Kaylee’s Hero Fund – A Legacy has Begun

Kaylee’s Hero Fund is off to a great start with an initial donation of almost $25,000 which was raised through a variety of events since last November. The fund, in honour of Kaylee Kozari-Bowland, who died from a rare form of cancer last year, will be administered by Penticton & District Community Resources Society.

The following appeared in the March 16, 2016 edition of The Penticton Western News:

“I’m totally amazed and shocked. I didn’t think in that short amount of time that this amount of money would be raised already,” said Kaylee’s mom, Tammy Kozari. “This will be Kaylee’s legacy to carry on her spirit and help other kids fighting cancer.”

It is almost one year since Kaylee died from a rare form of cancer that she fought for nine months. The Penticton Secondary student was supposed to graduate this year. With the help of friends and co-organizer Jen Levesque, whose own daughter was recently diagnosed cancer-free after going through treatments the past year, the initial fundraiser for Kaylee’s Hero Fund was held in November of 2015. Inspired by the cause many others followed, hosting their own events including a Penticton Minor Hockey team who have donated, Melt Mineral Spa who held a fundraiser, Pen High grad class students have raised money and most recently the Cross-City Challenge basketball game between Pen High and Princess Margaret.

“Kaylee left an impression on all these people and touched their hearts. We live in a small town and everyone is connected in one way or another. We have been so appreciative of all the sponsors, those who helped with donations and the community for supporting them,” said Kozari. “Our idea with the fund is to give back to the community that gave back to us so we can return the favour by helping local families.”

There are several ways to help including hosting your own fundraisers, volunteering at upcoming Kaylee’s Hero Fund events or make a tax-deductible donation to the OneSky Community Resources — ensuring that you note it is for Kaylee’s Hero Fund. Money will go to local families who have a child with cancer as they face financial strains due to loss of income, travel costs, child care, food, medication, accommodations or even treatment outside of Canada. OneSky Community Resources is administrating the funds free of charge for Kaylee’s Hero Fund.

Kozari said while it is a horrible experience for families to have to go through, she hopes the fund will provide some relief. Anyone who is need of the funds is asked to get in contact with Kaylee’s Hero Fund organizers via email at kayleesherofund@gmail.com. More information about Kaylee’s Hero Fund or upcoming fundraising events can be found at www.kayleesherofund.ca or on their Facebook Page – Kaylee’s Hero Fund. “This money is available for families in need and we hope it will continue to be available for a long time,” said Kozari.