Danielle McTaggart started to float on Cultus Lake for 12 hours on this giant slice of pizza to on August 8 help raise money to send girls to school in Sierra Leone. The Cultus Lake Park Board has threatened to fine her for doing so without permits in violation of bylaws. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Cultus Lake Park threatens big fine to woman for pizza floatie charity fundraiser

Danielle McTaggart of Dear Rouge started a 12-hour float without a permit

Danielle McTaggart began her 12-hour pledge to float in Cultus Lake on a pizza-slice-shaped floatie at 8 a.m.

The new resident to Cultus is raising funds for Nations Cry, a Surrey-based charity that educates youth in Sierra Leone.

She hopes to raise $50,000to send 125 girls to school, and posted videos to Facebook and Instagram at the start of her effort on Thursday.

And while McTaggart and her husband, Drew — who are in the Juno-winning band Dear Rouge — plan to donate 100 per cent of the money to the cause, they might also have to put a few dollars aside to pay a fine.

That’s because the Cultus Lake Park Board had threatened to fine her a “substantial amount” if she went ahead with the fundraiser, saying in an email to The Progress that it would violate multiple bylaws.

READ MORE: Chilliwack woman uses giant pizza floatie for 12-hour charity fundraiser

The park’s chief administrative officer, Bonny Bryant, sent the message one hour before the event began, outlining how McTaggart missed the deadline to apply for a permit, did not pay the fees, and does not have insurance.

“She was told that she could not hold an event without going through the proper process and being granted a permit,” Bryant wrote. “When she was informed of this, she stated that she was going to hold her event anyway.”

She applauded the effort to raise money for charity, but said bylaws exist to make sure events are safe for everyone.

As of 4 p.m., McTaggert and her team were still posting videos to social media showing her on the pizza floatie. Her last update on donations, at around noon, was more than $32,000.


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paul.henderson@theprogress.com

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