A Vernon teen is taking to the road on one wheel to raise money for a new playground.
Aiden Satterthwaite, 15, a Grade 10 student at W.L. Seaton Secondary, hopes to ride his unicycle 41 kilometres following his school bus route on Thanksgiving Monday, Oct. 12.
“I am doing this to create awareness to get out and play today and to raise money for a future park/playground development in my community,” said Satterthwaite, who lives in the small subdivision of Valley of the Sun along Westside Road near Fintry Provincial Park.
The subdivisions out there, he said, were developed without any green spaces.
“It has been my dream as a small boy to see a playground built,” said Satterthwaite. “I would love to see that happen.”
All the money he raises will be held in trust by the North Westside Community Association. Its parks committee is currently looking at the options of new park development.
“I know I would be gone off to college long before any park is built out here,” he said. “I am doing this fundraiser so the little kids growing up here will be able to enjoy a dream I have long had.”
Satterthwaite has launched a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of raising $5,000 toward the project. As of Tuesday, Sept. 29, 3 p.m., nearly $1,100 had been donated.
“In the days of Snapchat, Fortnite and Zoom classrooms, I want everyone to remember how important it is to get out and play today,” said Satterthwaite. “To exercise not only your body but to also your mind.”
Satterthwaite will start his ride at Udell Road and head north along Westside Road to Highway 97. He’ll turn right and go along Old Kamloops Road to 43rd Avenue, then cover the final sevens blocks over to Seaton school on 27th Street.
If he completes the challenge, Satterthwaite estimates it will take him five-to-seven hours. He will be led and followed by two experienced bicyclists to ensure a safe ride.
“I encourage you to get out and play today, whatever your age is, and please support me in my challenge,” said Satterthwaite.