A great big pile of bottles were donated to help out the Persicke family. (Photo submitted)

A great big pile of bottles were donated to help out the Persicke family. (Photo submitted)

UPDATED: Community supporting Ponoka family after ATV fire, COVID-19

Bottle drive being extended to April 16

The Ponoka community is coming together to support a local family going through an unthinkable time.

Calista Persicke, 7, is recovering at the Stollery Children’s Hospital from burns covering over 40 per cent of her body after an ATV accident on March 13, 2021. Calista’s father was also injured in the accident and was unable to work for awhile.

Her mother, Holly Persicke, was also admitted to hospital with COVID-19 and Calista has now tested positive as well.

The family’s current situation is being shared with their permission.

Fundraising efforts are underway to support the Ponoka family, including a bottle drive orchestrated by Calista’s friends, Aubree Reynolds and Ronin Dillon, with the help of their moms, Nicole Reynolds and Nicole Dillon.

Nicole Reynolds says the bottle drive was the children’s idea, and she’s very proud of them.

“Not many seven-year-olds would think of doing that to help a friend,” she said.

Over a two-week period, the group collected a 30-foot long, and five or six feet high, pile of bagged bottles.

There are so many in fact, that they will be using a relative’s cattle trailer to bring them all to the depot. After such a positive response, the group decided to extend the bottle drive to April 16.

Nicole Reynolds says she hopes the funds help with some of the costs facing the family right now, such as travel, caring for their other child, and household bills.

“They have enough stress taking care of their daughter, they shouldn’t have to worry about anything else,” said Reynolds.

Reynolds is collecting gift cards for gas or restaurants for the family. If you’d like to contribute a gift card, or have bottles you’d like to donated, contact Reynolds at nicolereynolds@live.com or call or text 587-877-6626.


A GoFundMe account organized by Dee Green, “Help in Healing Calista Persicke,” is doing well, with over $23,000 raised by April 1.

According to the page, Calista made it out of her first surgery and was recovering as of March 18, but her entire face was wrapped in order to heal.

As Holly was admitted with pneumonia and is on oxygen and isolated, she isn’t able to be with Calista until she is better.

“We are so truly appreciative and thankful to everyone for their love and support,” said Holly in a comment to Ponoka News.

“We honestly can’t even begin to express our gratitude, this could have been so much worse and everyone has made it just so much easier.”


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


(Photo submitted)

Just Posted

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta identifies 1,516 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday

Central zone has 1,849 active cases

A damaged unicorn statue is shown in a field outside of Delia, Alta. in this undated handout photo. It’s not often police can report that a unicorn has been found, but it was the truth Saturday when RCMP said a stolen, stainless-steel statue of the mythical beast had been located in a field not far from where he’d been taken. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Mounties get their unicorn; stolen statue of mythical beast found in Alberta field

Police are still looking for suspects, and have called in their forensics experts to help

There were six additional deaths across Alberta reported over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 1,926 since the beginning of the pandemic. (File photo)
The Longhorn Saloon and Grill has opened its patio for outdoor diners. (Facebook photo)
Town of Ponoka launches new temporary seasonal patio program

The Town of Ponoka has launched a new Temporary Seasonal Patio Program… Continue reading

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

A vial of some of the first 500,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Canada’s 2nd blood clot confirmed in Alberta after AstraZeneca vaccine

The male patient, who is in his 60s, is said to be recovering

The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip laid to rest Saturday as sombre queen sits alone

The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of Windsor Castle

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pfizer to increase vaccine deliveries in Canada as Moderna supply slashed

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

Most Read