Time - Space - Equation - Robson Valley supports the Man in Motion

Leonard Lea Frazer

When paraplegic athlete Rick Hansen first pulled his wheelchair along the seawall of Vancouver’s Stanley Park he never dreamed where this training would take him. He was already the first person with a disability to graduate with a degree in Physical Education from the University of British Columbia, and now he would push forward and continue to challenge himself.

He focused on track and marathons, winning 19 international wheelchair marathons and the world title three times.

A metal sculpture presented to Rick Hansen in 1987.
A metal sculpture presented to Rick Hansen in 1987.
Photo by L.L. Frazer

Rick recognized the need to eliminate barriers for individuals with disabilities, and to realize his dream of inclusion for everyone he embarked on a passionate around the world journey.

The Man In Motion World Tour was fuelled by two big dreams: to prove the potential of people with disabilities, and to make communities more accessible and inclusive. Rick and his team traveled through 34 countries, wheeling though the United States, Britain and Europe, the Middle East, New Zealand, Australia, and the Far East, before returning to North America on May 22, 1987. The Tour raised $26 million and became a catalyst for enormous change in the way people with disabilities were perceived.

Robson Valley residents prepared for Rick’s arrival back into British Columbia, hosting events to raise money and taking steps to roll out the red carpet for Rick and his team.

Time - Space - Equation - Robson Valley supports the Man in Motion
Photo by L.L. Frazer

Mrs. Kamstra's Grade One and Two classes collected $29.55 in quarters and nickels which they taped on their class poster of Rick Hansen, Man in Motion World Tour. The money was presented to Valemount Elementary School Secretary, Rita Tchir, on March 12. The following students are pictured above: L to R - Derek Rondeau, Dean Simpson, Conan Morris, Sean Coyle, Michael Bryant, Jay McKale, Justin Keech, Todd Cochrane and Mitchell Mintz.


Here is a taste of some of the local news releases from the Canoe Mountain Echo back in 1987.

Rick Hansen in Valemount Friday! - Mar.18, 1987

Rick Hansen, Man in Motion will be stopping in Valemount on Friday, March 20.

Greeting Ceremonies from B.C. Government officials at the B.C.-Alta. border is scheduled for 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. Coffee and hot chocolate will be available, bus service available on that day for school children.

Residents of Valemount will have 15 minutes allotted time to make their presentations starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Alpine Motel parking lot.

We've been informed that a busload of residents from Blue River will be joining us in making their presentations on that evening.

Master of Ceremonies for the evening will be Shawn DeBiasio. Brief speeches will be made by Mayor Norman McNee and Co­ordinator J. Holmin.

A thermometer registering amount of donations made by Tim Power was erected at the Post Office by Ron Halcrowe.

The Grade 7 Elementary School students have made over $400 which they will present themselves.

Any donations being made to the Man in Motion Tour are requested to turn in their money to Lori Block preferably by Friday, March 20, noon. Income Tax receipts will be issued from the Rick Hansen Committee accountant.

Community Dinner raises over $1200 – Mar. 25, 1987

The recent Rick Hansen Community Dinner was a tremen­dous success. Although co­ordinated by the Valemount Historic Society, it is really the generosity and enthusiasm of the citizens of Valemount that made this event such a success. A total of $1214. was raised!

Soon after a date was set for the event, offers of food came pouring in. Every cent that was made at the dinner was turned over to the Village of Valemount as part of their financial presenta­tion to Rick. The event incurred no expenses as all the food, labour and facility was donated by the com­munity of Valemount. Everyone pitched in and did their bit in the old fashioned spirit of 'com­munity'. Although everyone who participated either as a diner or as a donor deserves a pat on the back, a few people deserve special mention: Super A for cooking, slicing and donating 20 lbs. of beef. May Bruce for a huge pot of cabbage rolls. Minor Hockey Association for 50 lbs. of ham. Yellowhead Bakery for cooking the ham and donating 18 doz. buns. Pepe's Restaurant for cooking and donating a 20 Ib. ham. Mortenson's Store for cooking and donating 20 Ibs. of beef. Legion Men for providing all the  ingredients for 12 large salads. Ladies Auxiliary for donating all the trimmings for the dinner. Jim   Stewart, Jean   Osadchuk and Louise MacLean for 100 Ibs. of potatoes. The good cooks of Valemount for the 40 pies, pickles, vegetable platters and their time.

Approximately 160 people attended the dinners and enjoyed the video tape, "Heart of a Dragon," about Rick Hansen's tour through China, courtesy of the Valemount Historic Society.

Although there was enough food left over to feed another 50 people, a lot of it was sold in platefuls and the money added to the dinner proceeds.

Thanks to all who participated in the event. Your generosity is gratefully appreciated.

The proceeds of the dinner were included in the Village of Valemount presentation to the Rick Hansen Man in Motion fund on Sunday night.

