‘Man in Motion’ Rick Hansen to speak at Grape Growers of Ontario’s 31st Annual Celebrity Luncheon

Release Date: 
Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Grape Growers of Ontario, in partnership with Meridian Credit Union, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, and the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival, are pleased to announce that Rick Hansenwill be the speaker at the 31st Annual Celebrity Luncheon which kicks off the 63rd Annual Niagara Grape and Wine Festival. The event will take place at Club Roma in St. Catharines on Wednesday, September 17th at 11:30 a.m. 

“Rick Hansen is a Canadian dedicated to making a difference, and the Grape Growers of Ontario are thrilled to have him speaking at this year’s Celebrity Luncheon,” says Bill George, Chair of the Grape Growers of Ontario. “Rick’s Man in Motion World tour was inspiring and proved that there is no obstacle that cannot be overcome, not unlike Ontario’s grape growers,” says Debbie Zimmerman, CEO of the Grape Growers of Ontario.

Currently the only man in history to have successfully circumvented the globe in a wheelchair, Rick Hansen is internationally revered and respected for raising the awareness of the potential of people with disabilities. The Rick Hansen Foundation has generated more than $280 million for spinal cord injury related programs and initiatives. Rick is a mentor who is committed to working with young people to support their development and encourage them to be the best that they can be. With the courage to try, anything is possible.

Rick has received the Companion Order of Canada, and the Order of British Columbia; initiated National Access Awareness Week in Canada; was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame; is honourary chair for a number of provincial and national advisory councils on disabilities; and holds 14 honourary degrees from universities worldwide. 

“Meridian is again very pleased to support the Grape Growers of Ontario in the presentation of the annual Celebrity luncheon. This year’s speaker Rick Hansen exemplifies the ability of the human spirit to rise up to meet challenges and succeed. His tireless efforts working for the betterment of our community is remarkable. We consider it an honour to be associated with both Mr. Hansen and the GGO.” Ken Janzen, Meridian’s Senior Director and Branch Manager.

"Once again, the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation is delighted to support the Grape Growers of Ontario and their annual luncheon showcasing the bounty of Ontario's Greenbelt," said Burkhard Mausberg, CEO, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. "The luncheon highlights both the variety of delicious wine available in Niagara and the diversity of local food found in the Greenbelt. To top it all off, we get to hear from the Man in Motion, Rick Hansen--making it an event full of inspiring words, food, and of course, wine."

“For 63 years the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival has honoured the excellence of the Niagara Grape Growers. The Grape Growers of Ontario are a founding partner of the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival and our Board of Directors values their strong support of our three annual Festivals. The Annual Luncheon has become a highly anticipated event that marks the beginning of another harvest celebration. We look forward to the inspired words of Rick Hansen as he provides insight into his role as a leader, an athlete and his advocacy to create a barrier-free world.” Kimberly Hundertmark, Executive Director, Niagara Grape and Wine Festival.

Online ticket purchases can be made at www.niagarawinefestival.com. Ticket order forms are available at www.grapegrowersofontario.com/ticketorderform or by calling the office at (905) 688-0990.

The Grape Growers of Ontario represents over 500 active growers on 17,000 acres in three viticulture areas (Niagara Peninsula, Lake Erie North Shore, and Prince Edward County).  We are the advocate of all processing grape growers in the province working to ensure the market for Ontario grapes and wines expands domestically and internationally. 

For more information contact: Debbie Zimmerman, CEO, Grape Growers of Ontario at (905) 401-2471