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Thirteen Creston Valley residents will carry Rick Hansen Relay medal

Rick Hansen may not be coming to the Creston Valley with the relay that bears his name, but local residents won’t be missing out...
A photo scanned from the April 30

Rick Hansen may not be coming to the Creston Valley with the relay that bears his name, but local residents won’t be missing out on the excitement.

“We’re still being recognized,” said Creston co-ordinator Tanya Ducharme. “And they will be working with local schools.”

The relay, which will include 13 locals (find the names and schedule here), will stop at Yahk and Erickson elementary schools and Prince Charles Secondary School, and pass by Adam Robertson Elementary School on its way out of Creston.

On April 18, it will arrive, carried by Harry Haberstock, at the Creston and District Community Complex at 1:30 p.m., followed by a half-hour presentation in the lobby. In addition to relay officials, Creston Mayor Ron Toyota, Lower Kootenay Band Chief Jason Louie and Regional District of Central Kootenay directors Garry Jackman, (Area A), John Kettle (Area B) and Larry Binks (Area C) have also been invited to speak.

The presentation will be followed by the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program’s annual juvenile sturgeon release at former Kootenay River ferry landing from 2:30-4:30. The cause of sturgeon conservation is important to Hansen, who founded the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society in 1997.

On April 19, the relay will continue with a presentation at PCSS, and the day’s first medal bearer, Morgan Fleck, will leave from there at 9:50 a.m. After the local bearers, the medal will be carried by endurance athlete Joey Desjardins.

All of the medal bearers who applied for the 10 local positions were worthy of the task, said Ducharme, and she was pleased to see that longtime volunteer Haberstock was the final bearer to bring the medal into town.

“He’s touched just about every organization in the community,” said Ducharme. “The list is a mile long.”

The Rick Hansen Relay celebrates the 25th anniversary of Hansen’s Man in Motion world tour, allowing him to “continue his journey of making the world more accessible and inclusive,” according to

The relay began on Aug. 24, 2011, and will conclude in Vancouver on May 22, recreating the Canadian leg of the original Man in Motion tour. The current relay will pass through 600 communities, and engage 7,000 medal bearers, each of whom will carry the relay medal created by the Royal Canadian Mint.

The Man in Motion tour is well worth commemorating — it raised significant awareness of accessibility issues in public buildings.

“The enhancement through recognition of handy capable motivation has been huge,” said Ducharme.

She encourages residents to come out and “just show community spirit and support for the [Rick Hansen] Foundation,” said Ducharme. “For anybody who was there when he came through originally, this is a way to remember that.”