Ucluelet makes young New Yorker’s salmon catching dream come true

Ucluelet makes young New Yorker’s salmon catching dream come true

“Once again, the business operators in Ucluelet went above and beyond to make a child’s wish come true.”

Ucluelet recently aced a Make-a-Wish Foundation assignment for the second time this summer.

Jakob Brower, a 12-year-old from Suffolk County, New York, dreamed of catching a Wild Pacific Salmon and the Make-a-Wish Foundation sent him to the perfect spot to do just that.

Brower, who is battling leukaemia, visited Ucluelet from Aug. 26-31 and left with his wish fulfilled.

“Once again, the business operators in Ucluelet went above and beyond to make a child’s wish come true,” said the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s BC and Yukon Communications Director Stuart Chase.

Chase explained the Make-A-Wish foundation has chapters in 50 countries that work together to grant wishes around the globe.

“When kids make wishes, basically whatever the home chapter is put the feelers out there and figure out where they can grant this wish,” he said. “If a kid like Jakob comes along in New York and says, ‘I wish to go catch salmon on the Pacific Coast,’ that’s when his home chapter of Make-A-Wish starts their wheels turning.”

When the BC and Yukon chapter received the call from their New York colleagues, they reached out to Ucluelet, in part, because Ucluelet was hugely successful in making 13-year-old Denmark native Sebastian Lavendt Make-A-Wish dream to catch a wild pacific salmon come true in August.

Chase said he was delighted to watch Ucluelet accomplish its second strong performance.

“We managed to reach out, once again, to the good folks in Ucluelet and, once again, they knocked it out of the park,” he said.

“Ucluelet is developing a strong reputation for us and, if you guys continue to knock it out of the park, we’re going to keep recommending you. That’s for sure.”

Jakob’s father Gregory Brower expressed huge gratitude for the experience the community offered.

He said the family’s accommodation, provided by Ridge Vacation Property Rentals, was “gorgeous” and the family enjoyed waking up to the ocean view each morning.

“Jakob walked into the house greeted by a wonderful welcome sign and so many of his favourite goodies as well as gift certificates to use in town. He was incredibly touched,” Gregory said.

Before setting out on his fish wish, Jakob went wildlife watching with Jamie’s Whaling Station and was delighted to see black bears flipping over rocks onshore in search of crabs and oysters.

“He saw many bald eagles, sea lions, seals and so many other birds and wildlife,” Gregory said. “In fact, during the week he also saw many deer, river otters, and an amazing array of birds.”

The family also went whale watching with the Jamie’s team and spotted two humpback whales.

“It was another great day on the water seeing so much wildlife,” Gregory said.

When it came time to fulfill his dream, Jakob was teamed up with Captain Brock Johansen of Ucluelet Charters.

“Fishing started out slow but Brock kept Jakob out on the water well past the original six hours and Jakob was able to land his desired salmon and so many other fish,” Gregory said. “It was truly a great day for Jakob. His wish of catching a salmon in British Columbia came true…He proudly brought home his salmon, which I had professionally packed for the trip home.”

Chase said it is vital to have welcoming communities like Ucluelet on the line when wishes like Jakob’s are cast.

“We want so much for those kids to have a life-changing experience; something that’s going to provide them hope, strength and joy to be able to push them through treatment, or whatever they’ve got left to fight this life-threatening condition. For a small community like Ucluelet to be able to rally around that idea and do it for us is just incredible,” he said.

“We just love knowing that we have injected some serious joy into a little life that’s going through a really hard time. It is so gratifying to us and it’s not a feeling that we get when we don’t have communities to back us up on helping grant these wishes.”

fishing

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Pacific Rim Whale Festival is breaching for a COVID-safe return in March. (Poster photo by Owen Crosby)
Pacific Rim Whale Festival aims for virtual return in March

Educational celebration scheduled to arrive in Tofino-Ucluelet on March 15.

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: Vancouver Island in a January spike while B.C. cases decrease

Island’s top doc Dr. Stanwick breaks down the Island’s rising numbers

JJ Belanger is running for mayor in Tofino’s March 6 byelection. (Photo courtesy of JJ Belanger)
Belanger enters Tofino’s mayoralty race

Belanger is former chair of Tourism Tofino and current general manager of Crystal Cove Beach Resort.

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is urging visitors to stay on designated trails after a hiker became injured in an unsanctioned area last week. (Westerly file photo)
Injured hiker rescued in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.
B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at B.C. legislature on the province’s mass vaccination plan for COVID-19, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 quarantine not an option for B.C., John Horgan says

Apres-ski parties increase risk, not interprovincial travel

Worker at Swartz Bay terminal on Monday, January 20, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Former BC Ferries employee alleges he was fired because of his race

Imraan Goondiwala has been granted a BC Human Rights Tribunal hearing

An Island Health graph showing COVID-19 cases in the central Island by local health area between Dec. 27 and Jan. 23. (Island Health image)
Central Island’s COVID-19 case spike shifting, says Island Health

Cowichan Valley has seen the highest number of cases, but Nanaimo and south Island seeing upticks

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker have been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s Civil Emergency Measures Act for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
B.C. couple who travelled to Yukon for COVID vaccine ineligible for 2nd dose until summer

Health officials planning new measures to ensure people verify where they live before inoculation

(File)
Mask dispute in court leaves Vancouver cop with broken leg

Man allegedly refused to put on a mask and resisted arrest

(Kraft Dinner/Twitter)
Kraft Dinner launches candy-flavoured mac and cheese just in time for Valentine’s Day

Sweet and cheesy treat will be here just in time for the cheesiest holiday of the year

Most Read