Boy spreads cheer in neighbourhood using T-Rex costume

Shuswap boy wanted his neighbours to forget about the quarantine blues, according to his mom

Kage Jesso had a blast waving to his Salmon Arm neighbours and spreading smiles, all while wearing his mom’s inflatable T-Rex costume.

Kage’s mom, Joanie, said she didn’t even know he took the costume and put it on. Back on April 9, all she saw was her nine-year-old son walking up and down the street waving at passing vehicles, then jumping on their neighbour’s trampoline while in the costume.

Jesso said many cars passing by slowed down, honked, and waved at him. She said people have told her it made their day seeing him in the costume, especially during a time when everyone is being told to social distance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was cute because cars and trucks were slowing down and honking at him. It was just a really nice distraction for the area,” she said.

She added spreading cheer and thinking about others is something Kage is used to as he’s grown up watching her do just that.

“Actually, we just relocated here (the Shuswap) on New Year’s Eve from Manitoba. I was actively involved in the community we lived in before. I reached out to the community before we moved here and I started ‘Helping One Another Shuswap and Surrounding Area’ group before we got here so I can start meeting people and get more information about groups and organizations that I could get involved with.”

Jesso’s group is a pay-it-forward group, where people who have items they no longer use give them to others in the community who may need them.

Part of spreading cheer included a very busy weekend for her, as she went around town dressed as the Easter Bunny to take pictures – at a distance – with people and drop off treats.

She said her group is slowly adjusting to COVID-19, with people wanting to be involved in efforts to help those who have been affected by the pandemic.

“I’ve made a few posts about checking on neighbours and helping out. After Easter, I actually saw a lot of people bring out toys and clothes to give to others, and I think that’s the start of the group seeing the bigger picture.”

READ: Salmon Arm artist hosts virtual art show amid COVID-19

READ: Internationally renowned virus specialist raised in Salmon Arm provides hopeful news, warning


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
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