Remembering a loving father

By Geoff Lee

August 30, 2017 12:30 PM

The life of Sheldon Dufault, who died after a heart attack in February this year, will be remembered by friends and family during a first annual Sheldon Dufault Memorial Rally at Greenwood Hall Sept. 1-3. This community wide-event will also help Sheldon’s daughter, Chloe, celebrate her fifth birthday and raise funds for her care. Tons of family activities are on tap. SUPPLIED PHOTO

This weekend’s first annual Sheldon Dufault Memorial Rally will help keep the memory of a much missed friend of Lloydminster couple, Shelly and Vance Close alive.
It will also raise funds for the care of Sheldon’s beloved daughter, Chloey for whom the Closes are also helping to celebrate her fifth birthday party, with an open invitation to the public to attend.
“This is to help give Chloey the life that Sheldon would have wanted her to have,” said Shelly.
“We thought for her first birthday without dad, we would have a pretty big get together for her.”
Sheldon, a single dad, worked as a rig worker for Ensign in Lloydminster and died unexpectedly on Feb. 28 this year from a heart attack.
His obituary said he was known for his contagious laugh, outrageous stories, jokes, and comments that would leave a person speechless. 
“He was a good guy; he had a really good heart, and he would have done anything for anybody if they asked him,” said Shelly.
She noted her husband, who works for Horizon Drilling as a rig push, met Sheldon about 25 years ago at Ensign and had a lot in common with him.
The memorial rally will take place on the grounds of the Greenwood Community Hall, a few minutes drive north of Lloydminster, in keeping with Sheldon’s and Vance’s passion for riding motorcycles.
“He and my husband used to spend quite a bit of time on their bikes and have a lot of friends who are bikers,” said Shelly.
The couple decided a rally would be a cool way to remember Sheldon, and try to raise a little money for Chloey who is currently being looked after by his sister.
All of the proceeds from the event will go into a bank account for Chloey.
Extra living expenses will be incurred when the youngster attends school this fall in Naicam Sask. where Sheldon went to school and where his sister lives.
Shelly expects the memorial rally will invoke some sadness along with it being a good way for Chloey to remember her dad with friends and family members present for the occasion.
Sheldon’s mom and his brothers will be among the many relatives who are motivated to learn first hand what the Closes are organizing.
“They think this is a pretty neat thing to remember him,” said Shelly.
“They are all going to come up and see what his life was all about up here.”
Overnight camping is available on site for $10 a unit with trailer owners advised to bring generators.
The main activities will take place on Saturday, including a poker run, supper, silent auction, live music and a cash bar.
Chloey will celebrate her birthday with a kids carnival from 1-4 p.m with a $5 donation, along with a bouncy house, face painting, balloon animals and carnival games at $0.25 per ticket.
The birthday girl will also get to draw all the winning raffle tickets.
“We have a big beer fridge, and we’ve got a big cake for everybody for her birthday, and a big balloon release going on,” said Shelly.
“It will be a good weekend.”
Shelly also noted she and her husband have received “unbelievable” support for the cause from the community, including companies and individuals.
“We’ve gone around on foot and took a cover letter and told everyone what our story was,” she said.
She notes non profits like Big Brothers Big Sisters Lloydminster will provide a shuttle service to and from the event that includes a pancake breakfast and bike rodeo on Sunday.
“We are trying to involve the non profits as much as we could,” said Shelly with a nod of thanks to funding support from the annual Lori Craven Memorial Slo-Pitch Tournament as an example.

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