It’s the start of an exciting new chapter for an effort to help young Calgarians living with a disability.
Eighteen-year-old Wyatt Smuszko is handing over the reins of his secondhand western wear company Wild Wild Wyatt.
Sam Webber, 15, is taking over the business, renaming it Stampede Sam – Country Sparkle.
Webber’s going to continue Smuszko’s practice of donating proceeds from sales to The PREP Society, an organization both teens have benefitted from for several years.
“We’re all about providing support for kids,” PREP’s executive director Curtis Slater said. “And we truly believe that any kid with Down syndrome, given the right opportunities and the right supports, can go on to do incredible things.”
Running Wild Wild Wyatt for the past two years has certainly been an incredible thing for Smuszko.
“I like cowboy stuff,” Smuszko said. “I like meeting with people.”
Webber’s dad is a Global Calgary employee and she, too, enjoys being involved in Alberta’s western heritage.
“For (Calgary) Stampede, I really like the horses,” Webber said.
Smuszko’s family said running the business brings lots of learning opportunities.
“We’re just thrilled that Sam’s going to take over,” Smuszko’s mom Deanne Frere said. “It’s been just a great opportunity for Wyatt and we’re just hoping that we can create some kind of legacy for this business.”
Webber’s mom said the family was looking forward to carrying on that legacy.
“We’re so excited for her,” Kelly Webber said. “I can’t wait to see how it helps her gain confidence, learning how to market and learning how to do stuff on the computer.”
Smuszko said he was also eager to begin to learning new things as he starts his first year at Calgary’s Mount Royal University in the fall of 2023.
“I’m doing reading, working out and math,” Smuszko said.
Smuszko previously donated $3,000 to PREP and added another $2,000 as he hands over his business.
“You raised all this money through Wild Wild Wyatt?” Slater asked Smuszko. “That’s amazing.
“This is going to have a huge impact on lots of kids with Down syndrome, so thank you very much Wyatt.”