Hearts of Gold raises $1.3M

The KGH Foundation is one step closer to reaching its $8-million goal for JoeAnna's House, a home away from home for families with sick children at Kelowna General Hospital.

A whopping $1.3 million was raised at the KGH Foundation's Heart of Gold Gala last weekend by the event's 220 attendees.

Saturday's event is held every two years, and this year's total exceeded 2016's by $300,000.

“Honestly, we are beyond thrilled,” said Sasha Carter of the KGH Foundation. “The feeling can only be described as humbling. The generosity shown this evening is deeply moving. I’m really proud to be a part of this community.”

Funds were raised through a raffle, a silent auction and paddle-raising, where guests simply raise their paddles to commit to donating in the moment.

Tom Budd, through the Thomas Alan Budd Foundation, made a single donation of $250,000.

“$250,000 was a big bump that we were not anticipating, and there were a couple of other big gifts in the room that we were not anticipating at all,” said Shauna Nyrose, communications director with the foundation. “The response was overwhelming, and we just couldn't have projected that much, but it's obviously a cause that people really get and really want to get behind.”

Nyrose says while they're closer to their goal than anticipated, they're not quite there yet.

“We're hoping to break ground this fall, and if we can ... then we're hoping to open the doors in the fall of 2019,” she said.

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