The weather may not have been as co-operative as last year, but organizers of Penticton’s Quintessence Breast Feeding challenge are still satisfied with the turnout for this year’s event.
Numbers were down from last year, which saw 34 nursing mothers turn out to take part in the event, which involves communities around the world attempting to get as many mothers breast feeding as possible at the same time. This year, only 24 mothers and their children came out, but considering the difference in the weather, organizers say that isn’t too bad.
“We almost had to cancel because of the rain,” said Donna Erland, a public health nurse working with the Okanagan Breastfeeding Coalition, who sponsor the event locally. “For the challenge itself, 24 is pretty typical, but on a day like this, we are happy.”
Participants came from as far afield as Rossland, and one mom even drove up from Keremeos specifically to take part. But Erland said they were also happy with the number of non-participants that dropped by.
“We had lots of people from the community just stopping by to see what services we had.” she said. “We had moms that were pregnant and grandmas coming by, lots of grandmas today. Which is good, because we have that booklet for grandmothers now.”
That kind of interest format the community fits in with the goals of the Breastfeeding Coalition and the challenge itself.
“Our mission is to teach,” said Sheri Deveny, a director of the coalition. “We want to build a culture of normalcy around breastfeeding.”
And according to Erland, the challenge is getting some attention from the business sector as well.
“We had businesses with breast feeding products approach us this year about trying to market to these moms,” she said. “We’ve never had that before; usually, we’ve had to go out and try and get prizes.”