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Rainbow Schools participate in Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay

A number of Rainbow Schools will participate in the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay when it comes to Sudbury and Espanola next week, including Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School, R.L. Beattie Public School, Walden Public School, Lively District Secondary School, A.B. Ellis Public School and Espanola High School.

The relay is retracing the Canadian segment of Rick Hansen’s original Man in Motion World Tour with 7,000 medal bearers from across Canada.  The medal is a symbol of hope and determination. Each medal bearer is an individual with an extraordinary story of perseverance who has made a difference.

On Monday, December 12th at approximately 2:15 pm, Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School student Colin Bell-Simeoni will carry the Rick Hansen medal along Loach’s Road. “The relay provides a platform for Lo-Ellen Park to recognize and celebrate the inspiration Colin has provided to staff and students,” says Principal Craig Runciman. Prior to the Lo-Ellen Park portion of the relay, the school will serve as a rest stop throughout the afternoon for the caravan of vehicles and staff who are supporting the event.

At approximately 2:50 pm on Monday, December 12th, students from R.L. Beattie Public School will line the relay route. Dressed in red, they will cheer on Grade 8 student Brett Whitehead who will also carry the medal along Loach’s Road. “Brett is an all-round great ambassador for our school,” says Principal Paul Dupont.  “Polite, helpful, successful and respected by his peers, he exemplifies the qualities of a Rick Hansen medal bearer.”

The relay will move to Lively on Thursday, December 15th at approximately 1:15 pm. “We are very proud to have been selected as a stop and to have two students participating in the relay,” says Walden Public School Principal Lesley Fisher. “Our students will line 6th Avenue in Lively to cheer on our participants.” They include Grade 5 student Kyle Leblanc who will be accompanied in his wheelchair by his mother, Karla Leblanc.  After 250 metres, Kyle will hand the medal to Grade 6 student Jaclyn Groom, Walden Public School’s top cross-country running athlete.
 
“Kyle is a courageous young man with Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy.  He is a role model for our students, showing perseverance and courage when faced with serious mobility issues,” said Principal Fisher. “Jaclyn is a dedicated athlete who excels in all sports.  She holds several Track and Field records for Rainbow District School Board and was the top finisher in all cross-country running events this year.”

Lively District Secondary School is participating in the relay on Fifth Avenue in Lively on Thursday, December 15th at 1:25 pm. Grade 12 student Victor Hopper will carry the medal. Victor represented Lively District Secondary School at NOSSA and OFSAA Nordic Skiing competitions last year.  He won a silver medal at NOSSA and placed 9th at OFSAA.  “Not only is Victor an outstanding athlete, he is an outstanding student,” said Principal Leslie Mantle. “For the past three years, he has had the highest cumulative average in each grade.”
 
The relay will continue on to Espanola on Thursday, December 15th.  At 3:15 pm, medal-bearer Leah Haley, a Grade 6 student at A.B. Ellis Public School, will run along Highway 6. “Leah and her family have been touched by cancer,” said Principal Lynn MacDonell. “Leah and her brother Connor have worked together to raise incredible amounts of money for the Terry Fox Run. The family gives generously, not only to Terry Fox, but also to Sick Kids and St. Jude’s.” 

She added: “Leah can be counted on to stand up for what’s right, to include all students, and, of course, to give her all to causes close to her heart. All of this made it very easy for us to choose Leah to represent A.B. Ellis Public School in the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay.”

The Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay continues on Friday, December 16th at 9:30 am with the participation of Espanola High School. Espanola High School’s medal bearer is student parliament Prime Minister Tristan Emiry.  “Tristan led the Rick Mercer Spread the Net School Challenge to purchase bed nets to help protect children in Africa from malaria,” said Principal Marty Punkari. “With Tristan at the helm, the school raised over $13,000, the largest amount by any high school in all of Canada.” He added:  “A medal bearer is a person who embodies the values of determination and excellence.  At Espanola High School, this is Tristan Emiry.”

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Media Contacts:

Nicole Charette, Senior Advisor,
Corporate Communications and Strategic Planning,
Rainbow District School Board, 705-674-3171, ext. 7217.

Tina Sarazin, Communications Specialist,
Rick Hansen Foundation, 778-296-1582