Benefit concert to raise funds for memorial honouring Kelowna crane collapse victims a big success

Crane fundraiser a success

A large crowd turned out to support and honour those who lost their lives in the tragic crane collapse on July 12, 2021.

The Revelry Food and Music Hub played host to Country Star Aaron Pritchett and local favourite ‘Proper Man’ as they entertained the crowd for hours, all to raise funds to support the construction of a memorial park.

The Rise Memorial is a planned construction upgrade project in Knowles Heritage Park to commemorate and remember the men who tragically lost their lives in the 2021 Brooklyn Tower Crane Collapse.

The collapse claimed the lives of four young construction workers—Cailen Vilness, Jared Zook, and brothers Patrick and Eric Stemmer—as well as Brad Zawislak, who was working in a nearby building struck by the falling crane.

Friends and family of the deceased were in the crowd for the sombre, but uplifting experience. The event was put on in part to remind us all of the power of community, workplace safety, and to cherish the time we have together with each other.

Photos and other media of the men were on display and many Kelowna businesses donated prizes to the event’s silent auction to help raise funds.

In total the event raised close to $20,000 towards the project, which will help finalize the immediate purchase of a large Oak “Legacy tree” for the project that will symbolize ever-lasting life and the memories of the five men.

Work on the memorial was supposed to start in May but has been delayed, in part, due to issues sourcing available contractors to complete the work.

As of March 2024, the newly formed Rise Memorial Foundation has raised $191,000 in donations. The design of the Rise Memorial includes dedicated areas for each family to grieve their loved ones, as well as a central “Legacy Tree” honouring all workers who have lost their lives in workplace accidents.

Construction is still anticipated to commence this summer.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to the project is encouraged to reach out to the Rise Memorial Foundation at [email protected].

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