VIDEO: Campbell River students join Sylas Thompson’s polar bear swim campaign

On Feb. 22, 2019, students from Ocean Grove Elementary jumped in the water off Tyee Spit as part of Sylas Thompson’s polar bear swim fundraiser for two local community groups. Screengrab from video by David Gordon Koch/Campbell River Mirror
Eleven-year-old Sylas Thompson at Tyee Spit in Campbell River just after a polar bear swim on Feb. 22, 2019. Photo by David Gordon Koch/Campbell River Mirror

Students from Ocean Grove Elementary joined 11-year-old Sylas Thompson’s fundraiser on Friday afternoon by going for a dip in the cold ocean off Tyee Spit.

The Grade 6 student has pledged to swim everyday until he reaches $30,000 to split between the Women’s Resource Centre and Grassroots Kind Hearts, which provide services to people struggling with poverty.

There were nearly 30 students from the school’s leadership club taking part, all in Grade 5, said teacher Lisa Luoma. Some were on the beach providing support, while others jumped in the water.

Among them was Graysen Anderson, who said it was “really, really cold” but was glad to help people in need.

Jake Campbell, another Ocean Grove student, said it was his first time swimming in the ocean during the winter. Asked why he was taking part, he said “for charity, and homeless people.”

Ten-year-old Rachel Desjarlais agreed, saying “it’s getting people off the streets.”

The leadership club opted to join Thompson for the polar bear swim after he spoke to the group about his fundraiser on Tuesday, Luoma said in an email.

She described Thompson’s initiative as a great example of how students can make a positive difference at school, in their community and in the world.

“As educators we are teaching children to be compassionate, kind and thoughtful human beings,” she said. “Teaching children that they can make a difference in the lives of other people at their age can be empowering and teach such valuable lessons on humanity.”

VIDEO: Brr! Campbell River boy to plunge into icy waters daily for charity

VIDEO: Sylas Thompson’s polar bear swims continue amid cold and snow in Campbell River

READ MORE: Campbell River man swims in memory of his late cousin in a month-long for food bank

By Friday, the 22nd day of his polar bear swim campaign, Thompson said he’d raised more than $18,000. He was glad to have the company on his swim.

“It felt good,” he said. “I wasn’t the only one today.”

You can donate through GoFundMe, or through a bank account set up under the name “Sylas Swims” – account number 754364 – at the Discovery Harbour branch of Coastal Community Credit Union. You can also follow his progress on his Facebook page, Sylas swims everyday until he reaches 30k, and on his YouTube channel.

Thompson is following in the footsteps of his late uncle “Polar Bear” Jake Hebenton, who previously raised funds by swimming off Tyee Spit in the early 2000s. After Hebenton’s death in 2011, his cousin Eddy Cliffe launched another polar bear swim campaign at the same spot.


@davidgordonkoch
david.koch@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Campbell River RCMP issue statement in support of a peaceful rally and against racism

The Campbell River RCMP issued a statement in support of a peaceful… Continue reading

Road maintenance work scheduled for Black Creek and Quadra Island

Spring roadside work will be in progress along Highway 19 A and Granite Bay Road on multiple days

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

Campbell River karate instructor takes lessons outside the dojo

Northwest Shito-Kai’s Nigel Nikolaisen embracing alternative teaching methods during pandemic

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Mirror business directory and map

If you’d like to be added to the list, shoot us an email

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

Most Read