Thursday April 24, 2014





Just one day left to vote

I am writing to ask that you pay attention to the Aviva competition — we have only a day left.

The Courtney and Skye Buck Memorial Playground project has the highest number of votes of all projects across Canada (The Daily News, Dec. 4). This is amazing and we have been touched by the support that we have received from the North Thompson Valley, the Okanagan, the province, across the country and globally.

However, a larger lead is imperative as we move into the final hours. We need an increase in votes to secure our position by Wednesday at 9 a.m.

It was one year ago this week that Skye and Courtney died. They were returning home from visiting family in the Okanagan when their car went off the road less than 20 kilometres from home. The impact was tragic and immensely painful. Their family's hearts were broken into a million pieces and the community mourned the loss.

Why these two people? They were golden, they were magic and they made a difference. They inspired kids to reach higher, they encouraged the community to be better.

It's been such a difficult year. This couple had only just begun. Their accomplishments took them all over the world where they were embraced by many but they chose to come home to Clearwater.

They were loved teachers in our school. They bought a house, they were ready to raise their family. Courtney was eight months pregnant when they died.

I don't share this to bring out more sadness but rather to say that in the struggle to find the answer to "why," the Aviva project came along.

Raft River PAC has been fundraising for two years to raise $120,000 to build a playground for the school. Our back courtyard is bare and broken and needs to be revitalized.

After Skye and Courtney died, the families were approached and they gave their permission along with their blessings to rename the project in honour and legacy for Courtney and Skye. We entered the competition and suddenly, we have found ourselves in the top spot across Canada. We are strong thanks to so many, but we need to keep this going.

We have partnered with a community in Sundridge, they have submitted a project called Make a Splash for Stacey. On Dec. 13, 2012, they lost a young and inspirational teacher to cancer. Our stories are similar, our goals are identical; we both look to give back to our communities in honour of people that have made a
difference.

The other similarity is that through this competition, we might not still be able to answer "why" but we have started to heal as a community. The power of watching a nation pull together in honour of Skye and Courtney has been uplifting. It feels as though we can make a difference in their absence. We feel impassioned to create change in their honour and people are supporting these efforts.

To help us vote, please visit our project: http://www.avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf17236 It's easy to register — look to the top right hand corner. It only takes a couple of minutes.

The winning of the project would be great but really, the greater success has been that this competition has served to help heal hearts and show us that by
pulling together, we can accomplish things in honor of those who already started to build the path of change in our community.

SHELLEY SIM

Raft River parent advisory

Clearwater





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