Life jacket loaner stand going in at Newberg park, thanks to vol - KPTV - FOX 12

Life jacket loaner stand going in at Newberg park, thanks to volunteers

Posted: Updated:
Rogers Landing County Park, where the life jacket loaner stand will be built. Rogers Landing County Park, where the life jacket loaner stand will be built.
The pile of life jackets already collected. The pile of life jackets already collected.
Some of the volunteers working to make the stand a reality. Some of the volunteers working to make the stand a reality.
The lemonade stand also helping in the effort. The lemonade stand also helping in the effort.
NEWBERG, OR (KPTV) -

A new life jacket loaner stand will be going in at Rogers Landing County Park in Newberg, after a teenager died there two summers ago.

A memorial still sits on the dock where 15-year-old Cesar Campuzano was pulled from the water in 2013, but later died.

“We spent a long time praying he’d make it through and he didn’t,” said Nathalie Hardy.  “It happens that fast all the time.”

Hardy is now one of many volunteers coming together to design and build a life jacket loaner stand in the park.  Because it’s county property, commissioners had to sign off on the build, which they did at a meeting last week.

Now, the build can begin in earnest and Hardy hopes it will be finished before summer’s end.  Various businesses and volunteers are donating construction and design time, lumber for the project and are heading up drop-off sites for life jacket donations.

Nearly 50 have been collected so far.

“My freshman year I was in class with Cesar and one afternoon he came out here and he unfortunately drowned,” said Newberg High School senior Courtney Croft.  “It hit me really hard that could have been me or it could have been anyone who chose not to wear a life jacket and that’s when dad’s words [to always wear one] really hit me.”

Croft is now making the venture her senior project.  She plans to not only help with the construction of the stand, but also will go into local schools to tell other students why it’s so important to always wear a life jacket.

It’s a project inspired not only by Campuzano, but the tragic deaths of so many others.

“In 2003 here on the Willamette River, I lost a very good friend,” said project volunteer Kevin Gray.  “I know the pain and suffering of seeing somebody drown and not being able to get them out of the water… To this day I won’t get in the water without a life jacket.”

“When I was in 4th grade on a field trip, a friend of mine was on the dock and he was dared to jump in, and of course we weren’t allowed to,” Hardy added.  “He had a seizure and he drowned.”

Hardy’s kids even helped with the effort by raising money – and awareness – through a lemonade stand.  They were overjoyed when a customer recently handed them $20.

To find drop-off sites or learn more about the project, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/1466054177028386.

The group hopes this life jacket stand will be the first of many in Yamhill County.

Above all, they hope, the people who pass it to get into the water will stop and put one on.

Copyright 2015 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation.  All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
FOX 12
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation, Portland, OR . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.