Cookie Monster is finally home at the Boston Bar Elementary-Secondary school in honour of the late Ron Westerlund.
A new Cookie Monster wood carving was unveiled Wednesday morning (Nov. 16) at the school. The project, which honours Westerlund, was started by Riley Forman who later teamed up with Hope Community in Bloom (HCiB) to bring the carving to life. Mayor Victor Smith, who is part of HCiB, personally delivered the carving to the school.
“To everyone who donated, volunteers, or helped in anyway! Thank you so much for bringing a little extra fun to the community of Boston Bar, North Bend, Boothroyd, Anderson, etc.,” said HCiB in a Facebook post. “The Fraser Canyon has had an especially hard few years after the pandemic extreme weather conditions and wildfires have hurt the tourism industry and the communities so much. We are so proud of their resilience and excited about their future including some amazing railway tourism announcements coming soon!”
After receiving permission and the blessing from Westerlund’s immediate family, a GoFundMe was created on Mar. 15, with a target of $18,000, to fund the project. The carving was done by local carver Ryan Villiers who is responsible for the various wood carvings throughout Hope. This includes carvings of Rambo, the Grinch and, most recently, Sheriff Teasle.
Westerlund was affectionately nicknamed Cookie Monster for teasing the students at the school and pretending he was going to take their cookies — an action which never failed to elicit smiles and laughter from the kids. Working in maintenance at the school for almost 30 years, he passed away on Mar. 5 at the age of 78.
His loss is still felt deeply by the community, of which he was a member for 60 years.
More coverage to follow.