Naramata takes the party to the vineyard

When you are in Naramata and want to raise money for your charity, it seems the natural thing to do isn’t to start planning a bake sale, at least not for the Naramata Community Fund.



When you are in Naramata and want to raise money for your charity, it seems the natural thing to do isn’t to start planning a bake sale, at least not for the Naramata Community Fund.

Instead, they are making use of one of the things Naramata is well-known for. This weekend, the community group has organized a special event, Dancing in Vineyard, to help refill their empty coffers. The party takes place on Aug. 13 in Serendipity Vineyards. Judy Kingston, proprietor and co-winemaker at Serendipity, said her winery was a natural choice, since she is also chair of the community fund society.

“We needed to raise money, and I figured I could easily have it at my place and not charge any money,” said Kingston, who explained they hope to raise at least $3,000 from the event, which runs from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m., with music supplied by Uncorked!

“The wineries in Naramata have donated wine, so we are going to be selling some wine,” said Kingston, adding that there will also be a silent auction as part of the event. And, of course, there will be food.

“We are going to be providing some tapas food. The committee is all making different dishes,” she said. “It is going to be really nice and it is supposed to be a gorgeous evening. And of course, the band is fabulous, they are a lot of fun.”

The Naramata Community fund started off several years ago to raise money for what Kingston refers to as the “Blackwell taxes,” which resulted from a lawsuit in the 1990s. A developer, Blackwell Stores Ltd., sued the community over a subdivision/golf course project and a dispute with the Naramata Irrigation district. Blackwell was awarded a judgement of $1.6 million after arbitration, but legal fees and other costs brought the total cost to the small community up to $5.2 million.

“There are a few people that are still needing assistance with Blackwell, but we had a little bit of extra money. So we extended the purposes of our organization and kept going,” said Kingston. The fund supports the Naramata community in several ways, still helping people that need emergency financial assistance due to unexpected health issues or other situations, but also aiding schools and environmental causes.

“We help out people. Up until now, there are a few people that have needed it, but this year, a huge demand came in. We depleted our resources,” said Kingston, who added there was a large increase in requests for finacial aid and health assistance.

“Because there is still a demand out there, we wanted to be able to continue to meet it. So that’s why we need to do this fundraiser.”

Tickets for Dancing in the Vineyard are available at Serendipity Winery, the Naramata Store and the Penticton Visitor’s Centre.


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