January 29, 2013
UnRiehl! Aviva Community Fund Supports Project in E.L. Crossley Student's Memory
“Isaac’s legacy will live on in the Town of Pelham.”
With those words, Isaac Riehl’s mother, Bonita Riehl captured the reason why hundreds of students, community members and elected officials gathered to celebrate at E.L. Crossley on an early Tuesday morning.
During its live broadcast at the school on Tuesday morning, Canada AM announced that the Riehl Skate Park, an idea submitted by Crossley student Mariah Bunz, was the winner of a $115,000 grant from the Aviva Community Fund. Bunz could barely contain her tears as host Jeff Hutcheson made the announcement which caused the assembled crowd to explode in celebration.
The day was made even more special by the fact that the Town of Pelham had committed to matching the funds raised for the park. There were even more tears of joy when Mayor Dave Augustyn presented a second cheque to Mariah and the Riehl family bringing the total raised to over $230,000.
“This is a true coming together of community,” said Augustyn.
Mariah entered the skate park project in the Aviva Community Fund contest to create a lasting tribute to the memory of Isaac Riehl, an E.L. Crossley student who died in a tragic skateboarding accident last fall. The school and the community rallied behind the project and submitted enough votes to have the project named one of the finalists in the contest.
Mariah said the announcement that the Riehl Skate Park had been named one of the winners was overwhelming. “I just can’t describe the feeling, it’s amazing. Isaac was an amazing person and he meant so much to everyone here at the school. I’m sure he would be really excited about this,” she said.
The school community was certainly excited, students wore t-shirts for the Riehl Skate Park and they waved signs thanking the Aviva Community Fund. All this happened under a large banner that seemed to encapsulate the mood of the crowd; it read simply “UNRIEHL!”