The crowd waits patiently for the Light Up the Peach celebrations to begin Monday night. Mark Brett/Western News

Penticton Peach takes on a brightly-lit holiday decor

Light Up the Peach generates thousands of dollars in support of hospital expansion

The Peach has taken on a festive flavour for the holiday season in support of improved health care at Penticton Regional Hospital (PRH).

Thanks in large part to Canadian Tire associate owners Doug and Lorraine MacMillan, strings of brightly coloured lights and plenty or Christmas ornaments now adorn the iconic, lake-side structure.

The MacMillans not only stepped up to provide a $1,000 worth of lighting for the fundraising campaign, proceeds from the sale of the $25 ornaments go to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation (SOSMF) but also donated another $25,000 to the cause just prior to Monday night’s Light Up the Peach celebration.

“Well, we’ve lived here for 15 years and we’ve had grandkids there (PRH). Later in life, we’re probably going to have to, unfortunately, use it and you know what, we’ve been a part of the community and we just think it’s nice to give back to the community,” said Doug. “I’ve been kind of wanting to do it for a while but just haven’t found the time. We were talking to somebody at the Peach and the ornaments weren’t going very good, so we thought now is a good time to step in.”

The money will be used for the David E. Kampe Tower and is part of the $20 million the foundation is raising. Entering the home stretch, the SOSMF still requires about $2 million to meet its goal.

Related: Light Up of the Penticton Peach

Preferring to avoid the spotlight, when John Moorhouse of the foundation made the announcement about their donation, the MacMillans simply waved from the back to the applause of those around them.

“They supplied all the lights, which cost about $1,000. On top of that, they came out and they’re donating $25,000 to the PRH campaign. How exciting is that?” said Moorhouse afterwards. “It’s an incredible gift, we’re just delighted about everything with the light up, the turnout. It was a chilly night with the wind and everything it was just a super night, a great feeling.

Related: Light up the Peach, support the PRH

“Their donation all came together very quickly yesterday. We’d had minor discussions with them before but it all just came together with the Peach, ‘let’s do it tonight.’”

Moorhouse estimated more than 200 people were on hand for the countdown to lighting the Peach and were treated to hot chocolate and some community carolling led by members of the Grandmothers for Africa South Okanagan.

Donations can still be made through the SOSMF website or in person at its offices at Penticton Regional Hospital.



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Some of the more than 200 people who attended Monday’s Light Up the Peach celebration. Mark Brett/Western News

Susan Brown of Grandmothers for Africa was dressed in holiday lights for the group’s participation in the light up. Mark Brett/Western News

A choir of Grandmothers for Africa and members of an Okanagan Hockey Academy girls team sing carols following the light up of the Peach Monday. Mark Brett/Western News

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