What started out as a fun activity to support a local charity has evolved into a lesson in life for staff members of the Kelowna Capital News.
Four people had signed on as a team for a paddleboarding fundraiser in support of BrainTrust Canada Sunday at Rotary Beach in Kelowna.
But the purpose behind BrainTrust Canada, to educate and fund research about brain injury prevention and recovery, hit home when one of the newspaper’s production staff, Vernon’s Janice Collier, was hit by a vehicle while on a crosswalk on Okanagan Landing Road July 11.
Collier, a former Morning Star employee, suffered severe injuries to her knee, pelvis and ankle along with head trauma that caused swelling in her brain.
“It was a pretty sombre Monday morning to come looking to get support to paddle to raise money for brain injury prevention only to find one of our colleagues fighting for her life with a severe brain injury,” said Rob Lindsay, a Capital News advertising representative.
“It brought home to us the importance of what BrainTrust Canada does. The accident was a random thing for someone to get hit on a crosswalk, but it sure made what we were doing, to raise money for BrainTrust, seem a lot more important. It’s not just a paddle board race for charity anymore. It will have a deeper meaning for all of us.”
The fundraising goal is for each team to raise $1,000, which will work out to $250 a paddler. The overall goal of BrainTrust for the event is to raise $50,000.
To make a donation, go to www.paddleforprevention.myevent.com/participant/209108.
The event kicks off at 8:30 a.m. with a Moksha Yoga warmup, followed by individual and team relays from 9 a.m. to noon. There will be a barbecue put on for participants from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. by sponsors Costco and the Kelowna Sunrise Rotary Club. There will also be other fun family “Twoonie Activities,” face painting and a bouncy house for the kids.
The entry fee is $40 per adult and $20 for youth aged 18 and under. The minimum age for participation is seven.
There are also significant fundraising incentive prizes at various levels from Costco and the Kelowna Paddle Centre, and a chance to win a round trip for two to any scheduled WestJet destination for those participants who raise $500 or more.
For more about this event or brain injury, check out the website braintrustcanada.com.