The Village of Fruitvale is asking residents for their input in renaming the renovated park complex.
Voting is open to Village of Fruitvale and Area ‘A’ residents from Dec. 1-18, 2020.
There are five options for the new name of the whole Park Complex, and include Beaver Siding Complex, Beaver Valley Diamond Recreational Park, Fruitvale Family Fields, Fruitvale Memorial Park, and Haines Park.
Even more interesting, residents can weigh in on renaming the Lower Lewis Field. The choices are Shirley Levesque Park, Ella Matteucci Park, and Beaver Siding Park.
Levesque is a long-time resident and supporter of sports in Beaver Valley, and played slo-pitch for many years.
But one of her great legacies is that Shirley was instrumental in bringing the KIJHL Beaver Valley Nitehawks to Fruitvale in 1981 and served on the executive and volunteered for many years.
Ella Matteucci is arguably the finest and most successful two-sport athlete to come out of Fruitvale.
The Beaver Valley native’s accomplishments in hockey and baseball are too numerous to count.
But to name a few, Ella won a 2011 Esso Cup title (Canadian Female AAA hockey championship) with the Notre Dame Hounds, an NCAA championship with Clarkson University in 2014, and skated in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League with the Markham Thunder.
In baseball, Ella’s senior year at Notre Dame saw her throw a no-hitter pitching for the boys’ Midget AA baseball team that garnered national attention. She also has her name on three national championship trophies as a member of Team BC and Team Ontario (2), and as a part of Team Canada played a pivotal role in a silver medal victory at the 2015 Pan Am Games. She played in the 2014 and 2018 IBAF World Cup of Baseball, winning bronze with fellow Fruitvalian Allison Schroder in 2018.
Matteucci is now an ambassador of the Toronto Blue Jays “Girls at Bat” program that looks at ways to support girls across the country to overcome barriers and make sport and recreational opportunities more accessible.
Beaver Siding, meanwhile, was the name given by the Nelson and Fort Sheppard Railway to an area in the valley where the train could stop after climbing the hill from the Columbia River Valley to allow the steam engine to get water.
When the townsite was subdivided, around 1907, it was given the name Fruitvale to attract farming settlers to the area.
Residents are asked to send your vote for the parks complex as a whole and for the name of Lower Lewis field by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or drop it off in the drop box at the Village Office before Dec. 18.
Winners will be notified and the new names announced to the public in January, 2021.