Community. For some it’s a tight-knit group of people from a similar area of the world, and for others it’s so much more.
When Edward Dostaler left Clearwater at age 12 he never imagined he would feel so welcomed when he returned.
Edward Dostaler – known as Fast Eddy – is, as you might already know, running across Canada and back for Alzheimer’s and Breast Cancer awareness and for much needed research funding.
Being the youngest to ever complete the solo and unsupported run across Canada, he is apparently one of just six to do this feat, and of course he made his the longest so his causes would stand out.
Everything he has done was simply to make the causes stand out more, so when he got the opportunity to do talks at schools; he jumped all over it.
This later meant he would return to Kamloops and pick up his vehicle (Jewel 2.0) and drive back for the second half of the “There and Back Run.”
That’s where this story begins. Fast Eddy is fast, but as Fast Eddy states, “So are my roots [referring to Clearwater].”
He wanted to share his personal experience with the Clearwater Times about how amazing the community and younger population was.
When he spoke at Clearwater Secondary School on Nov. 4, he was blown away by the generosity and welcome he received. He spoke of bullying, believing in oneself, texting and driving, and the run.
Then at Raft River Elementary there was a shock. Three students had heard of Fast Eddy and immediately took action asking for donations to help him on his journey. (See story on page A7).
They went around and collected $159 for the run.
In Fast Eddy’s words, “They demonstrated everything good in a person that we hope to find in an adult. However, I saw it in these three kids.”
Finally, there was the school race; a timed event where students would run with Fast Eddy to show their support for the run, an opportunity to run with what a reporter in Kingston, Ontario, described as a “fiercely determined force.”
But, as Fast Eddy describes, “Sometimes you can just become surprised by someone’s abilities.”
Olin Coates, a Grade 6 student at Raft River wrapped five laps around the schoolyard to find Fast Eddy waiting for him after his completion of four laps.
“A random act of kindness can create and endless ripples,” says Fast Eddy.
A town was kind to a person, friends such as Cole and Rose Mann stayed in contact, which led to visits in Clearwater.
A phone call leads to a school following the run, which leads to students going above and beyond making sure Fast Eddy came back to Clearwater to say thank you.
Everything seems so small, but speaking with Fast Eddy you can always tell, it’s the small things in life that mean the most.
So if you are reading this and you see Olin Coates; say good job on your race; and if you see Kiah, Jaden and Jackson, give them high fives because they really deserve it.
If you donated, thank you … and if you’re looking for Fast Eddy … just look at where the sun is rising and soon enough you’ll see him break through into our small town once again, because in his words, “Clearwater’s one of my homes.”