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Safari Jeff Raises Funds for Kamloops Autism Program

Sahali Centre Mall is set to become a mini science centre this month, all in the name of autism.


On Tuesday, Nov. 8, educational entertainer Jeff McKay takes his Safari Jeff’s Human Nature Exhibit to the mall for three weeks to help raise money and awareness for the Children’s Therapy and Family Resource Centre on McGill Rd.

McKay’s son, Charlie, has autism and attends regular therapy sessions at the centre.

He said the centre has helped his child immeasurably in the three years since his diagnosis and the fundraiser is the family’s way of giving back.

“The program is very near and dear to us,” said McKay. “It has changed the course of our lives for the better.”

For 25 years, McKay and his wife, Shannon, have been touring Canada with an educational program featuring live reptiles. They settled near Walhachin about four years ago with Charlie, who was a baby at the time.

Their son was diagnosed with autism shortly after and has been attending regular therapy three times a week ever since.

“We’ve always wanted to do something for the program, to give back for everything they’ve given us,” said McKay, whose son is almost five now.

Starting on Tuesday and running until Nov. 27, the McKays are combining two of their biggest shows — a live reptile show and a nature exhibit — into one, big attraction inside the mall.

“The exhibit is around a 5,000-square-foot setup,” said McKay. “So it’s like Science World comes to you. We’ve put a lot into it.”

They’re calling it Safari In Sahali and it will be open Tuesdays to Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5: 30 p.m., Fridays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and weekends from noon to 5.

And every Saturday at 1 p.m., McKay will host Safari Jeff’s Living Wild Show.

Twenty-five per cent of the $5 admission will go toward the Children’s Therapy and Family Resource Centre. McKay said he hopes to gather enough donations to build a playground at the centre.

More information about McKay’s educational and nature programs can be found at www.safarijeff.com.

For information about the therapy centre, visit www.kamloopschildrenstherapy.com.

As taken from Kamloops Daily News