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How a giant snowman melted hearts in a Vancouver Island community

“Who wants to meet in the Cobble Hill Common tomorrow and build a record setting snowman…?”
Teamwork makes the dream work! (Courtesy of Jennifer Kent Symons)

Jennifer Kent Symons of Cobble Hill works in the schools as an education assistant and three days into school closures due to snow, “we are all going a bit squirrelly,” she admitted.

But she had an idea. It was a simple idea, but one that, if successful, would provide far more than just the finished product. It would bring the community together in a way that doesn’t happen very often at all.

So, Symons threw her idea out there in the form of a Facebook post that said “Who wants to meet in the Cobble Hill Common tomorrow and build a record setting snowman…?”

She’d bring the step ladder.

“I live across the street from the Common and see that big expanse of untouched snow,” she explained.

Her aim was to build at least a 12-foot-tall snowman in the centre of Cobble Hill Village.

World Record? Not so much. Cobble Hill record? You bet.

In no time, Symons’s post garnered 52 reactions, 31 comments and 34 shares on the Cobble Hill Events, News and Links public Facebook page.

Replies ranged from “I’m sending my kids for sure, Great idea!” to “Yasss,” and “Sounds like fun! We will be there!”

The group began to muster and a real community event was born.

A local business owner teamed up with a volunteer to provide a way to keep warm during the fun.

“It was great of Stacie Wilson to donate the hot chocolate and Brent Archer to pick it up,” Symons said.

“About 60 people came,” Symons confirmed. “It was a lot of fun.”

A fantastic cross section of folks from adults to toddlers and even a neighbourhood puppy gathered and the work began shortly after 11 a.m. A couple of hours later members of the group that remained until the end posed for a photo; soggy and cold, but with grins bigger than that of the giant snowman towering behind them.

This week has been all about neighbours helping neighbours. Facebook has played a large role in linking people who need help with those who are offering. The same was true for those wanting to boost community spirit, it seems.

“I just put out the post and the neighbourhood responded,” Symons said.

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Sarah Simpson

About the Author: Sarah Simpson

I started my time with Black Press Media as an intern, before joining the Citizen in the summer of 2004.
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