Christmas came early for the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation this year.
Thanks to the unparalleled success of the 15th annual Santa Presents craft fair last weekend at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre, the foundation which operates in support of Penticton Regional Hospital is now more than $5,000 richer.
The money will go to the yearly Tree of Dreams campaign for cancer diagnostic equipment at the hospital.
“This is our best yet we’re very pleased,” said co-organizer Marge Noble whose family first began the fair. “I told Janice Perrino of the medical foundation and she said: ‘Wow and wow.’ She was just so happy, we’re all happy that this worked out so well.
“We had a lot more people this year and Saturday was exceptionally busy. It’s hard to put an exact number on it so we’re just saying several thousand people at this point.”
In the decade and a half the seasonal festival has been running, more than $50,000 has been raised to help agencies such as the medical foundation and the Canadian Cancer Society.
Noble admitted having a few worried moments before the show, especially because of the economic climate but those fears turned out to be unfounded.
Although she admitted there was one minor hitch to the weekend.
“That was there wasn’t enough parking space. I mean is that a problem?” she said. “Aren’t we lucky if that’s the only problem.
“For that (success) we would just like to let the public know how much the Noble/Robson family appreciates their support so we can support the hospital.”
She also heard plenty of good things from the more than 100 vendors.
One regular exhibitor at the show reported an increase of 15 per cent over previous years and all three Christmas bakeries sold out of their products.