The giant shoe at Parksville’s Paradise Mini Golf and Fun Park has an updated look in time for summer, thanks to three students.
Aiden Armstrong grew up visiting the fun park. He’s just finished up his second year of studying international business at Vancouver Island University. When he saw an opportunity to give back to the business and his community, he ran with it.
“I’ve been coming here since I was kid. It’s kind of like an icon in town, really,” said Armstrong.
For the summer, he’s running a Student Works painting company that employs eight people in the Parksville area. Driving by Paradise on a work call, he noticed some paint peeling on the tip of the giant boot that sits beside the bumper boats.
“I was like, ‘I have the power to do this, why don’t I just do it?’ So I just walked in, introduced myself, and said ‘would you give me a chance to paint this shoe?’ I did it at cost, I didn’t charge them, I didn’t make anything off the project. I gave them a smoking deal and they couldn’t say no.”
Gage Colpron and Damian Hallworth were the painters who got the job done this week. Colpron said the most difficult part was the laces.
“You’re used to doing four-sided housing, and now you’ve got to work with this boot… you’ve kind of got to find all angles,” said Colpron. “Me and Damian had a blast figuring it out, but now it’s all done and it looks awesome. So I’m really excited.”
For owner Susan LaFauci, the decision to choose the student company was a shoe-in.
“As with everything around here, we try to take care of it, and upgrade it when it needs it, and it needed a bit of a facelift. These guys wanted to do it, so we said sure. They did a very good job. It’s got to be 29 years old,” said LaFauci. “We’re very proud of our old woman shoe.”
The giant shoe was voted on the “Seven Wonders of Oceanside” back in 2007.