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On August 3, 2008, after a valiant and joy-filled journey, one of our own was taken far too soon. Harry Venema was a young boy and a dazzling spirit who adored his Wolseley neighbourhood. He loved the #10 bus and he delighted in watching the kids at Laura Secord School, and he, along with his parents and older sister Lydia, used the playground there as an extension of their backyard.
After Harry passed on, a fund was set up to honour the major teaching of his life, which was to live in joy, thankfulness, and community, and do so by helping present and future generations of children in the Wolseley community experience the joy of youth by creating a community playground; it was to be a child's universe - where no child would be left inside.
The Venema's project was put on hold when it was announced in 2012 that the school would be getting a new roof, and again with the announcement in 2014 of a new gym. Now, over 7 years after its inception, the Harry Venema Memorial Fun Fund is ready to be put into action.
We are in the stages of re-developing the outdoor play space surrounding the new addition, making it not only a place where Laura Secord students educational experience will be enriched with elements of nature, music, gardens and outdoor playscapes, but a place that will act as an extension of all our homes and backyards just as the Venema's has envisioned.
So please join us as we aim for the moon with a goal of raising $300,000 over the next year with the help of Harry's Memorial Fund, community grants, government funding, donations, and fundraising events. Let's build a backyard that everyone can be proud of, after all, it is OUR backyard.