Kelowna residents warmed by free hugs event

Community embraces Kelowna resident’s legacy

Warm hugs made braving frigid weather a lot more bearable for Kelowna residents who were downtown Tuesday afternoon.

The eighth annual free hug event was an homage to Kelowna resident Wayne Cobb, who died in a motorcycle accident in 2010 while saving his son.

One of the huggers braving the cold Tuesday remembers Cobb well, and said it’s a fitting tribute.

“Wayne was an amazing person who loved to hug,” Monique Saebels said. “He had such a big heart and he gave it to everyone. He’s here today… I know he is.”

Saebels is one of the few people who goes to the event and knew Cobb personally. Others, who did not know him, are dedicated to the event and maintaining his legacy.

RELATED: Boxing Day hugs to be handed out at Kelowna sails

Among them is Kathi Meyn, who knows Cobb’s wife and children. For her the event’s appeal lies in the fact it’s something she does with friends year after year, and that it makes a difference.

“It’s the camaraderie, the fun that we’re going to do this. It takes a little bit of bravery to go up and ask a person ‘do you want a hug?’” she said, adding that not everyone wants to partake and that’s OK, too.

Over the years she’s handed out countless hugs, and despite the fact there were few people out in the cold on Boxing Day she’d still doled out quite a few. Some, however, make more of an impression than others.

“The one that stands out to me was the widower who said he hadn’t been hugged in nine years,” said Meyn.

That, she said, had an affect on everyone who was there.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.



kmichaels@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Infighting at Kelowna Yacht Club makes it to court

Marc Whittemore, a local lawyer and prominent member of the club, filed a notice of civil claim Feb. 1

Kelowna athletes kick off Canada Winter Games

Saturday is day one of the Games in Red Deer

Princeton pot plant getting ready to hire

Princeton’s newest employer - which promises to be one of its biggest… Continue reading

Family Day fun starts today around the Central Okanagan

You don’t have to wait until Monday to enjoy free family fun

Memorial for popular Lake Country teen to be live streamed

A memorial service for Derek Flowers-Johnson will be held at 1 p.m.

VIDEO: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

Drive BC warning slippery conditions for Okanagan main highways

The region is forecasted to see flurries and snow for the first half of the weekend

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Flying squirrels found to glow pink in the dark, including two from B.C.

Squirrels from Hope and Abbotsford were included in the biologists’ database

Man and woman shot in targeted incident in Kamloops

The shooting happened yesterday afternoon

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Most Read