Friday, 28 July 2017 04:30

Fundraising continues to complete Swift Current Bronco memorial site

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Bill Lee (second from right) talks about the work that still needs to be done at the Swift Current Broncos memorial site, July 22. Standing with him are players who survived the tragic bus crash in 1986. From left to right, Bob Wilkie, Lonnie Spink, Darren Kruger and Artie Fehr. Bill Lee (second from right) talks about the work that still needs to be done at the Swift Current Broncos memorial site, July 22. Standing with him are players who survived the tragic bus crash in 1986. From left to right, Bob Wilkie, Lonnie Spink, Darren Kruger and Artie Fehr. Matthew Liebenberg

The work continues to complete the Swift Current Broncos memorial site next to the Trans-Canada Highway east of the city.


The monument in honour of four Swift Current Broncos players was officially opened last December on the 30th anniversary of the tragic bus crash.
Bill Lee, who has been the driving force behind the initiative to erect a monument near the crash site, is still raising funds to complete the project.
He organized the Lee family golf tournament at Elmwood golf course on July 22 to raise funds for the work that still needs to be done at the memorial site. The charity event was attended by players who survived the crash and family members.
The event started with a social gathering on the Friday evening and the following morning there was a visit to the monument before the tournament started.
“The guys last night at the social really enjoyed their night,” Lee said after the visit to the monument. “They had so much fun, meeting some of the old residents and people that were around.”
Sixteen teams participated in the four-person Texas scramble golf tournament and many volunteers helped to make the day a success.
“We have a ton of sponsors,” Lee said. “It was so great when I was going around with my little handout. They just said no problem, just send us the bill. So I will be saying thank you to all of them too, but thank you everybody, we really appreciate you.”
There are regular visitors to the memorial site, which is located a few kilometres east of Swift Current at the corner of the Trans-Canada Highway and the Merivale Nursery road turnoff. Lee lives nearby and he will drive past the site daily.
“I don’t think a day goes by that someone has not stopped here,” he said. “My neighbour over the road here says every time he drives by there’s somebody in here. So it’s been fabulous.”
Lee installed a mailbox at the site entrance with a guest book for visitors to sign. The upgrades that still need to be done at the memorial site include the installation of security cameras, landscaping, and signage.
“We’re going to have big signs on the highway and then we have billboards planned for here for people that have helped us,” he said. “We really want to let people know that we care for all the sponsorships and the prizes and stuff they’ve helped us with the golf tournament. So for me it’s very important to say thank you to all of them as well.”
The most significant upgrade will be the expansion of the site to make it easier for vehicles to access the site.
“Right now it’s not very user friendly for large busses and large vehicles,” he explained. “So we're planning on moving it a little bit further to the west and then kind of angling around over to the north and then we’re going to expand the entrance way. We really want to get it wider for people when they come to enjoy it a little bit more.”
Donations can be made towards these upgrades through a GoFundMe crowdfunding site called SC Broncos Memorial Monument.
Cheques, made payable to Bill Lee Golf, can be dropped off at the City of Swift Current, for attention of Lyndsaye Greke, or mailed to Box 1752, Swift Current, S9H 4J8.

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Matthew Liebenberg

Reporter/Photographer

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