Firefighters camp on roof for good cause

Spending a night on a Penticton rooftop in February can be a bone chilling experience.

However the hardy group of firefighters taking part in the 2014 Penticton Firefighters Rooftop Campout For Muscular Dystrophy say it is worth it.

"It's windy and it's cold, but it's all good because we are raising money for those who have a neuromuscular disorder," said firefighter Ryan Bazley.

In 2013, the first year of the campout on the Safeway roof, they raised $16,000 and are hoping to meet with similar success this time around.

The kickoff of the campout was held at noon Thursday. Among those in attendance were city officials and representatives from the Penticton Fire Department and Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

Jeannine Woolley, the fundraising coordinator for Muscular Dystrophy Canada, described the department's effort as wonderful.

"Firefighters are our strongest supporters and across Canada they raise around $3 million every year and have partnered with us for 60 years," she said.

The participants will work in shifts, with three people on the roof at all times.

Although it will be challenging staying outdoors in a tent in winter, there  are plenty of activities lined up to keep them busy.

Among them are learning yoga, belly dancing and getting visits from dignitaries over the next few days.

"We spend our time interacting with each other and the public," said Capt. Graham Gowe, who will be on top of Safeway, Thursday and Friday."It's the least we can do to help out those affected by muscular dystrophy.

There will be a BBQ from 4 to 7 p.m., Thursday and Friday, with all donations matched by ScotiaBank during that time.

Firefighters also have raffle tickets for $20, where the winner will get dinner for four at Bogner's and will be served by firefighters.

The effort, supported by many community sponsors, will last until 1 p.m. Saturday.




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