Benefit concert to raise funds for memorial honouring crane collapse victims

Crane victims honoured

Country singer Aaron Pritchett and Westside winery owner Jason Parkes will take the stage Sunday night to raise funds for a memorial honoring the lives lost in the tragic crane collapse on July 12, 2021.

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.

Aaron Pritchett's cousin, Danielle, is the mother of Vilness and Parkes also knows the Pritchett family.

"Danielle and her family, she’s my first cousin, so our moms are sisters. And Jason lived on their street, which was the street over from my street. We used to all hang out when we were kids,” Pritchett said.

Pritchett and Parkes will perform at The Revelry Food + Music Hub, with the show starting at 7 p.m.

"There will be drinks, music, and an opportunity to meet with Aaron Pritchett himself. Everyone please come out and support this wonderful cause," said Kelowna resident Emily Anderson.

Tickets for the event are still available.

Construction on the memorial is expected to begin this spring.

In July 2023, North Okanagan Labour Council Vice-president Kelly Hutchinson announced that a memorial would be built in Kelowna's Knowles Heritage Park, at the corner of Bernard and Ethel Street.

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” honoring all workers who have lost their lives to workplace accidents.

The construction costs are expected to exceed $200,000.

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