A volunteer is checking up on a newly rescued wallaby. (Brad Pattison)

Kelowna’s year in review – February 2020

A look back at February’s feel good stories

Kelowna animal rescue team returns home

Kelowna resident Brad Pattison organized a handful of people for an animal rescue mission as wildfires ravaged Australia.

The team headed down in January, returning home after a successful month of helping Australian wildlife workers nursing various animals back to health after severe injuries.

Pattison said there many highs and lows throughout his team’s time in Australia, but it was a beautiful sight to see scared animals coming out of their shells and playing again.

He said he’s grateful for all the donations he received from Okanagan residents. If it wasn’t for the donations, he wouldn’t have been able to help Bodhi, a koala so dehydrated and malnourished when his team found him that he couldn’t even feed himself.

But thanks to volunteers’ constant care, he fought on.

“… He’s actually come out of his little crate. He saw his makeshift tree, and climbed right up to it and ate,” he said.

“That never would have happened if not for people’s donations. They saved that koala… if you could be there, you would be so proud of where your dollars went.”

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Fellow kids fundraise for Kelowna toddler with cancer

Elara was diagnosed with a tumour on Christmas Eve 2019. (Photo courtesy of Cayman Ferguson)

A local business hosted a fundraiser for toddler Elara Isagawa. At the time of the fundraiser, Elara was in Vancouver with her parents as she was going through treatment.

Jump2It, an indoor playground, hosted other toddlers to have a fun afternoon while helping raise money for Elara’s treatment.

Jump2It’s marketing specialist Alexandra Krieger said she wanted to help Elara’s family with the tools she had.

“This (fundraiser) isn’t something the family is asking for, but I think the support and feeling supported is really important,” she said.

“Life doesn’t stop, bills don’t stop. So we want to show them we support them, both financially with the donations coming in, but also for a show of support, that the community stands behind them and is there for them.”

Elara Isagawa’s family announced the two-year-old won her fight – she is officially cancer-free.

The family takes the community for their kindness and 1 tremendous support during their trying time.


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
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Best of 2020