Manager Shannon Carver (left) of the Penticton Regional Hospital digital imaging department shows (left to right) Stan Bobowski of the Peach City Beach Cruise

Penticton beach cruise drives funding

Seven organizations were the shared beneficiaries of $19,000 in donations from the Penticton Historic Automobile Society recently.

Hot cars, big returns.

Seven organizations and a child requiring extensive dental work were the shared beneficiaries of $19,000 in donations from the Penticton Historic Automobile Society recently.

The society hosts the popular Peach City Beach Cruise and the amount was the culmination of about 10 shows, according to society director and past president Ron Muzzillo.

“That’s the purpose of being a not-for-profit organization, we put on the show, we do something for the city, we like cars and now we can share some of the proceeds from that with others,” said Muzzillo this week.

Monies came from the beverage garden, merchandise, gate and vender-space sales. The board of directors determine who shares in the funds.

“The decision about the dental (work) for the child was a personal thing,” said Muzzillo.

“It was the child of someone who had done a lot for us at the Beach Cruise over the years and didn’t have a lot of funds so we just wanted to help out.

“The directors make suggestions and it’s something we just feel good about, whether it’s the Salvation Army or Habitat for Humanity.”

This year’s event was the 13th and attracted over 700 vehicles and thousands of spectators.

“We get them (exhibitors) from as far south as Texas, Arizona and California and as far east as Saskatchewan and if you were to draw a circle around that, all points in between,” said Muzzillo.

“One of the   comments we’ve heard repeatedly is, ‘We love coming to your car show because most often shows are held in a field or parking lot and yours is against the backdrop of a lake (Okanagan).’”

The Automobile Historic Society was founded by the late Ken Patton.

In addition to the dental work for the child, the groups which received money included the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation (X-ray digital radiography equipment) the OSNS Child Development Centre (iPads for children’s treatment) Global Okanagan Television Good News Bears (fundraiser for food banks) Habitat for Humanity (building materials) Penticton Salvation Army (food bank and local community assistance) and the B.C. Schizophrenia Society (support programs and services).

According to Joey Cyr, community and family services supervisor for the Salvation Army the money is especially important now.

“This is definitely our busy time,” said Cyr.

“Last year we gave out over 800 Christmas hampers and we expect the demand to be as great this year. Every dollar is appreciated and well spent.

“It’s the community helping the community and we have a great community helping us provide the services that we do.”

Janice Perrino of the hospital foundation agreed: “Community groups and individual donations make all the difference in the world.

“Deb Little of the Beach Cruise called us right away and said, ‘what do you need? How can we help?’ and they just did what they needed to do.

“We were just so thrilled.”

She hopes the badly-needed equipment will be in place by summer 2014.