Erin Moore of the Lakeside Resort in front of the six-storey United Way banner promoting the upcoming Drive Thru Breakfast fundraising event Sept. 20 from 6:30 to 9 a.m. at the Lakeside. Mark Brett/Western News

Breakfast fundraiser kicks off United Way campaigns

The seventh annual Penticton Lakeside United Way Drive Thru Breakfast

Mark Sept. 20 on your breakfast calendar.

From 6:30 to 9 a.m. that day, the Lakeside Resort is hosting its annual United Way Drive-Thru Breakfast, which is also the official kickoff for the workplace campaign and other Central and South Okanagan (CSO) United Way fundraising activities.

A breakfast is also planned for Kelowna on Thursday (Sept. 13) at the Coast Capri Hotel with close to 300 local donors, community leaders, partners and corporate sponsors scheduled to get together.

“This is our seventh year for the Drive-Thru Breakfast and we’ve actually been involved with the United Way now for 20-some years,” said Erin Moore, administration and events co-ordinator for the Lakeside. “We just find that they’re (United Way) a group that really digs into the South Okanagan and gets involved in so many different ways. We just feel that they tackle issues that are important to us: homelessness, poverty, low-income families, just things that are important to us at the Lakeside.”

Related: United Way, Dragoons delivery keeps kids safe on roads across the region

As an example, she referenced the recent announcement of the United Way’s allocation of $500,000 to 38 agencies in the Central and South Okanagan and Similkameen to help improve the lives of thousands of people over the next year.

In total this year, the United Way invested $1.4 million from its Community Fund in 22 communities helping 60,000 people.

The Drive-Thru Breakfast at the Lakeside has so far contributed $75,000 and according to Moore, the goal again for this year’s event is $20,000.

“It’s such a nice opportunity to get the community together and to really see Pentictonites and people from the surrounding areas get out and say ‘hello’ and the best part of the Drive-Thru is seeing all those faces, it’s so much fun,” she said. “It’s just a lot of different people coming together and trying to raise some funds so we can put it right back into the community.

“We feel it’s really impacting people.”

For a donation, those driving into the Lakeside will get a window wash, newspaper, a special bag with a breakfast sandwich, Tim Hortons coffee and other goodies with a value of over $50.

Some of those breakfast bags will contain some extra special grand prizes, including a B.C. Lions weekend in Vancouver (accommodation at the Hilton) a Summerland golf and wine package, box seat tickets for Celtic Thunder and Three Days Grace at the South Okanagan Events Centre and an autographed Daniel Sedin Vancouver Canucks Hockey Jersey.

Related: United Way invests more than $460,000 in South Okanagan

“It’s great for us in terms of two things really, all the money that’s raised from the Drive-Thru stays local and is invested back into the community through our Community Investment Fund but it’s also really important for us in terms of awareness and being visible and seen to be active in the community,” said Helen Jackman, CSO United Way executive director. “It also gives us a great chance to meet some of our partners in some our workplaces, just a really fun event to be out there in the community.

“It was my first year last year it was great fun so I’m looking forward to it. Just getting a chance to meet some of the community and meeting all the volunteers the night before, the number of volunteers that come out and help to get all of those 850 bags together, it’s just such an amazing sense of community.”

What she was particularly impressed with was the value of what was contained in the breakfast bags.

“It’s a great donation back into the community but you do also get a great breakfast and a pile of treats so it’s certainly worth every penny from both sides,” said Jackman.

Among those volunteers who will be taking part in the breakfast festivities will be members of Penticton city council, RCMP, BC Ambulance Service and the Penticton Fire Department.

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