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Boyle School playground closer to completion

CNRL donates $4K to school group
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Boyle School vice principal Larry Irla, Boyle School Parent Advisory Council chair Shelby Kiteley and CNRL Stakeholder Relations and Indigenous Relations Advisor Ian Thompson met on the Boyle School playground May 27 for a cheque presentation from CNRL that will help pay for the playground equipment. CNRL gave the group $4,000 as part of their community outreach program.

BOYLE - A conversation with a friend of a friend of a friendly corporate citizen recently led to a surprise windfall for the Boyle School Parent Advisory Council. 

Not too long ago, Aspen View Public Schools (AVPS) board chair Candy Nikipelo was contacted by a friend who told her Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL) was interested in donating money to an area non-profit, so she reached out to advisory council chair Shelby Kiteley. 

“Candy had told me that CNRL was looking for groups to donate money toward in our area for projects that helped community, fitness and education,” Kiteley said. “Our playground fit all three criteria so I shot them an e-mail explaining our situation. They ended up giving us $4,000 toward our debt so that we could get a head start on fundraising for the new playground we will soon need.” 

In an e-mail to CNRL, Kiteley explained Boyle School had some very outdated playground equipment. So much so that they actually tore out the elementary playground because it became a hazard to the kids' safety and for two years, they only had a sandbox to play in. 

“Fast forward to last year, we decided that the kids had been through enough with COVID, being put in school only to be pulled out again, and we wanted to give them a playground to come back to in September,” said Kiteley. 

When COVID shut everything down, fundraising became nearly impossible and not being able to do a casino was a major blow to the project so the group found a less expensive playground set and even with locals pitching in with set up they had to take a loan for $10,623.92 to cover the additional cost of installation. 

“They fundraised like heck for two, three years, and then they took a loan from Aspen View to finish it off," Nikipelo said. “That $4,000 will be used to help pay down the loan with Aspen View and it couldn't have come at a better time because this group wasn't able to do their casino.” 

Nikipelo added CNRL has no office in Boyle, but does have facilities nearby and has always been a huge supporter of many non-profits in the village. 

“It's some good news for the parents who have to do all of this fundraising,” she said. “Currently they're doing a 50-50 right now; they're doing 100 tickets for $100 and giving out $5,000 worth of prizes and then profiting $5,000.” 

For more information contact Kiteley at 780-689-0549 or 

Heather Stocking

About the Author: Heather Stocking

Heather Stocking a reporter at the Athabasca Advocate, a weekly paper in Northern Alberta. Heather covers all aspects of the news in and around Athabasca and Boyle as well as other small communities.
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