Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Day 225 Enderby to Salmon Arm, B.C.

Day 225, Salmon Arm. (population about 17,500)  Our hotel is on Shuswap Lake, and a bird sancturary in nearby

The relay started in Enderby today, but Jake and I had a medal bearer meeting point at the Salmon Arm hotel, (about a 5 minute drive from the hotel). This declaration was in the council chambers, must go back a ways, at least to when King George VI was in power back in 1936-1952

a little display on paddlewheelers, reminds me of the S.S. Sicamous that sits on the beach on Okanagan Lake in Penticton.

The council chambers were transformed into a medal bearer meeting room, this has happened numerous time over the course of the relay. The first time was in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland, on day 2 of the relay!
Not only is Jake a great medal bearer host he is great medal bearer wrangler, always manages to corral them for a group shot before we head to our insertion point!

The 25th anniversary Rick Hansen relay actually wound around our hotel, as they were getting some great photo ops down at the lake.

It was a narrow road by the pier at Shuswap Lake, after we dropped off the medal bearer,we had to wait until the convoy came in behind us so we could get going to our next drop.

the pier, the water level is really low this time of year, but the locals tell me it is not out of the ordinary.

A lot of the medal bearers take their pets along with them during their segments. (I do believe the medal bearer is Chali )
The last two medal bearers of day 225, Tyler and Amy pose with Jake at the back of the shuttle. Amy is the end of day medal bearer and Tyler is one of the students she once worked with. Here is their stories:

I am Amy Witt, Tyler Stefanyk's former high school teacher and would like to thank you so very much for this opportunity to recognize him.

Tyler is a role model of courage, perseverance and positivity in our community. He is a college student who strives for personal excellence and

works to engage with those lucky enough to encounter him. Tyler has cerebral palsy and is a wheelchair user and as such, has encouraged a

more inclusive community by breaking down barriers of personal and mobility limitations. Tyler's classmates gave him a standing ovation at his

highschool graduation last year when he crossed the stage in recognition of his intensive efforts and positive attitude. Our community of Salmon

Arm is a better place because Tyler shares it with us. Tyler is a leader and brings out the best in others. Thanks for your consideration of him as

a difference maker.

Now Amy's story:
This nomination is being completed by Kelly Moores and Wendy Woodhurst with Amy's permission. Amy has been working with Special Needs

students in School District #83 and the community of Salmon Arm for over 15 years. She is a tireless advocate for her students and ensures

they have access to every course they are interested in taking, to community busses, and work experiences. She has ensured that her students

are an accepted and engaged part of the Salmon Arm Secondary Community, and the community of Salmon Arm. Amy does not believe that

being "special" is a handicap. Because she has such high expectations for the youth she works with, they rise to her expectations and achieve

more than they or their parents ever believed was possible. Amy's students are involved in community events, work in community businesses,

and truly make a difference. Amy is an outstanding role model for her students: her refusal to let diabetes or a heart attack slow her down

demonstrates for her students that barriers are meant to be overcome. Nothing is is impossible for Amy or the students she works with! If

possible, Amy would like student representatives to accompany her as medal bearer, as she believes they are the heroes, not her. We agree

that they are heroes, but believe that they are heroes because Amy helped them believe they could be!

Thanks to Scotia Bank (one of our sponsors) for providing the festive atmosphere.

Amy and Tyler are celebrated at the end of day ceremony.

Salmon Arm certainly has the community spirit!

For the second end of day in a row, paralympian Marni Abbott offers the crowd some words of encouragement

The end of day celebration also has a lot of support from the 25th anniversary Rick Hansen tour relay staff.

More than half of the day 225 difference makers came to end of day and posed for a group picture.

A few of the relay staff taught a local Salmon Arm dance group the warm-up dance, something that has become the theme of the relay celebrations. (performed to Katy Perry's "firework") The group performed the dance and also taught the crowd how to do it.

On the way home we passed by the Salmar theatre, it has been around Salmon Arm since 1949. 

The back side of the theatre is the cool part. Day 225 is over, but not before I give you a link to a video, our community engagement wizard, Russ, put together while in the area recently. It is worth the look ,and I know you will all remember the song. Enjoy!

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