Kelowna's Tree of Hope lit Friday, live streamed on Castanet

Tree of Hope almost here

The 25th annual Tree of Hope light up is just days away.

The giant LED Christmas tree, erected each year to stand as a beacon of hope and goodwill for the community, will be lit on Friday Nov. 25 at 5:45 p.m.

Residents are encouraged to arrive at 5:30 p.m. at Kelowna’s Landmark District to grab a good spot.

The Stober Foundation will be matching all funds raised up to $500,000 and directing them to the YMCA of Southern Interior BC and BGC Okanagan – two local charities that are united in sharing their common goal of raising healthier families and communities.

“The BGC Okanagan and YMCA both tackle complex societal issues and help change lives for the better,” says Rhonda Zakala, VP of Fund Development & Marketing, YMCA of Southern Interior BC.

Donations will be directed to programs such as child care, summer camps, workforce training and leadership development for youth, nourishment for children with breakfast programs, mental health and early-intervention programs and so much more.

"With many in our community challenged by the growing costs associated with raising a family, we are working hard to ensure that we are providing barrier-free programs and food to every young person that walks through our Club doors. The Tree of Hope campaign donations will also allow us to continue to provide supportive, barrier-free and inclusive programming where children, youth and families thrive," said Jeremy Welder,
CEO BGC Okanagan.

The YMCA of Southern Interior says they are grateful for the opportunity to work with the Stober Foundation and partner with the community.

"We are so excited to partner with the Boys and Girls Club to help children and families who would otherwise not be able to afford to participate in our programs. This opportunity to work with this incredible initiative after so many years of giving to our community is just fantastic in a time when COVID took away a lot of our opportunities to be together and celebrate," said Allyson Graf, CEO of YMCA of Southern Interior BC.

Graf says the money raised will go towards a number of different programs throughout the Interior.

"In the YMCA we really focus on early intervention, prevention and wellness. These programs really help us to invite more people in and really support them in really meaningful ways. It can be anything from nutrition to mental health support to just accessing places to come together on a Friday night and have some pizza," she added.

Donations can be made here.

The event will be live streamed on Castanet.

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