Youth's donation commendable – Mar. 25, 1987

Another donation to be in­cluded in the Village of Valemount's presentation to the Rick Hansen Man in Motion fund is from 11 year old Shayne Peever who raised money from collecting pop bottles. Shayne donated $25 and is to be commended for taking the initiative to support Rick and Spinal Cord Research. He was so eager to turn the money over that he arrived at the Village Office on a Sunday. Luckily, Mrs. Aleda Bain was just putting out some garbage (from the Rick Hansen Community Dinner) behind the Community Hall at that time and assured Shayne that she would turn his donation over to the Village on Monday morning. The Rick Hansen spirit lives in us all, as Shayne has shown us.

B.C. welcomes Rick Hansen – Mar. 18, 1987

It's been a long road back to his home province and on March 20, at approximately 10:30 a.m., Rick Hansen is scheduled to enter B.C. A distinguished group will be on hand to welcome him at the B.C.-Alberta border. Premier Vander Zalm and his wife, the Honourable Bruce Strachan, MLA for Prince George South and Minister of Environment and Parks, the MLA for Vancouver Little Mountain, representatives from Government Information Services and our own local dignitaries will be on hand to officiate at the Welcoming Ceremonies.

The out of town guests will be arriving in Blue River on the morning of the 20th and Jeff MacKenzie, Valemount's Govern­ment Agent, will be on hand to shuttle them from Blue River to the border and back again after the ceremonies and to make sure that things run smoothly during their short stay here.

A 50'x60' tent will be set up at the border and a small luncheon will be served as part of the welcoming ceremonies.

Rick will then wheel for the rest of the day and is scheduled to reach Tete Jaune at approximate­ly 7:00 p.m. He will then come to Valemount by motor home to the Alpine Motel where he will spend the night.

A short ceremony will be held in Valemount with presentations to be made by the Village of Valemount, Schools, Lioness Club, representatives from Blue River and others.

Rick will return to Tete Jaune on Saturday morning where another short ceremony will be held at 10:00 a.m. at Target Gas (the former Tete Jaune Cache Lodge). The Tete Jaune Com­munity will make their presenta­tions at this time.

Pledge sheets are now avail­able at several locations around town for people accompanying Rick from the B.C.-Alberta border to Tete Jaune. The companions will be starting from staggered points along the route. There will be only two companions at any one time along the route for traffic reasons. Children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult. In order for the committee to be able to coordinate this event, they need to know by March 18 if you will be able to participate. Please contact Shirley Barker at 9988 or Chris Torgerson at 4688. Be enthusiastic and participate as much as you can.

Rick Hansen crosses into home province! – Mar.25, 1987

Just seconds from the B.C. border Rick Hansen, “The Man in Motion,” is all smiles.
Just seconds from the B.C. border Rick Hansen, “The Man in Motion,” is all smiles.
Photo by L.L. Frazer

Rick Hansen crossed the B.C.-Alta- border in the midst of excitement, enthusiasm and great respect. Many were awed at the sight of the man who represented the ultimate in dedication and perseverance. The snowfall did little to dampen the spirits of the crowd that gathered to watch the Man in Motion team enter B.C. Premier Vander Zalm's speech was heartfelt by the many people attending the welcoming ceremonies.

As the Alberta government and dignitaries bid Rick a fond farewell, they also set a standard of hospitality and financial contri­bution for British Columbians to live up to. When Vander Zalm announced that in "... recognizing that British Columbians are the most generous people anywhere in the world ... our provincial government, your provincial government will match every dollar donated by the people of B.C. between now and when you finish your tour ..." no one attend­ing the ceremonies or watching them on TV had any doubt in their minds that Rick's home province would "rise to the occasion" and royally honour "our favourite son."

Valemount is honoured to have Rick stay in our village for a much deserved rest and the chance to reunite with family. We are pleased to be able to greet and play host to the Man in Motion.

Seeing Rick was much more than an honour ... it was inspira­tional! To see someone "be the best that he can be, with what he has" is a challenge for all of us to strive for just a bit of that personal dedication. Rick brought home a lot more than himself when he crossed into B.C. He reintroduced the spirits of hope, dedication and courage to us all.

Man in Motion purpose – Mar. 25, 1987

The purpose of the Rick Hansen Man in Motion World Tour is to celebrate the ability of all people to overcome the obstacles and setbacks that life presents. While the establishment of the Trust Fund for spinal cord research, wheelchair sport and rehabilitation programs is an important goal for Rick, even more important is the fact that the tour is generating a broad-based awareness of disabled people and their unlimited potential. The tour has inspired people, from all walks of life, to join forces and work together to create a better quality of life. Everyone has dreams and goals; as well as challenges to which they must respond. This very reality presents itself as the common bond between us. Rick's philosophy and message are one:

"There is nothing we can't do if we set our minds to it."