West will journey 300 km from Edmonton to Calgary to spread his inspirational message and support Free The Children's Water Initiative
WE DAY ALBERTA (CALGARY, AB), Oct. 24, 2012 /CNW/ - Me to We Speaker and Free The Children ambassador, Spencer West, today will announce his next big challenge in front of thousands of local youth at the Saddledome during Free The Children's first ever We Day Alberta. West, alongside his two best friends, will embark on a walk from Edmonton to Calgary in early May. West will do the walk on his hands and in his wheelchair, with the goal of raising $150,000 for Free The Children's Water Initiative. West lost both of his legs at the age of five as a result of a genetic disorder. He was told by doctors he would never be a functioning member of society. He has spent his entire life proving them wrong.
"Last summer, we trekked up Mt. Kilimanjaro, sending a message of hope and encouragement to continuously challenge what's possible," said Spencer West. "The response was overwhelming, and we knew we couldn't stop there. We are bringing our next challenge to Canada, walking from Edmonton to Calgary, and we're calling on everyone to join us on the road, helping us raise money for Free The Children's Water Initiative."
"My buddy Spencer blew me away when he reached the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro last summer," said Jacob Hoggard, lead singer of Hedley. "He continues to be an inspiration to many, including myself, proving no matter what obstacles present itself in life, anything is possible. I'm proud to support Spence on his next journey in Alberta."
"During the Man in Motion Tour, it was vital for us to tell the story of everyday Canadian heroes who are making a difference in their communities, their country and the world," said Rick Hansen, Co-Chair of the Rick Hansen Foundation. "I'm proud to call Spencer one of these heroes and I couldn't be happier that he has chosen this walk through Alberta to share his story, and inspire others to believe in themselves and make a difference."
Spencer's walk will take place in early May. Starting in Edmonton, Spencer, his two best friends (Me to We's David Johnson and Alex Meers), along with special celebrity guests, will travel through cities such as Red Deer, Innisfail, and Airdrie, with a final stop in Calgary. Schools, individuals, and corporations can donate and sign-up to support Spencer's walk - even walk alongside them - at www.freethechildren.com/water. Dollars raised will support Free The Children's year-long Water Initiative, with a goal of providing 100,000 people in Free The Children's Adopt a Village communities overseas with a permanent source of clean water.
Other ways to get involved in Free The Children's Water Initiative, include:
- Canada's Largest Penny Drive: Coinciding with the penny going out of circulation, as part of Free The Children's We Create Change campaign made possible by RBC, students and school groups are being challenged to collect $25 worth of pennies (or the equivalent). Free The Children is giving out designated penny bags. When filled, it equals $25 - enough to provide clean water to one person, for life. RBC branches across Canada will be accepting these bags filled with $25 worth of pennies from November 1 - December 21 2012, and then again in the Spring. For more information, visit www.freethechildren.com/wecreatechange.
- Water Initiative online community: Learn more about the importance of clean water as it relates to lifting a community out of poverty, and donate $25 to provide clean water to one person, for life. Visit www.freethechildren.com/water
- Water Rafiki Friend Chain: Every $10 Water Rafiki Friend Chain provides clean water to one person for one year. Each is unique and handmade with love by Maasai mamas in Kenya. 100% of the proceeds from the Rafiki chain support Free The Children's clean water programming around the world and benefit the mamas who make the chains
Free The Children's long term and sustainable Adopt a Village model is implemented in communities throughout Haiti, Kenya, rural China, India, Sierra Leone, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Ghana. Water is the essential thread that flows through all five pillars of Free The Children's Adopt a Village model, enabling communities to thrive: education, clean water and sanitation, health, alternative income and livelihood, and agriculture and food security.
About Free The Children
Free The Children is an international charity and educational partner that has more than 1.7 million young people involved in its programs in 45 countries. Founded in 1995 by international activist Craig Kielburger, Free The Children believes in a world where young people are free to achieve their fullest potential, and empowers youth to remove barriers that prevent them from being active local and global citizens. The organization's domestic programs—which includes We Day, Free The Children's signature youth empowerment event—educate, engage and empower hundreds of thousands of youth in North America, the UK and around the world to become engaged global citizens. Its international projects have brought more than 650 schools and school rooms to youth and provided clean water and sanitation, health care and food security to one million people around the world, freeing children and their families from the cycle of poverty.
The organization has received the World's Children's Prize for the Rights of the Child (also known as the Children's Nobel Prize), the Human Rights Award from the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations, and has formed successful partnerships with leading school boards and Oprah's Angel Network. For more information, visit www.freethechildren.com.
Image with caption: "After climbing Mount Kilimanjaro this past summer Spencer West, who lost his legs at the age of five, announces next big fundraising adventure at We Day Alberta, today. Pictured here with Free The Children Co-founder Craig Kielburger and Canadian singers, Lights and Jacob Hoggard (Hedley). (CNW Group/Free The Children)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121024_C9399_PHOTO_EN_19716.jpg
SOURCE: Free The Children
For further information:
PR Director, Free The Children
416-925-5894 ext. 805