The Ponoka community is coming together to offer support for a local family after the sudden passing of 12-year-old Parker Kress, who attended Grade 6 at Ponoka Elementary School (PES).
“On the morning of June 3, 2022, the biggest fear in any parent’s life became (real) … my cousin Jessica Perry and her husband Dustin Kress lost their beloved son and Samantha lost her little brother suddenly and unexpectedly,” said Tisha Walker on a GoFundMe page set up for the family.
Perry gave permission for Ponoka News to share information about the fundraiser and the memorial being held for Parker next week.
Walker started the page entitled “Help give to Jessica and Dustin,” to support the family with expenses during their time of grief.
“With a very heavy heart I am asking all family and friends to come together and raise money to help Jess and Dustin with the huge expense of the funeral cost, household bills and any other expenses they will endure along the way while they try to heal,” the page reads.
As of noon on June 9, the page had raised $14,280.
The family is also accepting donations via etransfer to firstname.lastname@example.org, for those who prefer not to use GoFundMe. Perry stated any funds not used immediately will go directly to Samantha’s college fund.
Memorial donations in Parker’s name can be made to the Mental Health Foundation.
His obituary on Wombold Funeral Homes’ website states Parker was a very enthusiastic boy who loved fishing and hunting with his dad and playing video games with friends. He also enjoyed riding his scooter and skateboarding. He would take them apart and put them back together.
A memorial will be held on June 16 at Hudson’s Green Nature and Activity Centre, located at 6201 61 St, at 1 p.m. for close family and friends and 2 p.m. for the public.
It will feature a build your own taco bar, as that was his favourite meal, Perry said in a public post on her Facebook page.
“Our deepest condolences to the Kress Family,” stated a post on PES’s Facebook page.
“When tragedies such as these happen, it can be a difficult and sad time,” said a letter sent out to parents on June 3. “Sometimes when these things happen, other memories of loss you may have had in your life can surface.”
Counsellors were available at the school that day to support any students that needed it. Parents and guardians were invited to reach out to the school if they were needing help supporting their child during this time.