Kelowna 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

Police outside a home on Leathead Road on Monday evening. (Jen Zielinski - Black Press Media)
Police presence at home near Ben Lee Park in Rutland

Several RCMP cruisers are on scene; Leathead closed between Franklyn and Hollywood

Hillview Elementary students Emma Li and Mina Nadeau were awarded by the Premier’s office for winning the annual holiday card contest. (Karen Rogers photo)
Vernon students’ art featured on Premier’s cards

Hillview youth chosen for annual holiday card contest

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
253 new COVID-19 cases, 4 more deaths in Interior Health over the weekend

More than 1,000 cases in the region remain active

Sunnybank
COVID-19 related deaths at Oliver, West Kelowna and Vernon senior care homes

Sunnybank, Heritage Retirement Residence and Noric House recorded deaths over the weekend

Man arrested at home on Byrne Avenue. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Reports of Kelowna house fire with entrapment unfounded, man arrested

The report prompted a large response by emergency crews

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

Interior Health confirms vaccination of priority populations has begun in Salmon Arm. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccinations underway in Salmon Arm

Interior Health confirms vaccination of priority populations has begun

This is the location, 3240 Skaha Lake Road, of where BC Housing plans to build a four storey supportive housing project for the homeless and at risk of being homeless. (Jesse Day Western News)
Penticton mayor and MLA concerned about new BC Housing project

‘Penticton already has its fair share’ of BC Housing projects

Interior Health declared the COVID-19 outbreak at McKinney Place long term care home over Monday, Jan. 18, 2020. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at McKinney Place care home declared over

‘This has been one of our most challenging outbreaks so far,’ says chief medical health officer

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Penticton Bylaw officer Glenn Smith, as well as resident Zak Laycock (not pictured), received the Governor General Award from the Royal Canadian Humane Association to recognize their heroism in a summer 2019 incident. (Contributed)
Bylaw officer and Penticton resident given awards for intervening in sexual assault

Bylaw officer Glenn Smith said he was simply in the right place at the right time

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

Most Read