(from left) Sascha Richard, Nicole Richard and Grant Richard at the Lakeview Heights Kids Club road hockey game Photo: Darold Sturgeon

West Kelowna woman looks to reunite community

A Lakeview Heights resident is determined to knit her community together.

Longtime resident, Nicole Richard grew up in Lakeview Heights and attended the elementary school that closed in 2006. She eventually moved away, but returned with two children of her own, and now looks to restore the connected neighbourhood that she once knew.

“There were parents and children around and chatting, I noticed children here exercising with their parents, riding bikes places and street hockey games and then it stopped. I thought this is really bizarre and what a shame,” said Richard. “I want to build a community.”

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She took to social media to help the kids in the neighbourhood connect, starting Lakeview Heights Kids’s Club where parents can post about street hockey games, soccer games, water balloon fights or anything else they could imagine for a day of fun in May 2018.

Since then Richard still finds that her neighbours are hesitant to engage with each other.

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“We have become such a device culture and the only thing I can see it as is a tool for community. I think we can use it to get back to being a community,” said Richard. “I’m honestly trying to get kids outside because there are so many screens and kids are going home and playing Xbox instead of moving and going outside. “

Over the weekend Richard started a drop in road hockey game that successfully drew in several of the neighbours that brought their sticks embracing the winter weather.

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Now she has joined the Lakeview Heights Community Association as social media director to engage with residents online and bring them together outside of the digital world.

The community association has also brought on event director, Wendy Jobs to draw in residents that want to get involved and have a say in how their community grows.

Jobs, who joined the association in November is currently planning a member appreciation party where all residents of Lakeview Heights are welcome to bring their families. The day of fun will feature giant Jenga, refreshments, appetizers, face painting and entertainment to thank current members while attracting new ones.

“Part of why people don’t join is they feel like they don’t belong or they are not invited. One vehicle to do this is to promote. I have never been a part of a community association and Lakeview Heights is quite strong. Our directors are very engaged and are interested,” said Jobs.

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Photo: Darold Sturgeon Lakeview Heights Kids Club road hockey game. Sunday Jan. 13 (from left) : Sascha Richard, Clare Sturgeon, Jonathon Sturgeon, Nicole Richard, Gryffin Payne, Jody Page

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