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Weldon, Sask. to host pancake breakfast Saturday for memorial playground project

The town of Weldon, Sask. is hosting a pancake breakfast on Saturday to raise funds to build a playground honouring a stabbing victim.

Wesley Petterson, 78, was the 11th homicide victim in the mass stabbing event that occurred on James Smith Cree Nation and in the town of Weldon in September 2022.

In February, members of the town banded together to form the Weldon Playground Project to create the Wes Petterson Memorial Park after him.

Click to play video: 'James Smith Cree Nation begins one of the largest inquests in Canadian history'

James Smith Cree Nation begins one of the largest inquests in Canadian history

“He was such a kind man,” said Chelsey Erickson, co-director of the project. “He’d give you the shirt off his back because that’s the type of person he was. I knew him my whole life because our families spent a lot of time visiting one another.”

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In an email, the group said Petterson was known around the town for his friends and good-natured demeanour.

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They said he was an early riser and always the first at the seniors’ centre to make coffee for his friends and neighbours.

The project’s planning committee will be hosting a pancake breakfast at the Weldon Auditorium on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. to raise money for the park’s construction.

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Breakfast for adults will cost $12. Seniors and children will pay $8.

The committee hopes to raise $150,000 for the park which will include playground equipment, rubberized ground covers, benches and a sign for the park name.

“We need a safe space where our children are free to play and have fun away from traffic,” Erickson said. “It would be a gathering place for families. Parents and grandparents could bring their kids to the playground and enjoy climbing, swinging, or sliding on the equipment.

The committee hasn’t finalized a site for the park yet but said it hopes it can be built near the Weldon care home by the end of the summer.

“I envision families playing catch, playing games, or having a picnic,” Erickson said. “It’s a place for all residents to enjoy.”

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James Smith Cree Nation, Chakastaypasin Band, and Peter Chapman Band leadership said on Thursday that they plan to attend Saturday’s breakfast to support the project and offer a donation.

More information on future fundraisers for the project and volunteering opportunities can be found here.

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