Addie Pafiolis with her son, Theo, who died just five days after his birth due to a heart condition in 2017. For the past four years, Addie and her husband Chris have been supporting local families around the holiday season in Theo’s memory. (Contributed)

Addie Pafiolis with her son, Theo, who died just five days after his birth due to a heart condition in 2017. For the past four years, Addie and her husband Chris have been supporting local families around the holiday season in Theo’s memory. (Contributed)

Lake Country couple supporting local families in son’s memory this Christmas

Theo Pafiolis was five days old when he passed away due to a heart condition; now, his parents are supporting others in his name

A Lake Country couple is carrying on their son’s memory by making Christmas 2020 a memorable one for a local family.

For the past four years, Addie and Chris Pafiolis have been sponsoring families with money out of pocket for presents and food during the holidays.

It’s how they’ve chosen to turn a heartbreaking loss into something heartwarming and positive.

In 2017, their son Theo was born with a birth defect known as Hypoplastic left heart syndrome. The heart condition went undiagnosed until 36 hours after his birth. Sadly, just days after welcoming Theo into the world, the couple had to say goodbye.

“We had five very short days with him until he left this universe for another, and something that we chose to do in his memory right away, starting in 2017, was support some families at Christmas through hard times,” Addie said.

That first year, Chris and Addie fielded private messages on Facebook to find a local family in need of support.

“That was really special,” Addie said. “We were able to really shower them with some presents and some food for Christmas.”

READ MORE: Donations needed for less fortunate Vernon kids to give gifts

In 2018, they decided to spread the support out across multiple families. Through their company — SweetLegs Clothing Inc. — they purchased $6,000 worth of Save-on Foods gift certificates and passed them out among the community.

They purchased gift certificates again in 2019, and also found two local families to support.

This year the couple has been busier than ever running an e-commerce business in the middle of the pandemic. But seeing the extra need among local families, they made the extra effort to continue Theo’s Christmas tradition.

“Already I can feel that there’s a lot of people within our community that could really benefit from an extra hand,” Addie said. “It wasn’t long ago when we were a family that could have used a little extra love, so I think it’s really important to just pass it forward, especially during a time when everyone is struggling — mentally, emotionally, you name it,” Addie said.

Addie and Chris have already raised and donated thousands in Theo’s name for causes ranging from the Canucks Children’s Hospice to a scholarship at George Elliot Secondary in Lake Country. But Addie says there’s something extra special about supporting people in her home community.

“To me, it’s kind of like a virtual hug,” she said. “Plus, it keeps our son’s memory alive, so it’s important to us.”

READ MORE: West Kelowna business helping community through trying times


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

Christmas

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

Just Posted

The City of Vernon is sending a letter to the provincial government to request that church be deemed an essential service amid the pandemic. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Vernon mayor scolded for revealing stance on making church essential

Coun. Scott Anderson calls Cummings’ actions ‘arrogant’

Heather Barker. (File)
Manslaughter charge laid in Vernon woman’s 2018 death

Shaun Ross Wiebe, 43, faces manslaughter and assault charges related to the death of Heather Barker

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin makes preparations at Toronto’s mass vaccination clinic, Jan. 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
3 deaths, 234 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

One death connected to outbreak at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital, where 20 patients and 28 staff have tested positive

People in Kelowna’s City Park on May 18, 2020. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Downtown Kelowna’s City Park scheduled for facelift

Designs for the future of City Park unveiled; construction to begin fall 2021

The scene of a serious crash on Highway 33 in Kelowna that killed one and severely injured two others on June 20, 2018. (File)
Driver found guilty of causing death, injury in 2018 Kelowna crash

Travis Ryan Hennessy will face sentencing at a later date

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Zaudanawng “Jay-Dan” Maran in his Creston home. Hanging on the wall behind him is a logo of Kachin’s Manaw festival. Photo: Aaron Hemens
From Myanmar to Creston: The story of a refugee

In October 2007, Zaudanawng “Jay-Dan” Maran and his friends encountered a woman being sexually assaulted by two Myanmar soldiers.

Kamloops This Week.
48 COVID-19 cases and one death associated with outbreak at Kamloops hospital

One of the 20 patients infected has died, meanwhile 28 staff with COVID-19 are isolating at home

(Michael Rodriguez - Capital News staff)
Downtown stairwell fire suspicious, Kelowna RCMP say

Crews were called to Gotham Nightclub for a report of a stairwell fire

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

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Head Brewer Kody Rosentreter, owner Wes Greve and taproom manager Lisa Deleo celebrated North Basin Brewing’s grand opening Jan. 22 and 23, 2020. (Contributed)
Osoyoos’ first microbrewery celebrates grand opening

The brewery hopes to show that the Okanagan is more than just wine country

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

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran addresses media from the front steps of council chambers on March 23. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna, West Kelowna still looking to opt-out of speculation tax

Mayors say spec tax has missed the mark, revenue largely coming out of Canadians’ pockets

Most Read