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Come by Chance holds grand opening for memorial park

Left to right are: Leanne Pike, Come by Chance recreation coordinator Roger Goobie, Come by Chance mayor Keith Best, MP Judy Foote, MHA Mark Browne, and Sandra Benson.
Left to right are: Leanne Pike, Come by Chance recreation coordinator Roger Goobie, Come by Chance mayor Keith Best, MP Judy Foote, MHA Mark Browne, and Sandra Benson.

Come By Chance, NL - A crowd of roughly a hundred people gathered today for the grand opening of the Mark D.R. Hodder Memorial Park in Come by Chance, on the site of what used to be the old ball field. 

The crowd releases dozens of balloons to close the ceremony.

The park was named in memorial of Mark Hodder, who passed away in April, 2011,at the age of 21.

Mark had grown up just across the street from the ball field, where the park now stands, and where his parents, Lloyd and Karen, still live.

"It's a privilege for myself, and my family, to have something like this to remember Mark by, and it serves his memory well," said Leanne Pike, Mark's sister, who spoke on behalf of the Hodder family.

"It really speaks to us, as this place was such a huge part of who he was.  He spent endless hours over here… I can still remember him chasing me and my friends over here.

"For us to be able to look through my parents' back windows and see all this, makes us feel honoured," said Pike.

"For those who knew Mark, would agree, that this kinda fits.  It makes sense."

MP Judy Foote and MHA Mark Brown were both in Come By Chance and spoke at the event.

"It's good to be here to celebrate Mark's life, to remember him, and to know that the people in Come by Chance will get a chance to enjoy this great, great recreational facility, that would be the envy of any rural community," said Foote to the crowd.

The project, the idea of Come by Chance's recreation committee, has been a work in progress for just over a year now. It was assisted by just over $18,000 in funding from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

The park, which recreation coordinator Roger Goobies describes as all-ages community park, is complete with playground, walking track, scenic trees, and benches.

As handfuls of balloons were released to close the ceremony, one woman in the crowd noticed that the gentle breeze had carried the balloons over the Hodder home.

 

Mark.squibb@thepacket.ca 

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