Manitoba

Cooper Nemeth bracelet funds donated to Bear Clan Patrol

Two Winnipeg women have presented the Bear Clan Patrol with money they raised by selling bracelets in memory of Cooper Nemeth, who was found dead in the city in February.

Bear Clan accepts donation at bell tower on Selkirk Avenue and Powers Street

Cooper Nemeth bracelet funds donated to Bear Clan Patrol

CBC News: Winnipeg at 6:00

5 years ago
1:35
Two Winnipeg women have presented the Bear Clan Patrol with money they raised by selling bracelets in memory of Cooper Nemeth, who was found dead in the city in February. 1:35

Two Winnipeg women have presented the Bear Clan Patrol with money they raised by selling bracelets in memory of Cooper Nemeth, who was found dead in the city in February. 

Cooper Nemeth's family and friends pose with members of the Bear Clan Patrol Saturday. Funds raised through the sale of Cooper Nemeth memorial bracelets were donated to the North End watch group. (CBC)
Paige Buors and Ramona Waldner had thousands of rubber bracelets made while Nemeth, who was last seen alive on Feb. 14, was missing. Several local businesses sold the bracelets as the search for the teen continued before reaching a tragic end on Feb. 20.
Following Cooper Nemeth's disappearance and death, Winnipeg women Paige Buors and Ramona Waldner sold around 2,600 bracelets. On Saturday, funds collected from them will be donated to members of the Bear Clan Patrol, who helped search for the teen day and night in February. (Supplied)

On Saturday, the women donated the money raised from the sale of the bracelets to the volunteer safety group that helped in a number of exhaustive searches for Nemeth and regularly patrol Winnipeg's streets.

Bear Clan Patrol co-ordinator James Favel said support for the group continues to grow as a result of its work with Nemeth's family and friends. He said the donation will be put to a good cause.

"It's so much more than I even expected," Favel said. "It's not just the money; it's the whole coming together of our communities. It's made things so much more possible for us."

Buors said the Bear Clan Patrol helped Nemeth's family cope with the teen's disappearance and death.

"Obviously the outcome was not the one we had hoped for but it's really good to see the family has support behind them and everyone wants justice," she said.

Although she did not know Nemeth's family prior to the his disappearance, Waldner said the teen was ''Winnipeg's boy," and the loss united people across the city.

"It's just beautiful," she said.

"They're such great people and they opened our eyes to Winnipeg's beautiful community and culture and brought everyone together."

Members of the Bear Clan held a smudge and drum ceremony for Cooper Nemeth, his family and the community Monday night (CBC News)

Following the searches, Favel and Larry Morrissette, an indigenous elder and educator, organized a drum circle and smudging ceremony to honor Nemeth's life. Hundreds showed up to remember the teen.

Bracelets span the globe

While Nemeth was missing, Buors sold the bracelets to thousands in Winnipeg, Canada and even a hockey team in England. 

They were grey and white — the colours of Nemeth's hockey team — with, 'Remember Cip,' printed on them. Nemeth was affectionately called Cip by family and friends.

For Buors, the sales reflected local, national and international communities' support for the teen.

"That was incredible," she said.
There was ceremonial drumming and singing at the event Saturday. (CBC)

"It just went viral so quickly I think because so many people were involved in the search that they wanted to feel a part of this, too."

Buors says Nemeth's family asked that money raised from the sale of the bracelets be donated to the Bear Clan Patrol.

Bear Clan representatives, including Favel, accepted the donation at a public event at the bell tower, located at Selkirk Avenue and Powers Street in the North End.

"They want to thank us, but we owe it all to them," Favel said, noting that Nemeth's family advocates for his group and the work members do in the community.

"So [many] more doors are flying open for us," Favel said. "Regina, Saskatoon, all these places are calling for our model now and it's because of their participation ... it just made everything possible and I just can't thank them enough."

with files from CBC's Erin Brohman

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