Toboggan hill named for Ponoka avalanche victim

A toboggan hill in Ponoka will be named for a local avalanche victim. The rise that’s under development in Kinsmen Recreation Centre Park will be known as the Tom Hamilton Memorial Hill, in memory of the young community builder who died near McBride, B.C., on Saturday while snowmobiling in the mountains.

A toboggan hill in Ponoka will be named for a local avalanche victim.

The rise that’s under development in Kinsmen Recreation Centre Park will be known as the Tom Hamilton Memorial Hill, in memory of the young community builder who died near McBride, B.C., on Saturday while snowmobiling in the mountains.

Kinsmen member Darrell Johnston said the legacy project was requested by the Hamilton family instead of a proposed trust fund for Hamilton’s children. “The family wanted the money to go to the hill as a legacy for Tom.”

The project in a park on the edge of town still requires some fencing, landscaping and the addition of a smaller toboggan hill for younger children, said Johnston.

Donations can be made at The Ponoka Kinsmen are also holding a live and silent auction on April 18 at the recreation centre to benefit the project.

The Ponoka Kinsmen’s Facebook page states: “In the wake of Tom Hamilton’s passing, our club and the family have been overwhelmed by the show of support from friends, acquaintances, community, and fellow Kin from across Canada.”

Johnston said there’s now a project in place for those who wish to donate. Funds can also be dropped off at The Brick in Ponoka, care of club member Andrew Middleton. For more information, call Johnston at 403-352-3675.

Hamilton’s funeral is set for Monday at 3 p.m. at the Stagecoach Saloon on the Ponoka Stampede grounds, with a public viewing from 12:30 p.m.

The 29-year-old is survived by his wife, Amanda Hamilton, their daughter Kaitlyn, 18 months, his son James, six months.

Amanda said her husband’s death has also devastated his mother Jonnette, grandmother Peggy and brother Declan, as well as his father Jim and sister Amy.

Money raised in lieu of flowers will be split between the Lacombe Parent Link centre, which was helpful when Amanda moved to the community (as a Kinette member, Amanda already helped raise $5,000 to outfit the kitchen of the new Ponoka Parent Link centre), and the Robson Valley Search and Rescue group.

“I am very grateful to them for all their efforts and hope it can help someone else in the future,” Amanda said.

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