A sold-out crowd packed Swangard Stadium Tuesday night to watch the RCMP Musical Ride, including one very special guest, honorary Staff Sgt. Maj. Casey Wright. Twelve-year-old Wright became the first civilian in Canada to be given the rank of Staff Sergeant Major, a rank bestowed upon him from the commissioner of the RCMP back in Ottawa. The honour is not taken lightly by the new mountie.
"It was a proud moment," Wright told the NOW on Thursday.
His favourite part of the evening was getting to go behind the scenes to meet the riders and horses. He even got the chance to take a ride on one of the horses.
"It was awesome," he added. Meeting the horses wasn't the only special treat for the guest of honour on Tuesday night. Wright was lucky enough to be fitted for his very own RCMP Red Serge.
"The end result was a perfect fit," he said.
Along with a pack of collectible RCMP cards of all the horses and riders, Wright gets to keep the custom-fitted Red Serge, along with an authentic riding crop straight from RCMP depot in Regina.
"Casey was awesome. He was our little honoured guest, and he looked so great," said Sgt. Lorin Lopetinksky of the Burnaby RCMP. "He's such a little character. For his stature, his mind is 1,000 times bigger than mine and all of ours put together."
Lopetinksky wasn't the only one to commend the honourary Mountie. Burnaby's own Staff Sgt. Maj. John Buis had a lot to say about the impressive young man.
"He's a unique individual. He's touched all of us. Not only with his big smile, but the way he's persevered with his illnesses over the years. He is a very special young man. It's almost as if what nature took away in his physique and his size, gave it to him extra in his intellect and the way he can speak," said Buis, who now shares his rank with the honorary member. Wright has been battling cancer for almost of his life but instead of rolling over, he spends his time volunteering for different charities. (Casey is the son of BurnabyNOW staff photographer Larry Wright.) "He just has a presence in a room that's hard to describe, and he's done a lot for us in the RCMP as a spokesperson for the Canadian Cancer Society's Cops for Cancer and most recently with the Sunshine Dreams for Kids," Buis added.
All in all, Lopetinksky said the Musical Ride was a great success.
"We were thrilled. We sold out. The weather cooperated. It was an absolutely perfect night," he said.
The evening event featured various displays, including the Air1 police helicopter, Burnaby's explosive disposal unit, E-Comm, the city's crime prevention team and the Burnaby Fire Department. There was also a performance by the Simon Fraser University junior pipe band and CircusWest - a Vancouver-based circus school.
"There was a lot of hard work done by the City of Burnaby parks and rec and the three Rotary clubs," he added.
And Rotary's hard work didn't go unnoticed. The winner of the 50/50 raffle donated her winnings, $1,300, back to the clubs, Lopetinksky said.
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