Tree of Hope marks quarter century

Annual holiday fundraiser helps local families

Kelowna's iconic Tree of Hope is celebrating a quarter century of bringing light and joy to both revelers and people in need.

Standing 120 feet tall with over 25,000 LED lights, the tree not only symbolizes the start of the holiday season, but acts as a symbol of hope, togetherness, and inspiration for the community.

Last year, the initiative raised $400,000 for Karis Support Society and NOW Canada, which help women at risk and in recovery.

To celebrate the milestone, money raised will help the YMCA of Southern Interior BC and the Boys and Girls Club of the Okanagan. Both organizations focus on raising healthier families and communities.

The Stober Foundation will match up to $500,000.

“It’s such a great platform for us to talk about what we do but more over to have these kinds of funds at this level,” Allyson Grad, with the YMCA of Southern Interior BC, told Kelowna10. “We can really change some lives and move the needle in terms of improving access, improving mental health for youth, and helping support families to come to the YMCA.”

“It’s amazing to see the community support come in, in order to help us provide services that are low or no barrier,” Jeremy Welder, CEO of BGC Okanagan, said. “Everyone can participate regardless of their financial situation. And it’s amazing that The Stober Foundation has committed up to matching up to half a million dollars if we can raise that within the community.”

Donations will fund programs in both organizations like childcare, summer camps, workforce training and leadership development for youth, nourishment for children with breakfast programs, mental health, and early intervention programs and more.

Donations can be made online.

Published 2022-11-25 by Connor Chan

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