Get ready to get wet at 100 Mile House’s new waterpark

The official opening of the park is on Aug. 6.

Hard work pays off. Just ask Jamie Hughes-Rywaczuk, whose project of getting a waterpark in 100 Mile House will officially come to a close on Aug. 6 with its grand opening.

“I’m really excited,” she said. “I’m excited for the community. This is a huge improvement, and it’s a huge asset to our community. It’s not just for the kids, it benefits our entire community. It’s a draw to professionals and it’s a draw to tourism.”

Hughes-Rywaczuk concludes that there is nothing negative about the waterpark being added to Centennial Park’s landscape.

The waterpark will follow a marsh theme, which she said felt more suitable to Centennial Park because “it’s just natural and beautiful.”

Aug. 6 was chosen as the official opening date because the project would not have been finished before July 1. Hughes-Rwyaxzuk said B.C. Day was a good fit, instead.

RELATED: The new stage in 100 Mile House’s Centennial Park was built without a dime of tax payer money

The celebration will begin in at noon and go until 4 p.m. Local band 100 Miles From Nowhere will be playing a set at the new stage. There will also be a free barbecue with refreshments, cakes and cupcakes.

There will be bouncy castles and the waterpark will be fully operational.

The project was born at a dinner table in early 2012.

“My husband actually made a comment as we were watching the news. They said that the one-cent coin was going out of circulation, so my husband said: “oh, wouldn’t it be cool if everyone in town donated all the pennies they have laying around and put it towards something.” I just kind of thought that’s a really good idea,” said Hughes-Rywaczuk.

She posted the idea to Facebook and got the penny drive started. Members of the community soon started dropping off jars of pennies and volunteers would count them every weekend.

There was also a voting process with five options for the public to decide where the money would go to. Over 90 per cent of the votes, according to Hughes-Rywaczuk, went to the waterpark when the voting closed on July 1, 2012.

“I approached [Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA] Donna Barnett after we counted the pennies and just said to her: “I don’t know what to do. The town voted for a waterpark, I don’t even know what a waterpark costs or anything.” She just looked at me and said: “go for it”. So I did,” Hughes-Rywaczuk said.

She then went to the South Cariboo Joint Committee. They agreed to donate land to the waterpark in Centennial Park if the family and the project’s supporters could raise all the funds.

RELATED: Turning pennies into a waterpark

It wasn’t until the group received the first large donation on May 27, 2013, that they were taken seriously. Coming from the 100 Mile Youth and Recreation Association, the cheque was for $20,265.71.

“That brought us to $25,000 and that’s when we were actually taken seriously as a group because we had that foundation. We weren’t just a group coming in with a couple thousand dollars,” she said.

Donations from politicians, the district, the province, local businesses and individuals followed suit with donations at fundraisers, events and even some dropped them off under Hughes-Rywaczuk’s welcoming mat at her house.

The numerous donations included a $50,000 cheque presented by Donna Barnett and 100 Mile House Mayor Mitch Campsall at a press conference on Jan. 20, 2017.

Before that cheque though, the waterpark group reached out to the district’s council in 2014 after seeing the goal of getting a waterpark in the village may not have been attainable after all due to the costs.

“We approached council after we got all the costs and we asked them to help us and they said at that point they would fund the lift station with the joint committee and that really gave us another boost and after that it was just more fundraising,” said Hughes-Rywaczuk. “When the district and joint committee committed to the lift station I knew it [the waterpark] was going to happen and honestly, I knew this was going to happen since the beginning because I never had any doubts.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

First Past the Post vs. Proportional Representation

The Free Press breaks down your referendum options

VIDEO: Comedy Night in 100 Mile House

Comedians Kerry Chelsea and Leland Klassen had South Cariboo residents roaring with laughter

100 Mile Elementary holds book fair fundraiser

‘It’s excellent. It’s always really well receive by parents and teachers’

100 Mile House high school soccer team gets an addition to the trophy case

PSO Eagles boys team medals for the first time in five years

Two South Cariboo artists unite to display contrasting paintings in 100 Mile House

Seasons of Change: A Tale of Two Artists will run Oct. 19 to Nov. 10 at the Parkside Art Gallery

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

B.C. jury finds man guilty of Japanese exchange student’s murder

Natsumi Kogawa was found at empty heritage mansion shortly after she was reported missing in 2016

B.C. man accused of killing Belgian tourist along Highway 1 appears in court

Sean McKenzie, 27, made second court appearance since his arrest in connection with the murder of Amelie Sakkalis

Colourfully named cannabis products appeal to youth, Tory health critic says

Conservative health critic Marilyn Gladu says the Liberal government needs to do more to ensure cannabis products available online are not enticing to young people

Trial set for man charged with decades-old murder of B.C. girl

Garry Handlen accused of killing Merritt girl; also charged with Abbotsford murder

Bernardo-like sexual deviancy poorly understood, expert says

What exactly causes such deviance is not known but some evidence exists of physical brain damage to the front part of the brain

B.C. high school teacher faces sexual assault charges

A Mt. Boucherie teacher has been charged with child luring, sexual exploitation and sexual assault.

Fashion Fridays: You can never have enough shoes

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Former B.C. cop sentenced to jail ‘in the community’ after caught in Creep Catchers sting

Dario Devic pleaded guilty after getting caught up in Surrey Creep Catcher sting in Whalley in 2016

Most Read