Despite fundraising opportunities being limited, firefighters and burn survivors were able to raise more than $200,000 this year for Burn Camp.
The B.C. Professional Firefighters Burn Fund has supported more than 1,000 burn survivors with a one week camp near Squamish every July for the past 26 years. Campers get to have fun while being supported by counsellors and medical professionals at no cost.
But this year, the camp and several fundraising events that support it have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In Kelowna, we haven’t been able to do any events this year but it was pretty impressive at the virtual kick-off on Thursday night to see all the locals step up and to be able to still donate to the Burn Fund,” said Gayanne Pacholzuk, B.C. Professional Firefighters Burn Fund prevention coordinator.
The Kelowna Fire Department raised $15,000, the Vernon Fire Department raised almost $5,000, the Penticton Fire Department raised $5,000 and the Revelstoke Fire Department raised $3,000 that was presented during an online event.
“We got to see what everyone was up to over the last year and really catch up it felt good to reconnect this morning at the virtual campfire,” said Pacholzuk.
The money raised goes towards public education and burn survivor support. Donations are still being accepted on their website www.burnfund.org to make up for the loss of this year’s fundraising events.