Sherrie Favell has her hair brushed by hairstylist Jackie Winter to donate towards a wig for cancer patients. Favell lost her own 14-year battle with cancer in March 2020. (File photo)

McGuire Lake memorial bench request redirected to walkway project

Salmon Arm park currently home to 22 memorial benches and eight picnic tables

Friends and family of the late Sherrie Favell can still stop at a bench along McGuire Lake to enjoy the scenery, but not at one named in her honour.

A letter to City of Salmon Arm council from the executor of Favell’s estate asked that a memorial bench be set up at the municipal park honouring Favell and her legacy in the community.

“During her lifetime Sherrie was active in, and a leader of the Salmon Arm community,” the letter reads. “She was relied on to lend her culinary and organizational skills to multiple charitable events and causes, from 4H and the SPCA, to benefits for disadvantaged people….”

Favell died in March of this year following a 14-year battle with cancer. The letter states it was Favell’s consistent wish that when she died, a bench would be placed at McGuire Lake “so her friends and family, and those just passing by, could rest and enjoy the scenery.”

Mayor Alan Harrison said council redirected the request to the Shuswap Community Foundation, which oversees the McGuire Lake Memorial Walkway. This project allows people to honour and celebrate others with personalized bricks placed along a path at McGuire Lake.

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“There’s no way to prioritize and say you can have a bench and you can’t. You can’t make a judgment like that,” said Harrison, noting there are already 22 memorial benches around McGuire Lake as well as eight picnic tables.

“So the replacement idea is a memorial walkway. If you’ve walked it you see it’s very well used and now we have plans to expand that in the next year or two.”

The walkway concept received council’s approval in 2011, when the city had a list of 35 names waiting for memorial benches and/or trees. Bricks are purchased for a one-time, $1,500 tax-deductible donation to the Shuswap Community Foundation’s Memorial Walkway Fund.

Harrison said there are other locations in the city where memorials can be considered, including the newly opened Shuswap Memorial Cemetery, which receives much exposure with the adjacent and well used trail network.

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