrounding parks and fields.

The merchandise sale is ready for customers.
The timeline wall, on this side it shows the progress made in research, accessability and quality of life, one the other side it shows Rick Hansen's life story from childhood to the present 25th anniversary relay.

The city had a collection of Rick Hansen memorabilia from when he orginally came through Stony Plain 25 years ago. This included newspaper paper clippings, photographs, buttons and

one of the original gloves Rick wore on the man in motion world tour. This glove  was worn for over 300 miles during a segment in Australia

Local talent was on hand to entertain
always good support from the smaller communites

The end of day medal bearer, Shauna is followed into the pavilion by a huge throng of people that walked with her on her segment. She was the community choice to carry the 25th anniversary medal into the end of day celebration. Here is a bit about her story:

Shauna Paisley Cooper, the final medal-carrier, will bring the medal into the Pavilion. After a mountain biking accident at Rabbit Hill in Edmonton in July 2008, the 39-year-old mother of twin daughters fell and broke her neck. Her severed spinal cord injury left her paralyzed from her chest down, and she is now a quadriplegic.

Here's another where's Waldo? ( I mean Ronald)

The local school choir sang O Canada
Sharing a moment, for a lot of these difference makers, this is an experience of a lifetime.

These wheelchairs, especially made for basketball, were on hand for everyone to try.

An old combine used for decoration at the entrance to the pavilion.

Heading back through Spruce Grove, this is the farthest west I have seen a grain elevator.
Night 205 was a big one, after 10 days in Edmonton, it was time to pack up again (and after 10 days, my stuff was spread out all over the room) and head out to a new home.

Night time in the mall world, now it is night ( it is dark and there is no-one in the mall, this is not rocket science!)

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