Okanagan backcountry clean up crew holding first-ever fundraiser

Backcountry fundraiser

Okanagan Forest Task Force founder Kane Blake, fresh off his latest clean-up on Bartley Road in West Kelowna, is gearing up for another season of cleaning up the backcountry.

For the first time, Blake says he is organizing a BBQ fundraiser to help pay for repairs, maintenance and insurance for his recently donated tow truck.

The fundraiser will take place on April 15 at AH Repair, located at 391 Tilley Road near Lake Country, Saturday, April 15 starting at 10 a.m.

"Everyone is welcome! This is the first time OFTF has done a fundraiser and spring meet and greet. We will be doing a BBQ, some cool Raffles, new 2023 OFTF hats and shirts will be for sale as well as last year's," Blake said.

He says the new tow truck is going to make cleaning up the backcountry much easier, but it won't be cheap.

"Even though the truck and a lot of the parts and repairs have been donated, it's still expensive. This vehicle has hydraulic lines that cost hundreds of dollars to repair," Blake says.

Aside from raising much-needed money to help keep the Okanagan backcountry clean, Blake says the tow truck is going to save a ton of time and labour.

"Now we can use the winch to tow vehicles out of some of these steep embankments instead of getting people to push them up the hill," says Blake.

The new tow truck will also be on display for everyone to take a look at and Blake says he is looking forward to actually being able to spend time with people who have helped him in the past.

"It will be nice to spend some time and get to know people a bit instead of always being busy working on a cleanup and not having the time to get to know people," he said.

Blake says he doesn't have a fundraising goal, he's just hoping for the best. Some of the money raised will go towards lunches for all the volunteers on clean-up days.

"They are taking time out of their weekends to help clean up after others. It's the least we could do is give them lunch and drinks," says Blake.

More information the fundraiser can be found here.

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