WATCH: Sylas Thompson gives a preview of his upcoming polar bear swims. Courtesy: Sheryl Thompson/Facebook
A Campbell River boy is getting ready to splash into frigid water for two local charities.
Starting on Feb. 1, 11-year-old Sylas Thompson will be swimming every single day at the Tyee Spit in Campbell River until he raises $30,000. Of that $30,000, $15,000 will go to the local Grassroots Kind Hearts Society and $15,000 will go to the Campbell River Women’s Resource Centre.
The Campbell River Women’s Resource Centre provides various services to women in the Campbell River area and northern Vancouver Island communities, such as crisis counselling and access to clothing donations.
The Grassroots Kind Hearts Society gives home-cooked meals to those in need in Campbell River. They currently serve the food out of the Radiant Life Church but would like to find a permanent facility.
In a video released by Sylas’ grandmother Sheryl, Sylas talks about his plan and does a quick dip in the water.
“That’s I’ll be doing every day,” Sylas said excitedly in the video.
Sheryl said she is proud he is practicing what she has taught all her family members, which is to give back and look after people not as well off as yourself.
“He said ‘I won’t stop swimming until I reach $30,000,'” Sheryl said.
According to Sheryl, Sylas came up with the idea after he heard about his uncle, Jake Hebenton. As a young teen, Jake did polar bear swims to raise money for the local food bank and for the Wei Wai Kum First Nation elders. Hebenton sadly passed away in 2011 after an ATV accident but Sheryl said Sylas is helping to keep Jake’s memory alive.
“Sylas is really loveable,” Sheryl said.
“He feels a lot. That’s really who Sylas is.”
Sylas’ swims will take place at approximately 3 p.m. each day although times could change. On the first day, drummers from the Wei Wai Kum First Nation plan to be there while Sylas does his first dip.
Donations can be sent via etransfer to [email protected] or on GoFundMe here. Sheryl also plans to set up a YouTube page and a Facebook page. An account will also be set up at the Coastal Credit Union in Campbell River.