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Fundraiser in memory of Kootenay surgeon kicks off Sept. 4

Operation Owatz aims to raise $30,000 to benefit surgical patients at KBRH
The fundraiser runs from Sept. 4 to Oct. 15. Photo: Unsplash

Operation Owatz is ready to roll for a third year, starting Monday.

This time around, the six-week movement challenge for better health aims to raise $30,000 to benefit surgical patients at the hospital in Trail.

“This year has some exciting changes and will continue to honour our core values,” explains Lindy Welsby, Operation Owatz organizer.

“(To) pay tribute to our friend, colleague and family member, Dr. Todd Owatz; support, encourage and motivate all participants to lead active lives by establishing healthy habits and creating movement in their daily living, and to raise much needed funds for the surgical unit at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital.”

What’s new for 2023?

For starters, the registration fee has been waived.

“In the years past, we had a $50 fee to support the fundraising totals,” Welsby notes. “This year, please consider donating that amount (or more of course, always appreciated) to kick off your fundraising pages.”

Welsby says research shows that participants who donate to their own goal, will see more dollars raised.

Participants are asked to go online to register and create their own fundraising pages at:

In the search bar type “Operation Owatz” to bring up the link. Signing up and registering this way allows each participant and/or team to see all the Operation Owatz people raising funds, no matter where they live in the world.

“Here you can create your own fitness/movement goal, fundraising target, and link to the story of why we are doing this,” Welsby explains. “Then share your own page to your network and social media.”

For those creating a team, Welsby says this is a great way to help with accountability, generate some good old-fashioned competition and share stories.

As well, like last year, participants can join the Operation Owatz club on Strava, to inspire, motivate and connect with others.

Instead of draw prizes, there will be one grand prize — a $1,500 gift certificate to Rossland Outdoor.

To be eligible, more than $750 must be raised.

The fundraiser honours the life and work of Dr. Todd Owatz, a beloved surgeon who worked in the Ambulatory Care Unit at KBRH (Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital) before he passed away on Oct. 15, 2020, at the age of 49.

Dr. Owatz had a passion for fitness and health, and left behind a legacy of care and service to his patients and colleagues.

“And the other great part of this; more than 150 participants in the past two years have used this challenge to improve their health,” Welsby says. “Just what Dr. Owatz would have loved to hear.”

The fundraiser runs from Sept. 4 to Oct. 15.

“Please consider joining us this year,” Welsby adds. “We have such a strong community, and when good people come together for a good cause, the possibilities are endless.”

Over two years, Operation Owatz has raised $70,240 to benefit patient care at KBRH.

To donate directly, contact the KBRH Health Foundation at 250.364.3424, visit:, or email Welsby at:

Sheri Regnier

About the Author: Sheri Regnier

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