May 15, 2019 12:31 pm
Updated: May 15, 2019 3:07 pm

Get ready to be inked at Vernon tattoo marathon fundraiser

WATCH ABOVE: Five Fathoms Tattoo in Vernon is hosting the fourth annual tattoo marathon and block party in support of B.C. Children’s Hospital. Shay Galor reports.

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Things are quiet right now at Five Fathoms Tattoo in Vernon.

But that’s all going to change on May 19, when the fourth annual tattoo marathon and block party hits downtown Vernon to raise funds for B.C. Children’s Hospital.

“Basically, it’s 20 to 25 tattoo artists from all over Western Canada,” said co-owner of Five Fathoms Tattoo Nick Matovich. “We do as many tattoos as we can in one day.

“We start at 8:30 a.m. and we go until about 1 or 2 a.m. the following morning.”

The event is a personal mission for Matovich.

His seven-year-old daughter, Nova, was born with a congenital heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome.

“I think about one in a 100 kids has some form of congenital heart defect,” Matovich said. “Hers is a little more rare, so basically she has had three open heart corrective surgeries.”

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The first surgery took place when Nova was just four days old.

“From Day 1, we had a few hours with her in the hospital and then it was prepping up for the first surgery,” Matovich said.

The second surgery took place when Nova was four weeks old, with the third at the age of four.

One hundred per cent of the profits will be donated directly towards the pediatric cardiology unit and the I.C.U at the B.C. Children’s Hospital.

“We couldn’t be any more fortunate to have that hospital because there are countries, not far from here, that are a whole different ball game.” Matovich said.

Along with dozens of volunteers, Matovich hopes to break the $100,000 total contribution mark with this fourth fundraiser.

“The last event we did was in 2017,” the tattoo artist said. “I think we did 131 tattoos that day.”

Each artist involved will create a unique sheet of pre-designed tattoos ranging in price from $50 to $300.

“When we did it in 2015, it was bonkers,” Matovich said. “There was a lineup down the road and around the corner.”

READ MORE: #luckyfewtattoo: Why Alberta parents are getting inked for Down syndrome

Nova is excited to get involved in the fundraiser this year.

“I was thinking of doing a lemonade stand,” the seven-year-old said shyly.

For those not interested in getting inked, there are other entertainment options.

“It’s a little bit of a sidewalk party,” Matovich said. “Have a bite, watch a band. There might be a D.J. out there and, around four o’clock, we raffle off a ton of swag.”

The tattoo marathon takes place on May 19, but make sure you get there early as there is always a line up.

Five Fathoms Tattoo is located at 3222 30th Avenue in Vernon.

Those getting tattoos must be 18 years of age or older and require an I.D.

“We leave exhausted and completely wiped out but also really happy and warm inside,” Matovich said. “It’s definitely worth the hours and hours of planning and then hours of tattooing.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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