Buy Nathan a Beer
After a long day of battling insurgents in Kandahar, Afghanistan on Sept. 24, 2007, Armoured Recovery Vechicle (ARV) driver Cpl. Nathan Hornburg was attempting to rescue a disabled battle tank and it’s crew when he was killed. The soldier was a King’s Own Calgary Regiment reservist serving under the Royal 22e Régiment, also known as the Van Doos, he was just 24 years of age.
Since that day, a group of volunteers in the small prairie town of Nanton, Alberta, have been working tirelessly towards memorializing him and other Canadians like him, by expanding the recreational opportunities for youth in Nanton and surrounding area.
Until a skateboard park is built, keen skateboarders in Nanton are skating on steps, sidewalks and streets situated dangerously close to a busy highway that is twinned through the town. After three and a half years of fundraising, the committee is close to having the funds to build a skateboard park in the town in memory of Cpl. Hornburg. So far the committee has raised almost $100,000 to build the street elements for the park but they are hoping to have the funds to build the half pipe also.
The Nathan Hornburg Memorial Skatepark is slated for construction this spring. However, due to a few set backs, a little more help is needed to make the project a success; hence, the Buy Nathan a Beer fundraising campaign.
The committee had hoped to receive a grant from the province of Alberta that would match the funds, dollar for dollar, the committee had raised. However, they were turned down.
“Suddenly we have half of the budget, so the park has shrunk,” explains Nathan’s mom and committee member Linda Loree. “But it’s still going in the ground this summer and we’re pouring on our fundraising efforts until then by approaching family, friends, and service groups (again). But we’re not applying for large grant applications because the Nanton hockey arena roof has been condemned and it hamstrings this little community; the committee doesn’t want to compete with that effort.”
Skateboarding symbolizes the creativity, independence and freedom that Nathan lived and died for says his Mom. In the spirit of another of his favourite pastimes, she invites friends and their friends to help remember the fallen soldier with a donation of the cost of a beer or two.
“So it’s one beer at a time,” says Loree. “And we are thrilled that at least we will have some recreation opportunity to offer the kids later this summer.”
People interested in donating money to the Nathan Hornburg Memorial Skatepark can go to the: Buy Nathan a Beer Facebook page or to the Nathan Hornburg Memorial Skatepark Paypal page to make a donation. All donations over $25 are eligible for tax receipts. Donate on line or,for a tax receipt, send your donation to Nanton and District Lions Skatepark Fund , Box 1046 Nanton T0L 1R0.
Nathan has posthumously received the Sacrifice Medal, a Mention in Dispatches, a Commander in Chief’s Commendation and an honorary membership in Electrical Mechanical Engineer an Royal Canadian Electrical Mechanical Engineers.
“Noble as that is, we think he’d just as soon have a beer. Cheers!” says Loree.
People can contact Loree at [email protected] for more information.