STEPHENVILLE — As she snipped the last of the ribbons to release a group of red and white balloons, Gail Piercey couldn’t hold back all the tears as the balloons soared into the air.
Her son always loved red balloons and many others released theirs as well in a tribute to Adam Piercey at the grand opening of a skate park in his name on Tuesday evening.
Later, Gail talked about how amazing it was the Adam Piercey Memorial Skate Park came together so quickly this year in a matter of just more than a month. It replaces a former skate park in Stephenville that was destroyed in the flood of 2005.
Adam was one of the young people that according to his parents practically lived at the former park.
“The only thing he didn’t do was sleep there,” his mom said. “He and his friends just loved it.”
Piercey died in a work-related accident in May of 2009 that took place in Alberta at the age of 26 years and his family, including Gail, his dad Edward and brother Kelsey, planned a vacation to Stephenville from Alberta at this time to take part in the grand opening of the skate park.
Edward said it’s amazing what the community and the skate park committee did.
“It is really blowing us away with the amount of work the town and people right across Canada have done to make this park a reality in such a short period of time,” he said.
Piercey was pleased to see such a large crowd on hand for the dedication ceremony.
The park was made possible through a grant of $20,000 from the Town of Stephenville, along with a loan of $20,000 from the town, which the organizing committee raised the money for and was presenting that amount to the town at the grand opening.
It was at the event that Mayor Tom O’Brien made an offer to the committee to pay $5,000 of the amount and use the remaining $15,000 for more equipment to expand the skate park and continue their fundraising to pay the remainder back later.
Maria Churchill, chairperson, was quick to accept the offer, along with all the other members of the committee. She told the young people on hand the committee will be ordering more equipment in short order.
Nine-year-old Chad Lushman, who was out enjoying the grand opening on his scooter, said the skate park is awesome and really worth what has gone into it.
“It’s well built and hopefully everyone will have a great time on this skate park, especially since it’s built in memory of Adam Piercey, who I heard loved the old skate park,” he said.
Tyler Bennett, a 10-year-old from nearby Cold Brook said the skate park is fun and he plans to spend some time there whenever he can get down.
“This is my first time ever being on a skate park and it’s really fun,” he said.