A Break For Fun in the Park
Prince George, B.C. – You and your partner and kids have been away from your home and community going on a week now, with no assurances of when you might be able to return or what you might be returning to.
With over 7,000 evacuees from across the Cariboo now holed up in Prince George, many of them young families with young kids, the anxiety, exasperation and tedium have been mounting. But its clear they have people who care in Prince George and the community came through for them again on Saturday with a Forget the Fire free fun day at Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park.
Tons of fun, tons of free food and freezies and drinks all generously donated so that folks could sit back and relax. Big inflatable p-lay areas for the kids along with craft tables, a popular tattoo parlour, face painting, Clash the Clown and a number of assorted mascots, an internet station with games and many other forms of entertainment sure to get young minds off depressing topics, letting kids be kids.
The Prince George Hospice Society put it together with some help. Hospice Executive Director Donna Flood explains that she was “talking to my grief support workers about the kids and the trauma that’s involved when you’re uprooted, you have no home. Because kids grieve any sort of loss and they’ve lost their homes, their friends and sometimes their father is still at home. And we thought, what can we do to help them?”
She says the idea of a fun day in the park surfaced “and 72 hours later we’ve got a park full of a whole lot of generous people offering their time, their services and tons of stuff. 72 hours and this town has come through with this amazing party in the park.”
Grace Blackall from Williams Lake has been here with her husband and two boys since Tuesday. She says they’re staying at an RV park, adding “we’re doing okay.” She says the day in the park is a great tonic. “Ya we forget everything so far” she chuckled.
Grace, like many others, has no idea when her family will be able to return to Williams Lake but says “I hope it’s going to be good next week so we can go home.”
In the meantime she is very appreciative of the effort put together in the park for the evacuees. “It’s very nice”, she says “the boys like the bounce castles and everything.”