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Cheryl Robinson-Houweling, left, Peter Howeling, Janet and Marvin Robinson, Daryl Dolynny, Jason Clarke, Darcy Hernblad, Albert Headrick, Ian Legaree, Albert McCloskey, and Tom Hall attend the presentation of a rescue sled equipped ATV to the Yellowknife Fire Department, Monday. - Tim Edwards/NNSL photo
Honouring a memory

By Tim Edwards
Northern News Services
Published Tuesday, March 10, 2009

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - The parents and sister of a young man who went through the ice at the end of 2004 are taking action to help prevent other tragedies in our community.

On the March 9 at the Yellowknife Fire Hall, the Robinson family, along with the Yellowknife Community Foundation, presented the Fire Department with an ATV and rescue trailer. The items were paid for largely through the Gary Robinson Memorial Fund and the rest was provided by Force One, represented by Jason Clarke.

"I can't tell you how happy we are," said Deputy Fire Chief Darcy Hernblad. The ATV and rescue trailer will be used to rescue people who get injured while in the bush, a relatively common occurrence in the north. Also, it will be instrumental in transporting equipment through rough terrain to combat bush fires.

The Gary Robinson Memorial Fund was set up through the Yellowknife Community Foundation after Gary Robinson was killed when he went through the ice driving a plow truck on Prosperous Lake on Dec. 29, 2004.

"When you lose someone, everyone wants to help", said Cheryl Robinson-Houweling, Gary's sister.

"So instead of flowers and gifts, people donated to the fund."

In 2007, the fund was used to provide the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary with an $8,000 grant to buy specialized equipment. Earlier that year it provided funding to buy a "Snowbulance"- a fully enclosed, heated rescue sled to help Rescue volunteers transport individuals from difficult to reach locations.

"We're just happy to be here and presenting something that will help out the community," said Robinson-Houweling.

"It's so great that it's in my brother's name. There's nothing better to represent his memory."

The Yellowknife Community Foundation raises, manages, and distributes investment income from donated funds to meet community needs, such as scholarships, charitable facilities, and emergency medical equipment.