Dancers from RPD Bhangra Academy were among the many dancers at Sunday’s Punjabi Mela in Penticton’s Gyro Park (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

Dancers from RPD Bhangra Academy were among the many dancers at Sunday’s Punjabi Mela in Penticton’s Gyro Park (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

Dancing in the park as Punjabi Mela for Cancer returns for third year

The event so far has raised over $35,000 for the B.C. Cancer Foundation

By Brennan Phillips

Western News Staff

Plenty of colourful dancers and elaborate garb were on display at Gyro Park in Penticton on Sunday Aug. 18 for the third annual Punjabi Mela for Cancer.

The Mela started in 2017 by Ikjot Kahlon, who wanted to help the B.C. Cancer Foundation after her grandmother Baljinder Thind passed away due to cancer. That year, it raised $15,000 for the B.C Cancer Foundation.

Over the last two years, the mela has raised a total of over $35,000 for the B.C. Cancer Foundation, which went towards purchasing the PET/CT scanner that now resides in Kelowna. This year, the mela raised over $20,000 between pledges and fundraising at Gyro Park as of Aug. 23.

The popularity of the fundraiser and cultural celebration is growing, with Gyro Park filled with a steady stream of people interested in the music, the dance, or the fresh food. This year, the mela also ran a float in the Peachfest Grand Parade, filled with donated fruit to hand out to watchers on the street, which also helped spread the word.

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