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Pirates sighted at Boat for Hope

Pirates and treasure hunters were on Okanagan lake getting into water fights and searching for booty Saturday afternoon.

The eighth annual Boat for Hope event, held by Variety the children's charity, was at the Kelowna Yacht Club.

The pirate themed event brought together over 200 families and more than 100 volunteers for a fun-filled day of activities, music and food.

Barb Coates spokesperson for Variety the children's charity said the event is all about a safe and supportive environment for families that have children with special needs.

"The parents don't have to explain their child's condition to anyone. Many of these families don't have the opportunity to go out on a boat, it's an adventure the kids rarely get a chance to experience," she said. "They just get to watch their kids being kids."

More than a dozen skippers have volunteered their boats to take kids out for a ride to different treasure stations where they collect booty. They get in water fights and pirates chase them on the lake. 

For kids that don't want to get wet, they can wave a white towel and avoid getting sprayed. 

The event culminates at 2 p.m. with a giant water fight including a water cannon, the fire department's vessel and many of the decorated volunteer craft.

Coates said Variety does more than just provide wheelchairs for children. They also provide a range of therapies and service many needs for children including transportation to hospitals. 

"If you think your child or your family needs help, give us a call," she said.

Karen St Pierre and her son Kai have been coming to this event for four years. 

"It's great for family and letting everyone have fun and just be themselves," she said. "We went out on the water, got soaked and got lots of booty - Kai did really great." 

Put together by Variety the children's charity and supported by donors such as Pharmasave, the event is also a fundraiser. Pharmasave is running a province-wide fundraiser and individuals can donate to Variety online, or in person at the event. 

If you have photos or video of the event you would like to share, send them to [email protected]

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