Five “Hope kids” are heading to Ranger Lake Bible Camp this summer as a result of a memorial fund set up in memory of Ash Lascelle.
The fund is called the B4C Ash Lascelle HOPE Ranger Lake Bible Camp HOPE Memorial Fund. It is set up in memory of Ash Lascelle who passed away in January of 2018 at age 15.
The word “hope” is used because one of Ash’s friends had made up a number of car decals in his memory with the word “hope.”
Ranger Lake was a special place for Ash during his life.
“My son Ash used to come to Ranger Lake all the time with one of his friends, and they loved it,” said Ash’s mom Michele Lascelle.
He attended camp each summer and took part in the swimming and water sports and sing-alongs there.
The memorial fund was set up initially using funds that were left in Ash’s bank account.
“We weren’t sure what to do with it, so with the help of Deb McNabb from Bridges for Children and the Living Faith Chapel, we made a memorial fund.”
The idea was to support the dreams of local kids to attend summer camp.
Anyone can donate to the fund, which is run through Bridges for Children and Living Faith Chapel. The cost to send one Hope kid to camp is $330. It should be noted any amount will be accepted.
According to the Living Faith Chapel’s website, Bridges for Children is a program for children under the age of 12 who are having contact with the RCMP. It uses what is described as a family-centred, team-based and strength-focused process called “wraparound” to help families meet their needs and challenges.
For the memorial fund, one child is selected through Bridges for Children. That child is then able to select a “special someone” to go with them, be it a friend or cousin or someone else, “because that was the deal with Ash, you always bring a friend,” Michele said.
Last year over $1,300 was raised, which was enough to send four kids to Ranger Lake Bible Camp for a week. The 2018 Hope ambassadors were Sheanna and Tori, both Grade 4 students from Connaught, and Dezminn and Sundance, both cousins in Grade 5 in McKitrick.
This year they are sending five kids who are this year’s Hope ambassadors. Teanna and Raye Anne who are Grade 5 from Connaught, Arielle who is Grade 4, and Dezminn and Sundance from McKitrick who are going back for a second year.
Teanna, Raye Anne and Arielle were there for the first week, while Dezminn and Sundance were preparing to go for the second week.
Michele reports that the kids’ participation last year had been life-changing, with improved performance in the classroom. Both Dezminn and Sundance were excited to have the opportunity to return to Ranger Lake for a second year.
Those interested in donating to the B4C Ash Lascelle HOPE Ranger Lake Bible Camp HOPE Memorial Fund can make a cheque payable to Living Faith Chapel. In the memo, the fund should be designated to B4C Ash Lascelle HOPE Fund. Donation receipts will be sent to all donors at year end. Donations are to be sent to Living Faith Chapel, Attention B4C, 1371 103rd Street, North Battleford SK, S9A 1K9.
The year 2018 was marked by tragedy in the Battlefords with the suicides of several young people in the community, among them Ash Lascelle. Word of the tragedies made their way to TSN personality Michael Landsberg, who offered his own support by bringing his #SickNotWeak charity to the Battlefords. The event in March, focusing on the issues of mental health, drew over 2,700 people to the Civic Centre.