Calista Persicke. (Web photo)

Calista Persicke. (Web photo)

UPDATED: Community supporting central Alberta family after ATV fire, COVID-19

Bottle drive being extended to April 16

The Ponoka community is coming together to support a local family going through an unthinkable time.

Seven-year-old Calista Persicke is recovering at the Stollery Children’s Hospital from burns covering over 40 per cent of her body after an ATV accident on March 13. Calista’s father was also injured in the accident and was unable to work for awhile.

Her mother, Holly, was also admitted in hospital with COVID-19 and Calista has now tested positive as well.

The family’s current situation is being shared with their permission.

Fundraising efforts are underway to support the Ponoka family, including a bottle drive orchestrated by Calista’s friends, Aubree Reynolds and Ronin Dillon, with the help of their moms, Nicole Reynolds and Nicole Dillon.

Nicole Reynolds says the bottle drive was the children’s idea, and she’s very proud of them.

“Not many seven-year-olds would think of doing that to help a friend,” she said.

Over a two-week period, the group collected a 30-foot long, and five or six feet high, pile of bagged bottles.

There are so many in fact, that they will be using a relative’s cattle trailer to bring them all to the depot. After such a positive response, the group decided to extend the bottle drive to April 16.

Nicole Reynolds says she hopes the funds help with some of the costs facing the family right now, such as travel, caring for their other child, and household bills.

“They have enough stress taking care of their daughter, they shouldn’t have to worry about anything else,” said Reynolds.

Reynolds is collecting gift cards for gas or restaurants for the family. If you’d like to contribute a gift card, or have bottles you’d like to donated, contact Reynolds at or call or text 587-877-6626.


A GoFundMe account organized by Dee Green, “Help in Healing Calista Persicke,” is doing well, with over $23,000 raised by April 1.

According to the page, Calista made it out of her first surgery and was recovering as of March 18, but her entire face was wrapped in order to heal.

As Holly was admitted with pneumonia and is on oxygen and isolated, she isn’t able to be with Calista until she is better.

“We are so truly appreciative and thankful to everyone for their love and support,” said Holly in a comment to Ponoka News.

“We honestly can’t even begin to express our gratitude, this could have been so much worse and everyone has made it just so much easier.”


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A great big pile of bottles were donated to help out the Persicke family. (Photo submitted)

A great big pile of bottles were donated to help out the Persicke family. (Photo submitted)

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