Photo: Eathan Giesbrecht passed away in a car accident in July 2008. His mom is now trying to collect enough funds to start a new skatepark in Fort St. John -Courtesy of Facebook.
By Christine Rumleskie
Eathan Giesbrecht only had $1,000 in his bank account when he passed away in a tragic car accident two years ago.
But now, that small sum could become the seed for a new concrete playground for young people in Fort St. John.
After the 15 year-old died, his mom, Melody Soychuk, put Eathan’s money into a trust fund, dedicated to what he loved most – skateboarding.
The fund is now growing, and Soychuk is working on a plan to build a brand new skatepark in memory of her son. She says the current park is just too small for the number of boarders and bikers in the City.
While many skaters get a bad rep, Soychuk says they are dedicated athletes who treat each other with respect and dignity while honing their skills.
Soychuk has been researching similar parks in the Peace Region, and says the project could cost upwards of $300,000 – and that’s not including the cost of land.
Last week, Soychuk set up a Facebook group dedicated to generating support for the idea. Almost 1,400 people have joined the group, and are already voicing their plans for the new skate park.
Soychuk says her son would be impressed.
Soychuk is now trying to start a non-profit society, in order to issue tax-receipts for larger monetary donations. Once that’s started, Soychuk says she will be out in full force campaigning and presenting her ideas to City officials.
For now, monetary donations are being accepted at Systems by Trail, Dark Flavour, Ferris Fast Cycles and Griffin Sports. Donations can also be made at the North Peace Credit Union, Account number: 624254 BRO 1, and it’s called, "In Trust for Eathan Giesbrecht."
If anyone has a piece of land they would like to donate to the cause, they can contact Melody Soychuk at 250-787-7764.
Click here to visit the Facebook page, called "Eathan Giesbrecht Memorial Skate Park Fort St. John."
Photo: Eathan Giesbrecht performs a trick at the skatepark in Fort St. John – Courtesy of Facebook.