Kimberley’s annual Bob McWhinnie Day will be held on Sunday, April 28th this year, and event organizer Alex Buterman says it promises to be a fun day as always.
Each year, McWhinnie Day is held to honour Kimberley City Councillor and community member Bob McWhinnie who passed away in 2010 after a long battle with cancer. Bob McWhinnie’s hard work and enthusiasm in the community is what built the skatepark on Rotary Drive that many kids, teens and adults enjoy year-round.
Buterman says those attending can expect a similar format to most years, with a few new and exciting changes. Things will kick off around 11 with live music, a barbecue and jam.
“The event is all ages, as always, and we encourage everyone to wear the proper safety equipment,” he said.
“It’s not a competition, it’s a jam and there will be prizes.”
Bake sale donations will be accepted for the fundraiser, and this year the barbecue menu is changing to feature pulled pork and/or beef brisket sandwiches.
“The hot dogs are always a hit but this year we’ve decided to switch things up a bit,” Buterman said.
Last year’s event saw some rain, but Buterman says it didn’t discourage anyone from having a good time.
“You never know with the weather, but it seems like the kids don’t care much if it rains or is cloudy, they always have fun. It will go no matter what,” he said.
He adds that this year’s proceeds will be going towards building a concrete perimeter around the park. This will allow spectators to sit at the edge of the park, as opposed to on the features, while also keeping gravel out of the bowl which can become a real hazard for skateboarders.
Over the past few years, proceeds from the bake sale and barbecue have gone directly back to the park with the building of a covered gazebo, washrooms and various other improvements.
“All of the upgrades for the park are made possible thanks to volunteers, contractors, and donations,” explained Buterman. “We try to stretch the funds as far as we can to make things happen.
“We also like to get the kids involved, there’s a real sense of respect and ownership for the park. It’s clean, there’s no garbage or graffiti and I think that has a lot to do with their involvement.”
Another reason that McWhinnie day is a great event, says Buterman, is that it’s achievable for anyone.
“I think it’s neat what we do at the skatepark, it’s a place where anyone can come and hang out. Under-privileged kids are able to come and have fun – it’s not a lot of money for a skateboard or scooter. Everyone can get fed and have fun so it’s kind of a nice thing for the community that way. It’s achievable for us and for the youth.”
This year Buterman is also looking for youth to get involved in the live music aspect of the event. He says that him and the other volunteers are searching for anyone who wants to shine on stage and play some music, specifically youth.
If you want to get involved, volunteer or find out more information, contact Buterman at firstname.lastname@example.org.