Community emerges to help Parkcrest students, teachers and families

A GoFundMe created for teachers and staff at the school has raised more than $20,000

A number of groups, businesses and organizations in the community have stepped forward to offer support for those affected by the Parkcrest elementary fire, which displaced about 360 students after the building was gutted by a fire on Sept. 5:

• An effort is underway to raise money to buy musical instruments to replace those lost in the Sept. 5 that destroyed Parkcrest elementary. The Kamloops Music Collective is behind the bid to replace recorders, ukuleles, xylophones, three pianos and more that were lost in the blaze. All funds raised will be used to buy replacement instruments, Examples of associated costs include a class set of 40 recorders ($400; $10 each), a class set of ukuleles ($2,500; $79), a class set of Orff instruments and mallets, including xylophones, metallophones and glockenspiels ($4,500; ($100 to $300 each) and a class set of hand drums ($2,500; $125 to $200 each). Those wishing to help may donate online at

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• The Yoga Loft is hosting an open house on Saturday, Sept. 21, at which staff will be accepting donations of yoga mats, which will be given to students of Parkcrest elementary. The Brocklehurst school was destroyed in a fire on Sept. 5 and the 360 students will begin attending class at nearby George Hilliard elementary on Sept. 16. Those bringing in a mat to donate will receive 25 per cent off the purchase of a new mat. The Yoga Loft is located downtown at Seymour Street and Fourth Avenue.

• The Kamloops Art Gallery is offering full day art camps for Parkcrest elementary students from Friday through Sept. 14. The gallery, located at 465 Victoria St. downtown, has space for 20 students and all grades are welcome. Call 250-377-2400 or email to register or for more information. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.

• New Heights Autism Support Society is offering 20 spots for special needs children from Parkcrest elementary that require last-minute daytime care. The spots are available for the week of Sept. 9 to Sept. 13 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Bumble + Bean Daycare and Out-of-School Program is offering free child care for the week of Sept. 9 to Sept. 13 for families affected by the fire. Those interested can email Stephanie at

• On Friday, Sept. 6, the City of Kamloops has offered free swimming at the Tournament Capital Centre from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., free drop-in table tennis, free drop-in basketball and free swimming at the Westsyde Pool from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

• The Boys and Girls Club of Kamloops is offering free full-day camps to Parkcrest families for the week of Sept. 9 to Sept. 13. The camps run from 8:15 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. and there are currently 15 spaces left as of Friday morning.To register, contact Kerry at 250-554-5437, extension 203.

• The Big Little Science Centre opened its doors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. until Sept. 13 to families impacted by the fire free of charge. The exploration room is open with science activities. Parents must accompany children. The centre is located at 655 Holt St., may extend the offer into next week.

• Freeze Athletics has offered free full-week camps to affected students for Sept. 9 to Sept. 13. The opportunity is open to children in school at Parkcrest ages five to 12. Camps run from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and spots are limited and given on a first-come, first-served basis.

• Families affected by the Parkcrest fire were also offered a free meal at the Eats Amore food truck during lunch hours on Friday.

• The TRU WolfPack, which sends athletes to the Parkcrest's Terry Fox runs each year, has offered free admission to students, staff and parents for soccer matches on Saturday, Sept. 14. The game is the team's annual family night and will feature bouncy castles and other entertainment.

• The BC SPCA is offering day camps from Sept. 9 to Sept. 13 for kids born between 2008 and 2012. Camps run from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Parkcrest families can register for free at

• Tumbleweed Toys has created a registry and is offering a chance for teachers to come into the store and complete a wish list of needed items. Community members can then purchase these items for teachers, who can then pick them up at the store. Items on the registry are being discounted 25 per cent. “This school has been a part of my children’s lives for the past 10 years and our family is devastated by the loss,” said Vanessa Gammel from Tumbleweed Toys in a Facebook post on Friday.

• Sarah Black, whose kids attended Parkcrest elementary, has started a GoFundMe page and is collecting donations for teachers and staff of the school. “Teachers and staff moving forward need to acquire everything they have worked so hard to provide for our kids and their education, a lot of which came out of their own pockets,” she wrote on the fundraiser’s page. Black set a goal of $50,000, and as of 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, had collected approximately $8,300.

• Kamloops Alliance Church is offering day camps from Sept. 9 through Sept. 13 to help families with displaced children due to the fire at Parkcrest elementary. Information and registration can be found online at The church has room for 40 children. For more information, email Anthony Olson at or Carleen Dangerfield at

• OH&S Safety Consulting and Training Solutions will be offering a free babysitting course on Tuesday, Sept. 10, and Thursday, Sept. 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at its training centre on Laval Crescent. The course is for grades 5 and 6 students of Parkcrest elementary. Registration will open on Monday, Sept. 9, at 9 a.m. online at and will be based on a first-come, first-served basis, with a limit of 18 students per course. Little Caesars Pizza will be providing lunch for the students on both days.

• Colour My World Childcare will be offering free child care for kindergarten students of Parkcrest elementary on Sept. 9, 10, 12 and 13. Email for more information on how many spaces are available.

• An account has been opened at General Grants North Shore location, at Fortune Drive and Oak Street, for people to donate to the Parkcrest elementary parent advisory committee. The fund is called the Parkcrest School Fire Fund and residents may drop bottles at the side of the building without waiting in line (while letting staff know the bottles are for the Parkcrest PAC.

• The Kamloops Storm junior B hockey team will be raising money for Parkcrest teachers at its regular season home opener on Friday, Sept. 13. The Storm will be raising money to go toward Sarah Black's  GoFundMe campaign.

Does your business or organization have something to offer affected Parkcrest students or families? Email to be added to this list of resources.

© Kamloops This Week


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