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Family improves quality of life for residents in their old neighbourhood

Brothers have big plans to improve the newly named Morel Family Foundation Park

It was a phone call from someone he doesn't know that sums up  why Cory Morel and his brother, Kelly, decided to donate $250,000 to improve a park on Second Avenue.

Speaking on Friday at the newly named Morel Family Foundation Park, Cory said the woman wanted to let him know how much the splash pad the family is helping pay for would mean to her family.

The woman is a grandmother living nearby, who, after the death of her daughter, finds herself raising five young children on her own.

"She lives in public housing and recently they had to take down their basketball courts and trampolines and things like that," he said. "She wrote my brother and I a letter saying how much this park is going to mean to her family."

Cory also paid tribute to his late parents, Barb and Ray, crediting them with instilling important values in him and his brother.

"We want the whole community to come out here," he said, overcome briefly with emotion. "This is just absolutely amazing and I look forward to growing it more and more each year."

For his part, Kelly said his parents were tremendous role models who made a positive impact on whomever they met.

"To have their names associated with the park, and for kids to be able to walk across the street and play in the park, it's a special moment for us indeed," he said. "To be able to experience this with my family, it's pretty amazing to see.

"Years from now, when we look back on this, and our kids are older, we'll be able to say this was a special moment. And today is just the beginning."

He said their goal is to help create something that will improve the quality of life for people in the neighbourhood where he and his brother are from. 

"It could be someone having a really bad day who lives three houses down from here, comes to the splash pad and says, wow, did we just turn our day around."

Further improvements are planned, he said, including upgrades to the rink and basketball court.

“We have all kinds of plans -- we're not one and done," Kelly said. "This is a special project to us, obviously."

With their parents buried in the Civic Cemetery up the road from the park, Kelly said the park is a reminder of the impact they had.

"We want their names to live on,” he said. “You see some of their friends in the audience here today -- they had an impact on everybody. 

Ward 11 Coun. Lynne Reynolds said the value of the Morel's donation goes beyond “pipes and water.

"They are contributing to the health, wellness and quality of life of our neighbourhood,” Reynolds said. “They are contributing to imaginative and active play for our children ... They are creating a liveable, colourful and attractive community and a wonder addition to our plans for Second Avenue.

"They are creating a sense of community by providing a gathering place for persons of all ages, all economic status and all abilities. Our city needs more benefactors like the Morel family. When they give back, they enrich us all immensely."


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