Drive-thru to support South Okanagan/Similkameen United Way

The Penticton Lakeside Resort is set to convert to a drive-thru to support the South Okanagan/Similkameen United Way.

Logan Robertson from Murray GM Penticton grabs a drive-thru breakfast from Brannigan Boyd

Logan Robertson from Murray GM Penticton grabs a drive-thru breakfast from Brannigan Boyd

The Penticton Lakeside Resort is set to convert to a drive-thru once again with bags of breakfast and prizes at the ready to support the South Okanagan/Similkameen United Way.

The fourth annual Drive-Thru Breakfast will have over 800 breakfast bags, coffee and Timbits from Tim Hortons and tons of prizes to be won between 6:30 and 9 a.m. Sept. 17 at the main entrance of the Lakeside, all to support the United Way and local community partners.

One of those community partners includes the South Okanagan Women in Need Society (SOWINS), who receive crucial financial support from the United Way.

“We benefit from all the great work that they do, so we all benefit I think in the South Okanagan, having the United Way involved in so many projects,” said Debbie Scarborough, executive director of SOWINS.

The United Way provides SOWINS with bus passes, which can make all the difference for their clients.

“We had two women in here alone one day last week both getting bus passes given to us by the United Way, and one of them is pregnant.  She has two other children and is walking everywhere,” Scarborough said. “So it just provided her with the opportunity to hop on the bus which is huge.”

The drive-thru event is asking for donations for the bag breakfast, which is valued at around $25, though there is no suggested donation amount.

“We would ask people to be generous and realize that it is a fundraiser for the community,” said Shelley Gilmore, executive director of the United Way Central and South Okanagan/Similkameen.

United Way is hoping to hit the goal of raising $15,000 this year, with last year’s event bringing in just under $12,000. This year for the first time the event will feature kids bags sponsored by Valley First Credit Union with juice boxes, fruit snacks and other kid-oriented goodies.

It’s a way to give back to the community and get a good breakfast on the way to school according to Gilmore.

“You’ve got a mom driving her kids to school in the morning and she can get one adult bag and three kids bags,” Gilmore said. “The kids actually get stuff that they want and they like.”

The contents of the breakfast bags were provided in part by Marketplace IGA. Critteraid will be on hand to offer dog biscuits, Landmark Cinemas will be giving out movie passes and the adult bags will have free slot plays at the Lake City Casino. The Penticton Vees are going to be washing the windows of the cars coming through as well.

Every breakfast bag gives the recipient a chance to win one of the grand prizes. The total value of all the grand prizes is over $3,000 and every grand prize has a minimum value of $250.

The benefits of supporting the United Way are far reaching according to Scarborough, and a recent funding grant for SOWINS allowed the program to hire a full-time receptionist.

“That provides continuity and familiarity for all our clients, for the women and children using our services. So really, really beneficial,” Scarborough said.

The position was previously filled by volunteers, but a new receptionist will create a more fluid operation.

“We’ve been staffing our reception desk with volunteers and it’s hard for the clients because it’s a different volunteer every time so they don’t get that continuity,” Scarborough said.

Aside from financial support, the United Way also acts as a bridge for community organizations in the South Okanagan to come together Scarborough said.

“So we can all meet each other, figure out what we’re each doing, how we can work together, the collective impact approach, they are great at doing that,” Scarborough said. “So we’re all just working together to provide the best service that we can for the South Okanagan.”

For more information on United Way programs or to volunteer visit