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.

Just Posted

Vandalism closes public washrooms in Penticton’s Okanagan Lake Park indefinitely

A post by the city’s Facebook said the damage is ‘quite extensive’

Three-vehicle collision at Railway St. and Duncan Ave. puts one in hospital

The Penticton RCMP are looking to speak with anyone who may have witnessed the collision

City releases tips and tricks to stay safe over holiday season

Included below is a list of revised garbage and recycling days, and rules for curbside collection

Snowfall warning issued for Coquihalla Highway

Up to 25 cm of snow is expected to fall in the region by Thursday

Penticton RCMP warn of new ‘porting’ scam that puts internet banking, online accounts at risk

Two-factor verification has been the go-to way to keep online accounts secure

Video: Magicians and Bubble Wonders highlight Penticton Shriners Variety Show

The annual fundraiser filled the Cleland Community Theatre on Sunday.

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

Pawsative Pups: Help your dog love their crate

Lisa Davies is a new columnist for Black Press who writes about dog training

Spark Joy: The art of giving and receiving

Barb and Wendy at Simply Spark Joy help you to create a clutter free home on the Black Press Media

Coldstream surf shop welcomes winter with paddle

Winter Chill event Saturday, Dec. 21, on Kal Lake is ‘food’-raiser for food bank

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of infamous Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

B.C. conservation officers put down fawn blinded by BB gun on Vancouver Island

Young deer found near construction site in Hammond Bay area in Nanaimo, B.C.

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

B.C. guide fined $2K in first conviction under new federal whale protection laws

Scott Babcock found guilty of approaching a North Pacific humpback whale at less than 100 metres

Most Read