More than 18,000 students from 550 schools across Alberta filled the Saddledome in Calgary on Wednesday to take part in the city’s first We Day.

We Day is an educational event aimed at motivating young people to volunteer and make a difference in their community.

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Free The Children ambassador Spencer West, a huge inspiration to many, will walk on his hands and use his wheelchair on a trek from Edmonton to Calgary in May. (Carla Beynon/CBC)

Kaden Morrow and his classmates from Wetaskiwin took a four-hour bus ride to Calgary so they could take part.

"We had to enter a contest where we write down what we could do to change the city," said Morrow.

Jamey Behn of Blackfalds also submitted a written item in order to take part.

"I got bullied a lot, so I wrote about that," said Behn on Wednesday.

Some celebrities who took part in the event include former television host Larry King, actor Martin Sheen and the Canadian band Hedley.

New challenge announced

Free The Children ambassador Spencer West, who lost his legs at the age of five because of a genetic disorder, was also on hand to announce his next big challenge.

West had trekked up Mt. Kilimanjaro last June in support of providing clean water to communities in East Africa.

On Wednesday, in front of thousands of local youth, West announced he will embark on a walk on his hands and in his wheelchair from Edmonton to Calgary in early May with the goal of raising $150,000 for the Free The Children’s Water Initiative.

"Last summer, we trekked up Mt. Kilimanjaro, sending a message of hope and encouragement to continuously challenge what’s possible," said West in a release. 

"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."