By Justin Seward
Bow Island’s Kale Porteous Memorial Splash Park project was the winner of the $5,000 donation bonus contest by FMC Ag Canada on Nov. 3.
The donation was an extension of FMC’s Clean Fields, Community Yields Program.
The Western Canada-only competition saw a voting system launched on Facebook by FMC in September and ended in late October.
A collaborative decision was made by FMC accountant representative for the Medicine Hat territory, Clayton Hodgson and Addison Cullen at Richardson Pioneer to put the splash project in the contest.
“Addison brought it up and I thought it was a fantastic idea,” said Hodgson.
“I’ve been in Bow Island all my life and I know the challenges that local charities face. I just think that there’s not a lot of exposure. We don’t get the big ticket items all the time. It’s relying on the community to step up when there’s stuff going on. We don’t get a lot of funding from the government anymore and it makes it tough make these projects happen without the support of the community.”
Hodgson says it would be an awesome thing to have a splash park in the community.
“I’ve got four small kids here and my wife was part of a discussion years ago about a splash park going in to Bow Island and never come to a fruition. But what a great thing for the kids to have.”
Hodgson has known the Porteous family for a long time having played rec hockey with Kale’s father Garth and his brother went to school with mother Karla.
“I think they’re probably pleased obviously,” said Hodgson of his thoughts on the family winning the donation.
“When a tragedy like this happens in a small community, everyone pulls together and having that splash park in his name is fitting for it.”
Porteous was an 11-year-old local boy at the time that he died in 2018 after he was hit by front-end loader.
The splash park will also receive additional funding under the Clean Fields, Community Yields Program.
The program commenced on July 15 and ended on Oct. 31.
“They sell the product to the grower and we reconcile that and we donate 10 cents per acre to the charity they want to work with,” said Jordan Brisebois, FMC product manager.
Richardson Pioneer works closely with FMC on products.
“We work closely with FMC and their product line up for our farmers,” said Cullen.
“That was the main thing, we do have a good relationship with them and good product fit in the area for the farmers.”
Cullen said, “The splash park is going to be a great way to remember Kale and a real tribute to him and his family and really ties in the agriculture and farming. Those were his passions.”
“And going forward when we can get this thing built, it’ll be a great spot for families and kids to play and get together. Hopefully we can do that sooner than later in a safe way in the coming years.”
Cullen anticipates there will be $7,000 going towards the splash park fund when all the numbers are totaled.
FMC has been in Canada for 15 years and offers a wide range of crop protection, agronomic service and support.