Central Okanagan residents get cold in support of those with disabilities

Cody Petrone, a lived-experience ambassador for CRIS, made a snow angel in Kelowna on Jan. 1, as a part of the CRIS Polar Bear Challenge. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)Cody Petrone, a lived-experience ambassador for CRIS, made a snow angel in Kelowna on Jan. 1, as a part of the CRIS Polar Bear Challenge. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Cody Petrone, a lived-experience ambassador for CRIS, made a snow angel in Kelowna on Jan. 1, as a part of the CRIS Polar Bear Challenge. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)Cody Petrone, a lived-experience ambassador for CRIS, made a snow angel in Kelowna on Jan. 1, as a part of the CRIS Polar Bear Challenge. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Cody Petrone, a lived-experience ambassador for CRIS, made a snow angel in Kelowna on Jan. 1, as a part of the CRIS Polar Bear Challenge. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)Cody Petrone, a lived-experience ambassador for CRIS, made a snow angel in Kelowna on Jan. 1, as a part of the CRIS Polar Bear Challenge. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)

With events around the province cancelled, those who would normally participate in Kelowna’s annual polar bear plunge had to get creative.

Normally on the afternoon of New Years Day, thousands would be running towards the frigid Okanagan Lake waters in support of CRIS Adaptive Adventures, an organization which gets people with disabilities outdoors.

Since provincial health guidelines prohibit gatherings and events from taking place, fundraising was done on an individual basis.

“Instead of running into the lake with thousands of other people, we’re asking people to invent their own ‘Freezing for a Reason’ activity,” said Shelley Buchanan Gilmore, CEO of CRIS.

READ MORE: Interior Health’s first baby of 2021 born in Kelowna

One participant took a video of themselves eating ice cream while walking into the frozen lake. Another went on a 15-minute swim. One person was mummified in snow.

Since fundraising began Nov. 1, CRIS has raised over $25,000 of their $50,000 goal. It costs $20 to participate in the challenge.

Instead of jumping in the lake, which this morning measured a balmy 6C, Cody Petrone, a lived-experience ambassador for CRIS, instead opted to make a snow angel near the lake.

Sitting in his wheelchair at the base of Knox Mountain, Petrone stripped down to his shorts and maneuvered himself onto the snow. Paralyzed from the waist down due to a trucking injury in 2018, he used his arms to move his legs back and forth, to form the bottom of the angel.

Cold but happy, he gave a thumbs up to the camera.

Since becoming disabled, he has been promoting the program. CRIS takes Central Okanagan residents like Petrone on hiking, cycling, paddling, snowshoeing and sit-skiing adventures.

“For people that are disabled and feel like they can’t do anything, CRIS brings that part of their life back… they get to sit back and enjoy the beautiful scenery we have here in the Okanagan,” said Petrone.

CRIS finished the year off 40-50 per cent below their normal annual revenue, which makes this campaign even more crucial for their operations. They’re hoping to soon replace several of their vehicles, which they use to transport people into the outdoors.

“We break down barriers to the outdoors through equipment knowledge but also financial barriers… We really could use the support to get this one across the finish line, so that 2021 programs can continue getting people with disabilities into the great outdoors,” said Buchanan.

To register to freeze, or simply donate to CRIS, visit Trellis.org/CRISpolarbearchallenge. The Freezing for a Reason campaign ends Jan. 15.

To learn more about CRIS, click here.

READ MORE: Kelowna’s year in review – December 2020

READ MORE: Calgary police officer struck, killed during traffic stop on New Year’s Eve; suspect at large

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: phil.mclachlan@kelownacapnews.com


 

@newspaperphil
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

disabilitiesfundraiser

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

Just Posted

(Black Press file photo)
Highway 3 cleared, open after vehicle incident

The road was closed for about three hours earlier on Jan. 18

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

A map released by the BCCDC on Jan. 15 shows the number of new COVID-19 cases reported for each local health area between Jan. 3 and 9. (BCCDC Image)
Salmon Arm and Vernon see increase in new COVID cases, curve flattening elsewhere

The rate of new cases is levelling off in Kelowna, Penticton and Revelstoke.

The Premier Hotel on Summerland’s Main Street and the taxi were owned by Bill and Lydia Johnston. Today, the building is Sass Fashions in Summerland. H.S. Kenyon, who moved the building to Summerland from Midway, continued with building construction. His family now operates Greyback Construction. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
Two former Summerland hotel buildings have been moved over the years

Transport of buildings is part of community’s history

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

When people talk about Blue Monday, they really mean Seasonal Affective Disorder, according to CMHA Kelowna. (Pixabay)
CMHA Kelowna offers tips for managing winter blues during COVID-19

CMHA says it’s important to take care of mental well-being during these times

Trees destroyed a Shoreacres home during a wind storm Jan. 13, 2021. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay woman flees just before tree crushes house

Pamala DeRosa is thankful to be alive

A warrant was issued for Darwyn Sellars, 31, on Nov. 4, 2019, according to Black Press. (CrimeStoppers)
List of guilty pleas entered along with North Okanagan shootout

Sentencing delayed against Darwyn Sellars, who pleaded guilty to a rack of charges

Gin voices his view of having his photo taken as Ken and Karleen Kantymir pose with him and his brother Tonic. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Sheep’s quirky antics keep Salmon Arm couple entertained

Until they bought two sheep, Ken and Karleen Kantymir didin’t realize just how social the animals are

Fire crews on scene of hot tub blaze. Michael Rodriguez, Kelowna Capital News.
Workers on concrete pump assist Kelowna homeowner battling hot tub fire

Home owners and neighbours fought the flames with a garden hose

(RCMP file photo)
Arrest made for break-in to the Penticton Herald

Police arrived to see blanket-wearing man holding computers

Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons was appointed to the NDP cabinet as minister of social development and poverty reduction after the October 2020 B.C. election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. job training fund increased for developmentally disabled

COVID-19 has affected 1,100 ‘precariously employed’ people

Heather Lucier, a pastor at Kelowna Harvest Fellowship, speaks to an RCMP officer outside of Harvest Ministries on Sunday, Jan. 10. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna church fined a second time for violating public health order

Harvest Ministries in Kelowna has previously said they will fight the tickets in court

Okanagan Forest Task Force clean up took place on May 9 along Postill Lake Road. (Okanagan Forest Task Force)
Okanagan cleanup taskforce gears up for new year

The crew assisted in getting about 60 illegal dumpers ticketed

Most Read