Steeves: Let’s just help out our friend

You know his wildlife and bird photos well, but you'll have noticed they're absent lately. He's going through some dark times.

Wherever I went, I would get comments on my friend Sean Connor’s excellent photographs of birds and wildlife that appeared regularly in the Kelowna Capital News.

That is—until last summer—when the photographs suddenly stopped.

Sean just woke up one morning with blurred vision. He was diagnosed with a rare type of brain tumour. It turned his life upside down and it will never be the same again.

His sight has now returned, but he’s still in a battle for his life.

First Sean had most of the tumour removed in two lengthy operations by a specialist in Vancouver, and then he had to travel to Loma Linda Medical Centre in California—one of only two facilities in North America capable of treating it—for very-specialized proton radiation treatments.

Those months of radiation are now over and he’s recently returned to Kelowna with his wife Sandra to begin his recovery, but it’s been not only a life-changing few months, it’s also been really expensive for the pair.

It’s one of those tragedies that draws a community together and my colleagues in the Kelowna news media have rallied around Sean and his family, to try and alleviate some of the horrendous financial cost of what they’ve been through since this nightmare began last July.

They’ve organized a Sean Connor Fundraiser to be held at the Kelowna Community Theatre Thurs., Feb. 2, 6:30 to 10:30 p.m.

Just as Sean has donated his beautiful prints to support a variety of causes in the community through the years, now people from throughout the community have thrown their support behind this, donating their time, their energy, their music, their art and whatever else they can to help out in his dark hour.

You’re invited to become part of the effort by coming out and enjoying the entertainment, bidding on some of the items—which will include his photos—and showing your support. If you have items to donate, contact Heather Mccullough at heathermc@telus.net

Performers will include blues legend Sherman Doucette, the Deb Stone Band and many others who have donated their talents.

As organizer Kim Calloway says, this will be a celebration of his recovery thus far, so come out and join in.

There are some other fundraisers coming up in the new few weeks, with proceeds going towards restoration of fish and wildlife habitat and to educating junior club members in outdoors sports. They include the Oceola Fish and Game Club’s annual banquet Feb. 18 (tickets at A&C Sports, Grouse River Outfitters and Sundowner Meats); the Black Mountain Sportsman’s Club banquet Mar. 10, with dinner at 6:30 and a dance from 9 to 1 a.m. Tickets are $30 and available by calling Chuck Hardy at 762-9007. He also offers firearms courses.

The Kelowna Fish and Game Club’s awards banquet is Feb. 25 and tickets are available at A&C, Grouse River, Hardcore Archery, L&O Jewellers, Weber & Markin Gunsmiths, Robertson’s Clothing and the club office, 4041 Casorso Rd.

Judie Steeves writes about outdoors issues for the Capital News.

jsteeves@kelownacapnews.com

 

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