It was just a few months ago that Vernon paddleboarder Aaron Nasipayko began making headlines for his efforts to clean up local lakes. The community quickly rallied behind him with support.
Unfortuantely, due to heavy use in recent months while collecting trash and various debris from Okanagan and Kalamalka lakeshores, his paddleboard has paid the price of his hard work.
Hearing this news, Telus sprung into action. A group of about 20 supporters surprised Nasipayko Thursday morning at the Rail Trail Cafe to gift him a free replacement board.
“Until you’re out there and actually get to experience it, you just don’t know what it’s like and what needs to be done to create change. I just want to thank all of you for being big supporters because we need to take more pride in our lakes for our children, for the next generation, so we can all enjoy,” he said.
“This lake connects us all — whether it’s business, or a place of serenity, or a place to decompress — so that’s why I’m doing this because, for me, it brings peace to my soul and I’m just giving back to the lakes what they give to me.”
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“Thank you for making such an incredible difference for our shorelines, Aaron! You’re a huge inspiration for our team – let’s do this,” wrote Telus on the Morning Star’s Facebook Live of the event.
Many other Vernonites commented with similar messages of congratulations and thanks.
The presentation ceremony was especially timely, as Nasipayko announced Wednesday, May 28, that he has — after nearly two months of cleaning — reached the 25 per cent marker on Okanagan Lake. This meant he has completed 67.5 km of the 270 km goal.
“This has been so overwhelming,” said Nasipayko. “Thank you to everyone who has stepped up and continue to step up to help clean our shorelines because it has become a disaster. It needs to continue because we have a long way to go yet.”
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