By Justin Seward
The Kale Porteous Memorial Splash Park project has gauged tremendous support for fundraising efforts this far.
The Splash Park legacy project was spearheaded by the Troy Loney Golf Classic committee in memory of the fourth generous Porteous boy, who died when he was struck by a payloader at the family farm in 2018.
The Golf Classic committee members are a part of the Splash Project Steering committee.
Town of Bow Island council passed a motion in January 2020 to support the Troy Loney Golf Classic in their fundraising efforts for the Splash Park and to form an ad hoc committee called the Kale Porteous Splash Park planning committee.
“But because it’s on town property, it will inevitably be a town project,” said Craig Couillard, co-chairmen of the Golf Classic committee with Ryan Thurston.
“We’ll be the primary funding source. But at the end of the day, the town will have the final say of the design. We’ll sort of have a large amount of input.”
The committee started the Friends and Farmers for Kale Campaign last year before COVID and now has resurrected back up this spring in hopes of raising $350,000 for the capital project costs.
“We haven’t seen any designs or quotes,” he said.
“It’s just estimates based on other parks in Western Canada the committee has looked at.”
There has been $125,000 raised to date through the Campaign.
If a donation is made of $500 or more, that person(s) or business will receive a charitable tax receipt and a mention on the commemorative plaque at the Splash Park upon completion.
“It’s been literally overwhelming,” said Couillard.
“The golf tournament wants to support the Porteous family and certainly wants to support the creation of the Splash Park. There’s been a lot of negative news over the last 15 months with COVID and the economy, and I think people are migrating to this story of community support— and the family support for the Laidlaw and Porteous families.”
The 20-member committee have been doing door knocking and phone calls to promote funding for the project, as well as professionally created promotional material.
“We have an amazing committee,” he said.
“Even though it’s been in seeding season, everybody has been making their calls and every week there’s significant donors that come in. There (are) some farm families that are donating $5,000. They just feel moved to make a significant contribution towards the project and support the family.”
Donations can be set-up through calling Couillard at (403) 200-1019 or Thurston at (403) 928-0808.
“Kale was only 11 years old when he passed away,” he said.
“The demographics of a Splash Park would certainly hit that age group. The Porteous and Laidlaw families are very family-orientated people, they’re very community orientated. So, this kind of a legacy project for Kale, we felt would be very appropriate.”
The Splash Park is anticipated to break ground in 2022 and will be located in Centennial Park.
The Troy Loney Charity Golf Classic returns to the Bow Island Golf Club for the first time since 2016 on Sept.16, and will be followed by a banquet and auction at the Servus Community Arena that evening with all the proceeds will go back in to the Splash Park project.
More details on the golf tournament will be announced soon.
Another Charity Classic will run in June 2022 with the same format and those funds going to the Splash Park.
“Troy has a special connection to the Porteous and Laidlaw families because (he) used to work out in there (Laidlaw Sand and Gravel) the summers in high school,” said Couillard.