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Teal blue theme for Lumby vigil

Tatjana Stefanski to be remembered with her favourite colour and other things Friday, 7 p.m., Oval Park
A vigil for slain woman Tatjana Stefanski will be held Friday, April 26, at 7 p.m. at Oval Park in Lumby. (Jason Gaudreault photo)

Her favourite colour was teal blue.

That’s why you’re seeing teal hearts pasted in Lumby windows, or teal blue heart decals reading “Justice For Tatjana” on vehicles in and around the village.

Teal blue lanterns will be made Friday, April 26, from 3-6 p.m. in the basement of the Lumby Christian Church – organized by local home school mothers – ahead of a vigil planned for 7 p.m. Friday at Oval Park to honour Tatjana Stefanski.

The 44-year-old woman was found dead in a rural area off Mabel Lake Road on April 14. RCMP have said she was the victim of foul play. She had been reported as missing and allegedly abducted on April 13.

A suspect was taken into custody but later released. No charges have been laid in the matter.

Those planning on attending the vigil are asked to wear teal blue in Stefanski’s honour, and bring candles and flashlight.

Lumby Mayor Kevin Acton said the vigil is significant for the entire village.

“It’s super important for people to come out,” said Acton. “Especially those who may have been triggered by the recent events surround Stefanski’s death. There are a lot of people who have gone through an experience like this in the past.

“It’s really important that we show support for her family, and show support for people who have experienced trauma in what was an abusive relationship.”

Acton said he had confirmed via text message from a ranking official in the local RCMP district that there would be an RCMP presence for the vigil.

“Police from the Lumby detachment will be around the park for public safety,” he said. “This will be a safe event; part of the healing process.”

Tania Finn, Media Relations Officer with the Vernon RCMP responded that the police “will have a presence in the community during the vigil but we will not be at the vigil unless we are called. Our officer will be on patrol in the village; however, could be called away to a high priority incident should the need arise.”

Acton – who is vying provincially for BC United to be the MLA for Vernon-Lumby in the October provincial election – invited party leader Kevin Falcon to speak at the vigil. Falcon agreed and said his talk will not be political.

“He wants to help with the healing process,” said Acton. “He wants to be part of it for the community and for her family.”

Stefanski’s boyfriend Jason Gaudrault wrote on social media that he and Stefanski met four years ago, April 24.

“She is the most amazing human that ever came into my life,” he wrote. “I have been blessed to have had her all these years, and she has truly changed me in so many ways.”

The community continues to rally up support for Stefanski’s family and Gaudrault.

Cash donation jars are set up at Jitterbeans Coffee House and Okanagan Outpost in Lumby, where you can also purchase Justice for Tatjana decals.

A Gofundme has been established online for donations at, raising more than $7,000 thus far.

The campaign organizer, a woman named Paula L, hopes to help the family with the expenses piling up amid their grief.

“Counselling, therapy, living expenses, lawyers, etc. are only a small list of things ahead for this family,” she said. “Jason has to now navigate life raising three children and jump through all the hurdles that losing Tatjana will bring. Let’s help take some of the load off of their family at this time.”

You can also donate refundables at Chaser’s Bottle Depot in Vernon to the family by giving the account Justice for Tatjana #326.

A Mother’s Day Lunch will be held Sunday, May 12, at ACE Building Centre (2060 Shuswap Avenue) with all proceeds going to Stefanski’s family.

READ MORE: Lumby continues support of slain woman

READ MORE: Daughter speaks out after mom found dead following alleged abduction in Lumby

Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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