Tern Bartolovic made a positive impact on many people during his life.
Even though he’s gone now, two of the late lifeguard’s long-time friends and co-workers are making sure that his memory lives on in the most appropriate way. They want it to continue to help others in need.
“He had a deep appreciation for his friends and his counterparts,” said Cameron Mitchell, calling Bartolovic a “full-send” character who lived like he loved: to the fullest.
“He was always somebody that helped other people,” said Trevor McFadyen.
“He was always somebody who was willing to fight to protect women, especially women who were in crisis or who had challenges in their lives.”
The two – along with their supporters – recently gave $2,000 to boost the Mental Health Crisis Fund managed by the Jasper Community Team Society (JCTS).
The money was raised through a crowdfunding campaign, and it is now being managed by the Edmonton Community Foundation as an endowment fund for the local organization.
“He was always somebody there who was willing to protect those in need,” McFadyen said.
“That’s why we decided to invest the legacy fund in the Jasper Mental Health Crisis Fund.”
The Jasper Community Team Society works to support Jasperites through a variety of programs that are run through various funds including the Caring Community Fund, the Child and Youth Participation Fund, and the Disaster Social Services Fund.
JCTS Co-Chair Erin Toop said that all of the organization’s funds work as a “safety net” for members of the community who find themselves in tough times.
“They come into play when provincial programs or other major funding streams aren’t able to meet people’s needs, and often when people are in crisis,” she said.
“Overarchingly, we’re seeing a way bigger need for these funds post-COVID, and the need is just continuing to escalate. We super appreciate donations and especially this donation on behalf of Tern. I think it’s really coming at a critical time where the needs are escalating in the community.”
The endowment fund will provide an annual grant that will go straight toward the Mental Health Crisis Fund.
That fund works in a variety of ways including helping people access transportation to appointments that might be outside of Jasper or even have access to medications that they might otherwise not be able to.
“It’s there to support people’s mental health needs when they find themselves in crisis,” Toop said.
She explained that the JCTS is always open to receive donations. It is now accepting team registrations for its 15th annual fundraising golf tournament and online auction to be held on Sept. 8.
The event goes to support the Jasper Crisis Team Fund, which supports victims of trauma in times of crisis.
To help further that fundraising, McFadyen and Mitchell wanted to challenge Jasperites to put forward their support as well as a way of helping others and demonstrating community spirit.
McFadyen and Mitchell talked about how the fund can help many young people who are new to Jasper and away from family or other resources. It can also help single parents and families that have disabilities, and many others.
As a safety net, the fund can work to ease a crisis and stop a disaster.
“[These people] all at some point in time require community crisis support,” McFadyen said.
“This also allows communities to help prevent larger scale issues like poverty and homelessness and physical and health disabilities. As a business professor, I think that it is an excellent investment, not only in Tern’s memory but also in the community of Jasper.”
By Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Original Published on Jun 27, 2023