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

‘Resistance’ from Interior Health puts races in Penticton on hold

It’s unknown if races planned for this weekend at the Penticton Speedway will take place

Oliver town hall reopens to public as COVID-19 test comes back negative

Oliver Town Hall was closed briefly as a staff member showed multiple COVID-19 symptoms

RCMP to investigate hate-motivated vandalism in Summerland

Swastikas and other graffiti spray painted on house and at bandshell

AlleyCATS Okanagan: Pet of the week

Add a little Spritz and Cider to your summer

Penticton Vees snag ‘impact’ forward Fin Williams from Prince George

17-year-old already has impressive Junior A resume

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

Fundraiser kick-started for Vernon woman battling tongue cancer

Woman’s four-year-old twins are the driving force behind her fight

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Lake Country beachgoers reminded to maintain distance amid COVID-19

Signage, park rangers, park patrol students in place to monitor busy beaches in Central Okanagan

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Vancouver Island RCMP respond to reports of man masturbating on bus

52-year-old man charged with committing an indecent act in a public place

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Most Read