Giving back: Friends would like to help community volunteer Tony Rupp of Rupp Metalworks allay the costs of getting a kidney transplant by holding a fundraiser on Sunday and Monday.

Support for transplant

For 16 years, metal fabricator Tony Rupp put other people’s lives in the forefront as a member of Shuswap Search and Rescue

For 16 years, metal fabricator Tony Rupp put other people’s lives in the forefront as a member of Shuswap Search and Rescue.

As well as going out in all kinds of weather on hundreds of calls, Rupp, an expert tracker, was a search manager and taught other SAR members a variety of skills, including tracking.

Now Rupp needs a helping hand.

Three days a week, Rupp, who was born with polycystic disease, travels to Vernon for four hours of dialysis.

He has always known the day would come when he needed a new kidney. That day has arrived and one of his employees at Rupp Metalworks has stepped up to give him one of his.

“Last November, we started the process of setting up for a kidney transplant with a lot of tests,” says Rupp, noting his 43-year-old donor does not wish to be identified. “There were more tests and now everything is figured out.”

Surgery is set for September and Rupp will have to stay in Vancouver for about three months.

Rupp, who left SAR because he was letting his own business slide, may have to close up shop.

The stay in Vancouver could end up costing Rupp and his donor about $60,000, says Samson Soaps owner Ken Davison, who is hosting a fundraising event to support the two men on Sunday and Monday at the store at 295 Fifth St. SW, across from Centenoka Park Mall.

The event will include a barbecue, refreshments, music, prize draws, silent auction, a flea market and entertainment.

Davison says a Go Fund Me account at has brought in more than $9,200, and he is “trying to sweeten the pot.”

He says many local businesses have responded well to the plea for help and others are welcome to get onboard.

To donate to the silent auction, prize draws, book a table for the flea market or to volunteer, call Ken at 250 833-6741, or Gale-Paule at 250-803-2217.

Grateful but a bit embarrassed about the attention and fundraising, the humble Rupp says, “There’s tons of other people who are probably worse than me.”

The two-day fundraiser runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2 and Monday, Aug. 3.


Just Posted

Sicamous Eagles lose to league-leading Kimberley Dynamiters

The Eagles will be right back at it with a Sunday afternoon game against Chase.

People who are homeless in Salmon Arm provide consultants with key information

Urban Matters consultants gather information from ‘experts’ as they work on housing strategy

Word on the street: What is your strategy for not spending too much on Christmas gifts this year?

The Observer asked: What is your strategy for not spending too much on Christmas gifts this year?

Map points to mysterious ‘Waterdome’ in the middle of Salmon Arm Bay

City would like to have map marker removed, pilot recalls its significance

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

Conservative urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

INFOGRAPHIC: How much money did your local university or college make last year?

B.C. university and colleges posted a combined $340 million surplus in 2018/19

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

Slippery sections reported on Okanagan and Shuswap highways

Some sections of the Trans-Canada highway have black ice on them.

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Most Read