Greater Sudbury's newest park is open for fun.
The Morel Family Foundation Park, located at 270 Second Ave., was officially opened on June 17 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and party. It's the result of $400,000 in donations from the Morel Family Foundation to the City of Greater Sudbury.
That money went toward repairing, revitalizing and upgrading the former Adamsdale playground, and transforming the 230,000-square-foot area into the park it is now, complete with a splash pad, fully upgraded hockey rink boards and lights, new asphalt for the basketball courts along with newly implemented posts and nets, new swing sets, climbers, picnic tables and more.
Brothers Cory and Kelly Morel, who are originally from Sudbury, say they are continuing the legacy of their parents, Ray and Barbara, in giving back to the community that holds a special place in their hearts.
“Our parents were the kind of people who felt it was absolutely essential to always give back,” said Kelly Morel, CEO of the Morel Groups of Companies. “We think they would be thrilled to see so many people enjoying the space today.”
Hundreds of people attended the festivities, and even though it rained, it didn't stop kids from enjoying the splash pad, bouncy castles, free food, face painting and pony rides.
“This neighbourood is essentially where we were born and raised, and we still have a lot of family here, and we will never forget it,” said Kelly Morel. “Our parents are laid to rest just across the street in the cemetery. Seeing all these people and their smiling faces is more than we could have imagined.”
It also marked the launch of the Morel Family Foundation, established by Cory and Kelly in memory of their parents. The foundation is designed to emulate the Make a Wish Foundation, in that the brothers want to provide opportunities for young people to accomplish their dreams and to help make wishes come true by funding trips and adventures that can change lives, said the brothers.
“We want those families to be able to experience life to the fullest,” Kelly said. “We want to send them to Disney, or to a Leafs game — whatever their wish might be. We just want to be able to do so much more. We're really excited about the whole thing, and we just couldn't be happier about this.”
Cory Morel, president of the Morel Group of Companies, said he and his brother will personally read every single application submitted.
“We haven't put a target on how many wishes we want to grant, but we want to help hundreds of families, and we have a hard time saying no,” he said. “It's a really special day for all of us. We appreciated the community accepting us with open arms. The community is doing just as much for my brother and I, as we are for the community.”
For more information about the foundation, visit MorelFamilyFoundation.com.