Story and Photos By Lucie Roy
Legal – The combined grand opening of the Legal Skate Park and Annual Meet Your Community Event held Friday was well attended by more than 100 people despite the strong winds and the downpour of rain. Many of the youngsters showed up a few hours early to try out the Skate Park. Robert Proulx, Town of Legal Manager of Operations, said the skate park was just completed this past Wednesday. Workers were still laying out the last-minute touches on Friday afternoon. Due to the rain, the grand opening venue was changed to a ribbon cutting ceremony in the gazebo with the mayor, members of council, Jules Jasmin -President of the Centralta Tourism Society – and four youth: Robert and Nakita MacIntyre (held the scissors), Charlie Bulcock and Matthew Jaffray. Due to unforeseen circumstances the Honourable Ken Kowalski, MLA for Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock, was unable to attend but forwarded a commemorative certificate acknowledging the event.
Charlie Bulcock, Robert MacIntyre and Mathew Jaffray tried out the new Legal Skate Park a few hours prior to the grand Oopening. The skate park is located in Citadel Park just east of the gazebo near the arena and the school. Robert MacIntyre said three years ago they approached Council about getting a skate park and within a few hours of the start of their petition they acquired almost 300 signatures. The Legal Youth Group fundraised and contributed approximately $5,000 towards the new Skate Park.
In his opening statement, Mayor Albert St. Jean expressed his gratitude to the youth of Legal. “We are fortunate to have a great youth group that reside in and around Legal,” he said. St Jean also thanked MLA Ken Kowalski for his assistance in obtaining the grant, Beth and Rene Laforce from Laforce Construction for their donation of the heavy equipment, Marty Riopel from Rene’s Oilfield Service for his donation of heavy equipment and to Sturgeon County. Sturgeon County donated trucks to assist in hauling the concrete from the site of the new skate park.
St. Jean said the new park was the former location of a wading pool, which he remembered from his childhood. The pool was not in use back then but was filled with sand. The Town of Legal donated equipment and labour towards the project and many employees worked on the project for hours. Centralta Tourism Society was a willing partner with the Town to apply for a $105,000 Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP) grant to make the skate park a reality. The park was a community project of youth, adults, Town and businesses all working together. In his presentation Jules Jasmin said, “Ensemble-Together we are building a community that we can truly be proud of.”
New Line Skate Parks, the contractors who built the skate park, were also thanked by St. Jean. “All the workers are skateboarders themselves so they have a real passion in building these parks,” he said. “It was a really pleasant experience to have them construct the park.”
After the opening ceremony a group of youngsters from Sherwood Park, who practice together and call themselves the Super Duper Skates, made a few demonstrations in the skate park, showing off the many manoeuvres they have mastered.
Free food, games, hay rides and a service group trade fair were also on the night’s agenda. Some of the display booths included Parent Link Centre, Military Family Resource Centre, Legal Soccer, Service Canada, Sturgeon Rural Crime Watch, Sturgeon Family Literacy, Family Community Support Service (FCSS), Bon Accord/Gibbons Food Bank and Alberta Canadian French Association (ACFA) Centralta.
The door prizes included a scooter won by Kendra Veenstra and a skateboard won by one of the cooks- Shelley Graham. First prize in the Best Dressed Hillbilly Family Contest went to Mary Jaffray and second place was the mother and daughter duo of Kimberly Bordeniuk and Samantha Bordeniuk.
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