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Family, friends of deceased snowboarder donate $17K to Central Okanagan search and rescue

Central Okanagan Search and Rescue manager Duane Tresnich, right, accepts a cheque from family and friends of a Kelowna man who died while snowboarding at Big White Ski Resort in late December. Central Okanagan Search and Rescue

Central Okanagan Search and Rescue received a $17,000 donation this weekend from family and friends of a snowboarder who died in late December.

The man, Ryan Fletcher, 42, of Kelowna, was reported missing at Big White Ski Resort on Dec. 26. His body was found the next day in the Big White Mountain Ecological Reserve.

COSAR was tasked with trying to find Fletcher, then recovering his body. The operation included members from Big White’s ski patrol, Vernon and Penticton Search and Rescue plus a helicopter from North Shore Rescue with night-vision capabilities.

Read more: Body of missing Kelowna snowboarder found at Big White Ski Resort

On Saturday, COSAR said family and friends of Fletcher presented them with the donation following an online fundraiser. Organizing the GoFundMe page, which raised $13,960, were Katy Drago plus Sonya and John Barker.

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“We are extremely grateful to all of the organizations and individuals that contributed to finding Ryan,” said John Barker.

“Raising funds to support COSAR felt like the best way to express our thanks to a wonderful organization that provides rescue efforts when the worst-case scenario occurs.”

Click to play video: 'North Shore Rescue team save out-of-bounds snowboarder on Cypress Mountain'
North Shore Rescue team save out-of-bounds snowboarder on Cypress Mountain

“We are extremely grateful for the donation,” said COSAR manager Duane Tresnich.

“Ryan was an outdoorsman who personified our membership — he had a huge love of the outdoors and was always happy to step up and lend a hand.”

Tresnich said the money will go towards training members, with some being put aside for a new building.

Click to play video: '14-year old snowboarder found after night on mountain'
14-year old snowboarder found after night on mountain

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