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PUCKER UP: RCMP members suck limes for a good cause

From left, RCMP police officers Dellebuur, Stewart, Kalaski, Johal and Wrigglesworth take the Lyme Sucks Challenge on April 8.

PENTICTON - Penticton RCMP members were told to suck it Wednesday, but it's for a good cause so they played along.

Penticton RCMP members took the Lyme Sucks Challenge April 8 as they attempted to kick off a national Lyme Sucks Challenge amongst the nation’s RCMP detachments.

In an effort to raise awareness and money ($110 in this case) for Lyme disease research, Community Policing Corporal Don Wrigglesworth, RCMP Media Relations Sergeant Rick Dellebuur, First Nations Constable Ace Stewart, Community Policing Corporal Jas Johal and Community Policing Officer Terri Kalaski all sucked on a section of lime while being videotaped.

Dellebuur also challenged all RCMP detachments in the country to take the Lyme Sucks Challenge while several of the other officers challenged other institutions in Penticton. Wrigglesworth challenged Penticton Search and Rescue, Johal challenged Wayne Williams of the Penticton Fire Department and Kalaski challenged Okanagan College.

The event was organized and videotaped by Penticton residents Gary and Sue McDougall. The McDougalls released a YouTube video of the Lyme Sucks Challenge earlier this year.

Wrigglesworth said he was asked by Sue, who suffers from Lyme disease, to take the challenge.

“Sue is very active as a community volunteer, participating in the speed watch and COPS programs. We thought we could raise the profile of the campaign as a group in uniform, and help get the Lyme Sucks program going,” Wrigglesworth said, adding he hoped the officer’s challenges would help boost the program across Canada. “It’s for a good cause, and it helps to raise awareness of Lyme disease."

Gary McDougall said the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation estimates as many as two million Canadians may have the disease and are not aware of it. He noted Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation President Jim Wilson will appear before Penticton City Council to proclaim May as Lyme Disease Awareness month at the May 4 council meeting.

McDougall said local hiking groups have seen ticks, which cause the disease, in the wild very early this year.

“We like to say the tick season is January 1 to December 31,” McDougall said.

Credit: Gary McDougall
Penticton RCMP Lyme Sucks Challenge

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at sarstad@infonews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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