Aug 09, 2012 - BKT Memorial Fund TO HOST A WEEKEND TO REMEMBER

It has been more than eight months since a tragic car collision involving an alleged drunk driver took the lives of Brad Arsenault, Kole Novak and Thaddeus Lake. Since that terrible day in late November 2011, those who were close to the three young men have endured unimaginable heartache and sadness.

The community of Beaumont as a whole has been impacted by the loss of Arsenault, Novak and Lake in some way and as a result The Bradley, Kole, Thaddeus (BKT) Memorial Fund was created in their honour.

And now, as the one year anniversary of their death approaches the BKT Memorial Fund have come together to host a weekend in remembrance of the three boys.

The event will take place over the September long weekend from Saturday, Sept. 1 to Monday, Sept. 3.

Novak’s father Zane, explained that the BKT Memorial Fund has planned a weekend full of sporting events, live music and various other activities.

Saturday, Sept. 1, will consist of an all day Skate-a-thon hosted at the Beaumont and District Lions Skate Park on 50 Street, beginning at 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. “Saturday will be in memory of Kole because he was such a phenomenal snowboarder and skateboarder,” said Zane. “We want to celebrate that.”

Sunday, Sept. 2, will involve an all-day soccer tournament, hosted in the soccer fields just behind the skate park. Zane said this day is in memory of Arsenault, who had an unwavering passion for the sport.

On Monday, Sept. 3, an all day wrap-up party from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature live music from several local bands. Zane said Monday will be dedicated to Lake, who was very involved in his own local music scene in Leduc as well as in Beaumont.

Zane explained that Monday will also feature a live silent auction, which Zane said will have more than a few hot-button items, such as an actual locker donated by the Canadian Junior World Hockey team with a signed team poster, a few signed Oilers jerseys, gift certificates to local businesses and more.

In addition to the silent auction Zane said there will be speeches made in honour of Arsenault, Novak and Lake, as well as a small awards ceremony. “We have some commemorative awards we will give out to the groups or individuals who manage to raise the most sponsorship money. There will also be individual awards given on behalf of the boys to those who we feel reflect the spirit of the boys’ enthusiasm and passion for the community. We will also give out a volunteer award in Chantal Bérubé’s name in reflection of how much she contributed to the community and the impact she had on the boys, especially Kole and Brad who spent so much time at the youth centre,” explained Zane.

Zane said that the event is not only intended to celebrate the three men, but also the community.

In fact Zane explained that a large portion of the proceeds raised during the event will be put toward the construction of a memorial park within the community in memory of Arsenault, Novak and Lake. “What we really want to do is to create something tangible that can have the boys’ names on it where we can go to remember them and that can also act as a physical reminder of the consequences of actions taken for future generations” said Zane.

While the construction of a memorial park is still just an idea at this stage, Zane said it is just one piece of a two-part mission the BKT Memorial Fund has embarked upon.

The second piece to that mission is to put as much pressure as possible on the provincial government to make changes to the current drunk driving laws. Zane said the BKT Memorial Fund would like to see harsher sentences for individuals charged with drunk driving, as well as harsher penalties for individuals caught in the act of drunk driving.

“If we can save just one life everything could be worth it. There is nothing I wouldn’t have done to save even one of our boys if not all three,” said Zane.

Zane said that while he anticipates a good turn out over the long-weekend, whether or not the event is successful will come down to the communities’ level of participation. In order to encourage as many people to come out to the event as possible the BKT Memorial Fund is working in conjunction with the Beaumont Blues Festival (BBF), which takes place that same weekend. “We are encouraging people who attend our events to go out to the BBF as well. There is very little overlap between our events and the BBF events, so we are really hoping that the community will come out to both and make both events a huge success,” explained Zane.

Source: The Beaumont News


Last updated on: 2012-09-10 | Link to this post