Fun run celebrates Marguerite Rotvold’s legacy

‘She was a mentor and just an amazing lady, all around’

Marguerite Rotvold worked as a customs officer for 21 years in Midway and went on to serve in local politics and volunteer with many groups in the Boundary. Rotvold died on May 4, 2019, from cancer. (File photo)

Marguerite Rotvold’s memory criss-crosses the Kootenay-Boundary area. From her hometown in Penticton to where she first taught in Canal Flats to her border patrol booth in Midway, she left her stamp on many in region. Now, in honour the person who devoted more than 30 years of her life to local politics in Midway, The Kettle Spray Park Committee will be hosting a fun run at James McMynn Park on June 29.

Though the group had planned the run last year with Rotvold, who was then on the committee, only to run out of time for the event. But after the former councillor died of cancer last month, the Kettle Spray Park Committee resolved to host a fundraiser in her name this year, supporting a cause close to her.

“It was one of Marguerite’s last things she told me,” said Tia Nordstrom, president of the committee. “‘Get that spray park in!’”

Nordstrom grew up in Midway with Rotvold as a family friend while the community mover and shaker was working with border services in town. As she got older, the life-long village resident got to learn from Rotvold.

“She was a mentor and just an amazing lady, all around,” Nordstrom said.

The Marguerite Rotvold Memorial Colour Run will raise money to build a spray park at James McMynn Park, in order to offer a place to refresh and cool off during the summer.

What makes a “Colour Run” different, Nordstrom explained, is that along the route, volunteers will be tossing plumes of brightly coloured cornstarch powder that participants can walk or run through. Necessarily, the complimentary white t-shirts and sunglasses given to participants at the start line emerge at the finish with a rainbow of splotches.

Beyond the colour, participants will also run through some highlights of Rotvold’s legacy in the Boundary, or at least what moments can fit along the 2.5- and 5-kilometre routes, like a logo of border services, where Rotvold worked, or monuments representing the museum or Citizens on Patrol.

“[There will be] a little bit of it,” Nordstrom said of Rotvold’s legacy markers on the route. “There’s way too much to put on there.”

Nordstrom, who has two boys, said that because of the number of young people and children moving to the community, she and a group of other parents saw the need for a water source outside of the river.

“The river is great but in the spring the river is almost too dangerous to be in,” Nordstrom said. The river can also be difficult to access for those with mobility issues.

“It’s very hard for somebody in a wheelchair to get down to the river or just somebody with mobility issues,” Nordstrom said. “Everybody can access this, from zero to 100, seniors as well.”

The spray park president said that she’s heard from seniors who look forward to dipping their toes in the spray park puddles, among them is her own nana.

“She’s so excited,” said Nordstrom. “She said, ‘I would love to not only watch the kids play, but I would love to be able to go down there and play with them.’”

There is no timeline for when the spray park will be built, said Nordstrom, as the committee is still raising funds to pay for its installation.

People interested in participating in the run can register by emailing kettlespraypark@gmail.com. The run starts at 9 a.m. on June 29.

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