The annual Camp Out to End Youth Homelessness will carry on Friday (Dec. 11, 2020) despite the death of its driving force this past weekend.
A Way Home Kamloops said today (Dec. 7, 2020) the event will happen as scheduled in honour of executive director Katherine McParland, whose death was confirmed on the weekend. McParland created the organization and worked for several years to raise funds in support of youth in need of shelter.
The cause of death has not been revealed, though RCMP say foul play is not suspected.
Tributes have flooded in for McParland, who became well-known in the community as she brought many others onside for the cause. She had experienced homelessness herself for a time after aging out of foster care.
She went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts degree in social work at Thompson Rivers University and a Master of Arts degree in Calgary.
A brief ceremony was held this morning at Riverside Park, and a vigil was set up at the Kamloops Alliance Church.
The camp out runs from 6 p.m. Friday to 8 a.m. Saturday and will be done virtually due to COVID-19. More than half of this year’s $50,000 target has been raised. For more information, go to the group’s website.