By Adam MacDonald
On April 16, Fernie resident Tanner Lento was passed the Rick Hansen Medal as one of the 7,000 medal-bearers participating in the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary relay. The relay began on August 24, 2011 in Cape Spear, Newfoundland—the easternmost point in North America—and will travel over 12,000 kilometres to its finish in Vancouver on May 22, fully recreating Hansen’s Man In Motion cross-Canada tour, which took place 25 years ago.
The relay will visit over 600 communities, celebrating the differences made by their medal-bearers and other inspiring residents who help to better the world.
Tanner was chosen as the representative for School District #5 and was cheered on by friends, family, and schoolmates from Isabella Dicken Elementary School during his part in the event in Cranbrook—day 237 of the relay. Tanner then handed the medal to Dawn Voysey, principal at IDES, who also participated in the anniversary relay, and who was in the area when Hansen made his original tour through Canada. “I remember when Rick Hansen wheeled up the steep hill in Marysville on his way to Cranbrook during his original tour, back when I was a student at Fernie Secondary 25 years ago,” says Mrs. Voysey, recalling how significant the event was. “It was a real honour to be a part of the relay this year,” she says.
Christopher and Cera Atherton also carried the medal in Cranbrook. Christopher Atherton carried the medal out of Cranbrook while Cera Atherton carried the medal in front of the Baker High School. Both Christopher, 19 and Cera, 17, were picked to participate in the relay because of all the volunteering that they do in the community.
Christopher is a second year student from the University of Lethbridge and Cera is a grade 11 student who attends Fernie Secondary School. Both volunteer with the Fernie Lions Club, Sparwood Lions Club, Salvation Army, Fernie Skating Club and Passtrak. They have been volunteering for about 12 years.
All East-Kootenay medal-bearers were celebrated at the end of day ceremonies in Cranbrook’s Rotary Park for helping to be catalysts of positive change in our communities.