Rossland fundraiser seeks to build shelter for ‘living legend’

Local man to help Garry Camozzi, a friend, who’s fallen on hard times

Rosslanders are opening their hearts — and their wallets — to help a “local legend” around town.

A Gofundme campaign has been launched to help Garry Camozzi have a home to call his own.

“He’s a character larger than life,” says Ryan Kelly, who launched the campaign. “He’s a beautiful and gentle soul.”

Kelly has known Camozzi for many years, a man described as a local institution around Rossland.

Though born and raised in Rossland, age and living rough have been tough on Camozzi. He used to live in a makeshift camp outside of town, eking out a living and skiing on Red Mountain.

“He’s just turned 69. He’s brilliant but he has some issues,” says Kelly, adding the man has cataracts and is legally blind. “He’s a local legend for skiing, and has been a bushman living in a cave/shelter on Red Mountain for years. He’s always had his own path, kind of thing.

“He was set up with a place in Trail a few years ago but it didn’t work out. I know there are avenues for him, but he really doesn’t conform to some of the social welfare things that they require.”

A few weeks ago, Kelly came across Camozzi in a much-reduced state.

“I popped into the bank in mid-September on a rainy night, and there was Garry sleeping in the entranceway to the bank, just to get out of the weather,”says Kelly. “His plan was to get back to his camp in the woods, but he couldn’t get there.”

Kelly put Camozzi up in a little travel trailer he had in his yard, and that’s helped the man have shelter for a few weeks. But it’s not a safe accommodation for the coming cold weather.

He’s approached a local motel to provide Camozzi with a simple room for the winter, and if that comes through, he’ll be good for the worst of the season.

And then Kelly launched a gofundme campaign to build a tiny home for him in the spring, a more permanent solution for the senior.

SEE: Gofundme: A Helping Hand for Garry Camozzi

In just three weeks, the fund has collected $8,300 of its $10,000 goal.

The generosity of Rosslanders doesn’t surprise Kelly, who found the community had his back in his own time of need.

“My wife was a nurse and she passed just about a week after my daughter was born, 4½ years ago” he says. “The town really reached out. They started a Gofundme [page] and raised a lot of money for our family.”

Kelly hopes to have a trust fund set up to manage the money they’re raising, which will go towards construction materials for the tiny home.

“He doesn’t want extreme comfort,” says Kelly. “It just has to be something small and simple, a bed, bathtub and a toilet, something he can have that’s his.”

And he plans to approach a local trailer court about providing a plot for the tiny home. If that won’t work, he’ll look for other options.

Kelly says Camozzi has been touched by the generosity of his community.

“He’s pretty receptive about the idea,” says Kelly. “He finds it all very humbling. He wants to pay everyone back.”

You can visit the Gofundme campaign page, or, once it’s set up, deposit money directly into the trust fund at the Nelson and District Credit Union in Rossland.

Just Posted

Moose tests positive for Chronic Wasting Disease in northwest Montana

This is the first time the disease has been detected in the species in Montana

Community Futures launches cannabis consultation program

The Cannabis Business Transition Initiative helps businesses move into the legal economy

Police seize drugs, weapons and cash from Christina Lake residence

One man was arrested when RCMP executed a search warrant on Nov. 14

Kootenay Patricks assemble to take on Montreal Canadiens alumni

The charity game takes place Jan. 23 in Nelson

Warfield Director elected to head seat on regional board

Mayor Diane Langman is board chair of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

VIDEO: B.C. man trapped under ATV for days shows promise at Victoria hospital

Out of induced coma, 41-year-old is smiling, squeezing hands and enjoying sunshine

Ski resorts selling mountain water is a risky move, critics say

Alberta allowed ski resort in Kananaskis Country to sell about 50 million litres to third party

Sportsnet looks at new options for Coach’s Corner time slot, post-Don Cherry

Spokesperson says Hall of Fame feature on tap this weekend after co-host’s firing

Grand Forks residents protest on bridge to call for ‘fair’ compensation after 2018 floods

Demonstrators also criticized how long it has taken to be offered land deals

B.C. taxi drivers no longer exempt from wearing a seatbelt

Before, taxi drivers were allowed to forego a seatbelt when driving under 70 kilometres an hour

Car dash covered in papers not an excuse for speeding, Delta police warn

After pulling driver over for speeding, police found his speedometer blocked by a stack of papers

B.C. woman seeks return of jewelry box containing father’s cremated remains

Sicamous RCMP report handmade box was stolen from a storage locker

Vancouver police officer charged with sexual assault in apparent off-duty incident

Jagraj Roger Berar, 51, of Surrey, charged in incident alleged to have happened in Whistler

Most Read