Penticton duo on quest to help SPCA with fun event this weekend

Fundraising initiative for B.C. SPCA called Peach City Adventure Hunt takes place in Penticton on Sunday.

Jesse Longbear (left) and Bryce Beckett stand at the starting line for the event on the 15th in front of Beckett's van

Jesse Longbear (left) and Bryce Beckett stand at the starting line for the event on the 15th in front of Beckett's van

“A ‘hippy’ living in a bus and a tattooed bad-ass trying to make a difference in their community,” is how Bryce Beckett describe himself, friend Jesse Longbear and their efforts to organize a fundraiser.

The duo are planning the upcoming Peach City Adventure Hunt, a fundraising initiative for the B.C. SPCA on July 15.

“The main goal of the scavenger hunt, initially, was just have something fun that everyone wants to do,” said Beckett. “Something to span the demographics and be very family friendly, get people outdoors.”

To this end, the event is a scavenger hunt around downtown Penticton, where participants will be asked to perform certain tasks, such as going to a certain area on the Okanagan Lake beach and paddle-boarding around a buoy, finding clues or taking photographic evidence of completing a task.  As well, bonus points will be awarded to those who complete the entire event in a costume, or using entirely alternative modes of transportation — basically, anything that doesn’t burn fuel.

There are many prizes being donated by Penticton businesses for the event. The first 80 registrants will receive door prizes, and the grand prizes for the winning team are a Santa Cruz longboard donated by Pentagon Boardshop and a vintage English folding bike, which was restored by the Bike Barn. In total, Beckett said the event has garnered over 20 sponsors.

Following the event, the prizes will be awarded and dinner will be held at Voodoo’s Lounge at 6 p.m., where local band Ghostwood will be performing while participants take advantage of the special $5 menu. As well, those wishing to stay following the event’s wrap-up are being offered a cheaper, $5 cover charge.

Beckett, currently resides in a small, white bus adorned with paintings is a self-described “serial volunteer,” and said he was inspired by local artist Reasha Wolfe to focus on the community, break down barriers and get involved.

“I like people, I love my community, I love this town, I enjoy organizing events, it’s just a lot of fun,” said Beckett. “I feel really fortunate right now to be able to do this, to have enough time.”

After talking and realizing they both wanted to do something to engage the community, Beckett and the 32-year-old Longbear united to organize the adventure hunt. Longbear, who moved to Penticton eight months ago from Vancouver said he’s put events like this on before, and sees a need for them in Penticton.

“I love Penticton but there’s lots of stuff that’s not happening,” the 32-year-old body piercer said. “There needs to be more events, there needs to be more things for the public to do.

“We need something fun that everyone in the city can do, especially for a good cause. It supports the SPCA and everybody’s kind of on board on the same thing, just kind of getting everybody aware of what there is to do in the city.”

The duo said they hope they are able to put on several events like this every year. Registration, which costs at least $10, is at 11 a.m. on July 15 at the empty lot beside the City Centre on Main Street.  Participants are advised to bring a bathing suit, a pen and notepad, a digital camera and a few dollars of spending money.

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