For the last five years, Zane Novak has been looking for a way to memorialize his son Kole Novak and his friends Bradley Arsenault, and Thaddeus Lake. When Beaumont council approved funding for a two-year project to revitalize the skatepark, Zane and his daughter Karmia Novak knew this was the perfect project. 


“They logged countless hours there, and they were noted for being the type of kids who were not the bullies on the playground — they were the kids who helped teach other kids skateboard maneuvers,” Zane said. “After Kole passed away, I received numerous letters from parents and other kids in the community talking about how Kole had taken time to teach younger children how to skateboard. So there was such an attachment of Bradley and Kole to that skatepark, and literally thousands of hours that they put in there and interacting with innumerable other kids. That’s as good of a manifestation that you can possibly get.” 


Zane and Karmia have spent the last five years raising money for the project. They’ve been asking for donations and hosting fundraisers to get as much money as they could for the project. To top it off, they received a donation of $12,000 from the Big Hearted Mavericks Foundation in Calgary. 


“The town really stood up for the boys and stood up with us. The Town of Beaumont was fantastic to us, and that’s why we wanted something in the town that was significant for the boys, but with a benefit to the community, and we feel that this meets those parameters,” he said. 


For the all of the families involved, dealing with the deaths of the three boys has been a long, arduous process. 


“Through this entire process, my daughter and I have just tried to survive. It wasn’t always easy, it’s certainly been trying. I think that you want to do the best you can in the world and do the most, but sometimes reality isn’t what expectation is,” Zane said. 


“This took a lot out of us, certainly raising these funds and having set personal commitments that you feel an obligation to live up to, and when you put that into the mix of the grieving process, just trying to live a normal life, trying to run a normal business in a trying economic situation as we all know we have in Alberta, the toll has been huge for my daughter and I. At times, almost insurmountable.”


But despite the years of heartache and trouble, achieving the preservation of the boys’ memories is that light at the end of the tunnel. It’s also another reminder to the public of how many lives can be changed or destroyed by making the decision to drink and drive.


“I really hope, that when they remember the boys, that they remember the senseless act that robbed them of their lives and that people will remember that and take a better course, and not drink and drive, not drive under the impairment of drugs or alcohol. Because if we can do anything, if we can save one life, that would make those boys proud,” Zane said. 


Zane and Karmia continue to volunteer with a number of associations, and do everything in their power to help as many people as they can. At the end of the day, they are hoping this memorial will also help to reduce some of the stigma surrounding skateparks. 


“Skateparks are often misperceived by the adult community, but I think done right, they’re a fantastic thing for our youth. I think that Kole would be so happy that a community like Beaumont is recognizing and appreciating it, embracing it rather than stigmatizing it,” Zane said. “I think he’d be pretty happy to have his name associated with it — in fact, I know he would.


Source: Beaumont News

Last updated on: 2017-05-11 | Link to this post