Though it’s been six years, Barry Zarudenec is still in awe over Penticton’s generosity.
Zarudenec, a local carpenter, has brought the community together to the tune of more than $100,000 for six years in support of animals across the South Okanagan.
And on Saturday, he did it again. Penticton’s Copper Mug pub hosted what’s officially called the ‘Barry Zarudenec SPCA Fundraiser’ on Oct. 22., with around 120 people showing their support and helping raise $26,200 alone.
Zarudenec says it’s the most money they’ve ever raised in one night.
“We’re just so grateful for the community, without their support, there’s no way we could do this,” he said.
Prior to Saturday, Zarudenec organized five annual events where a total of $18,000, $4,800, $15,500, $18,500 and $21,600 was raised, respectively.
He says the money will go directly to the local SPCA for medical costs and other operational needs.
Zarudenec’s many years on the farm, he explained, inspired him to make a difference at Penticton’s SPCA.
“I grew up on a farm and wasn’t really fortunate enough to have vets (for the animals) and I even lost my own pup before this event,” he said. “The biggest cost is for medication, so that’s where most of the money will go to.”
The event — described as the year-end fundraiser for the SPCA — featured silent auctions, raffles, prizes and a full meal, courtesy of the Copper Mug.
In six years of fundraising, Zarudenec has helped raise a total of $104,600 for animals across the region.