Penticton firefighters got to take off their work boots for some time in the ball pit, as they presented a cheque to Penticton Excel, a non-profit that works with high-functioning autistic children. Dustin Godfrey/Western News

Firefighters donate for safety equipment

Penticton Firefighters’ Charitable Society gave to Penticton Excel which works with autistic children

An annual donation from the Penticton Firefighters’ Charitable Society will be going toward some safety programs at a local non-profit that works with autistic children.

Kevin Zazzara with the society said they take in applications before deciding on which non-profit to donate their money to each year, and this year seemed a no-brainer.

“We asked them where the funds are going to go to, and then this one, it was very heartwarming,” Zazzara said of Penticton Excel, the group the firefighters handed a $500 cheque.

“So, they’re going to use them (funds) to go towards safety equipment and programming, first aid kits, safety vests, handheld stop signs and fire extinguisher training, which is exactly what we’re looking to support.”

Firefighters have also donated to Discovery House, the South Okanagan Women in Need Society, Muscular Dystrophy Canada just last week, and regularly donates to the hospital.

Children go to Penticton Excel everyday instead of attending regular school, according to executive director Carrie Ferguson.

“We focus on social skills, life skills, executive functioning skills, emotional regulation,” she said. “We do academics, but that’s not the primary focus. It’s really all the other stuff that people need to actually be successful in the real world.”

Ferguson said safety is a big part of Excel’s work, which is part of what made the group appealing to the firefighters’ charitable group.

“Our guys are really vulnerable to lots of different big, scary things out there, because they’re very trusting, and they don’t pick up on social cues,” she said.

“They get really excited and might not necessarily watch things crossing the street, so we have to, when we go out, which is daily, we have to make sure we’ve got a lot of extra safety stuff with us to make sure everyone’s nice and safe.”

Penticton Excel is still quite new — just entering year three — so Ferguson said the donation was “fabulous” for the non-profit group.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Three arrested after Keremeos shooting that severely injured one man

The victim was transported by air ambulance to a regional hospital

UPDATE: One dead after motorcycle collision on Highway 97 near Peachland

The collision closed Highway 97 off-and-on throughout Sunday afternoon

Okanagan whisky lottery adds new twists

Winners of Okanagan Spirits’ Laird of Fintry lottery announced in four batches beginning Sept. 28

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Penticton Vees return to action with 7-0 win over Salmon Arm

The Vees will get right back to it tomorrow night

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

West Kelowna Warriors complete sweep of Vernon Vipers

Warriors edge Snakes 2-1 as Okanagan Cup BCHL exhibition tournament begins

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Public input sharpens vision of Oyama Ithmus Park

Proposed project to shape the long-term future of waterfront land in Lake Country

COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kelowna church service

Attendees of Calvary Chapel Kelowna’s Sept. 13 morning service may have been exposed

Most Read