Nalayia Taylor and Rhyan Leggett Grayston raise funds for firefighters at their roadside sales table at the corner of 10th Street SW and 10th Avenue SW on Friday, Aug. 27. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)

Nalayia Taylor and Rhyan Leggett Grayston raise funds for firefighters at their roadside sales table at the corner of 10th Street SW and 10th Avenue SW on Friday, Aug. 27. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)

Young Salmon Arm residents raise funds for firefighters

Thoughts of wildfire crews having to sleep in tents and use porta-potties part of inspiration

The wildfires surrounding Salmon Arm prompted two young residents to do what they could to help firefighters.

Rhyan Leggett Grayston and Nalayia Taylor could be seen at the corner of 10th Avenue and 10th Street SW, outside the Mall at Piccadilly parking lot, on Thursday and Friday, Aug. 26/27. There they were selling two types of lemonade as well as their homemade bracelets. Signs explained that half the proceeds would go to the BC Wildfire Service, while half would go to the girls.

“Since the fires have gotten really worse and we’ve seen where it’s really intense, we wanted to help them,” explained Rhyan.

“So they can get into hotels and stuff because they’re working hard,” added Nalayia, pointing out the firefighters are having to sleep in tents and use porta-potties. “And it’s all around us (the wildfires), so we thought it was the best thing to do.”

They said Friday that the lemonade had been selling better than the bracelets, but they were getting lots of donations.

By the end of the day Thursday they had raised $348, so about $200 would go to the firefighters.

Their families expressed pride at their efforts.

Todd Grayston, Rhyan’s dad, said the girls did it on their own initiative.

“They didn’t look for adults to support it, they just decided on their own to do this.”

Asked Friday how they were feeling about their project, the girls were positive.

“It’s great that we helped out,” Nalayia said.

“I feel happy,” Rhyan smiled.

Read more: Size of wildfire group in Shuswap leads to creation of ‘small city’ within a city

Read more: As COVID numbers rise, Salmon Arm council urges residents to get vaccinated


martha.wickett@saobserver.net
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B.C. Wildfires 2021fundraisingSalmon Arm