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Press Release

Rick Hansen welcomes Governor General of Canada as Patron of the 25th Anniversary

Canada NewsWire

His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, to support Rick as he celebrates the 25th Anniversary of his Man In Motion World Tour

VANCOUVER, Aug. 16, 2011 /CNW/ - With the launch of the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay just 8 days away, the Rick Hansen Foundation is pleased to announce that His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, has accepted to serve as Patron of the 25th Anniversary of the Rick Hansen Man In Motion World Tour.

"I am incredibly grateful and humbled that His Excellency David Johnston has chosen to serve as Patron of our 25th Anniversary campaign," said Rick Hansen, CEO of the Rick Hansen Leadership Group. "I truly appreciate the support and commitment that His Excellency is demonstrating toward our shared vision of a healthier and more inclusive world. As my team and I continue to apply our energies to new and compelling initiatives that will enable us to make a greater impact in Canada and around the world, I am honoured to have His Excellency joining me in recognizing Canadians who are making a difference in the lives of others."

Twenty-five years ago Rick Hansen set out on his Man In Motion World Tour (MIMWT). For 26 months he and his team wheeled more than 40,000 km through 34 countries, raising awareness of the potential of people with disabilities. The completion of this epic Tour was a testament to willpower, physical prowess and the ability to lead a seemingly impossible campaign.

Now, during the 25th Anniversary of the Man In Motion World Tour, Rick and the Foundation are embarking on an unprecedented campaign to commemorate the original Tour, celebrate progress that has been achieved in spinal cord injury (SCI) research and accessibility, inspire a new generation of difference makers and create future legacies that will build a healthier, more inclusive and sustainable world. The 25th Anniversary campaign provides a unique opportunity to celebrate accomplishments in the areas of accessibility and research for a cure for paralysis after SCI, and to forge new partnerships and innovations that will build a better future for thousands of people with SCI throughout Canada and around the world.

Beginning on August 24, 2011 in Cape Spear, Newfoundland, the 25th Anniversary Rick Hansen Relay will retrace the Canadian segment of the original Tour, engaging 7,000 participants from across Canada. Inspired by one man in motion, these Difference Makers have been chosen because of the positive impact they are having in communities across the nation.

In the fall, the Rick Hansen Global Accessibility Map will launch - an easy-to-use web-based consumer reviews tool designed to enable all people to make informed decisions on everyday activities such as where they eat, shop, work, play and access services. Consumers will have the opportunity to submit and obtain reviews on the accessibility of buildings and public spaces in communities around the globe, similar in concept to the consumer reviews commonly found on many travel websites, but with a focus on accessibility criteria.

To wrap up the 25th Anniversary, the Rick Hansen Foundation and the Rick Hansen Institute will co-host an international conference and exposition, Interdependence 2012 (i2012) in Vancouver next May. This conference will inspire collaboration in the pursuit of a healthier and more inclusive world, engaging leaders and influencers from around the globe and provide an impetus to accelerate progress towards accessible communities for all and a cure for paralysis after spinal cord injury.  In addition, Homecoming celebrations will also take place marking the conclusion of the Relay and the 25th Anniversary campaign.

While extraordinary progress has been made, Rick believes his best work lies ahead - and the 25th Anniversary is helping to chart a course for the next 25 years - namely extending Rick's and the Foundation's leadership to programs and initiatives that contribute to a healthy, sustainable and inclusive world where all individuals can contribute in a meaningful way.

About the Rick Hansen Foundation:

In 1987, following the Man In Motion World Tour, Rick established the Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) to continue his quest for an accessible and inclusive society and a cure for spinal cord injury (SCI). Under Rick's leadership, RHF functions as a social innovator - finding collaborative solutions to challenges in the community and the resources necessary to implement those solutions. RHF has seen tremendous success, having leveraged the original $26M raised during the Tour to more than $245M to date.

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