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Record-breaking success at 10th annual United Way Drive Thru at Penticton Lakeside

‘Some say it’s cold out here but all I feel is warm hearts’ said United Way Wednesday morning

The organizers of the United Way South Okanagan Drive-Thru Breakfast were thrilled to see the community support for the 10th annual fundraiser held at Penticton Lakeside Resort Wednesday morning on March 2.

Vehicles lined up starting at 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., greeted by Penticton Fire and Rescue, paramedics, ALERT volunteers, Penticton IGA and others who sponsored and volunteered their time to make the event such a success.

Organizers said the morning event raised over $25,000, exceeding their goal of $20,000.

Breakfast bags loaded with fruit, snacks and baked goods, coupons for local businesses as well as coffee and hot chocolate were all part of the to-go breakfast.

Kahir Lalji, the executive director of the South Interior United Way, was happy to see the record turn out and the huge community support.

“Just so grateful to the community and to our sponsors for making this the best drive-thru yet,” said Lalji.

“The last couple years have been so tricky with the pandemic, fires, floods and we know our neighbours need access to food and our youth need support with mental health.

“Some say it’s cold out here but all I feel is warm hearts,” he added.

Dollars raised are invested directly in local programs and services from Penticton to Summerland all the way to Osoyoos.

Linda Sankey, of the South Okanagan-Similkameen Brain Injury Society was there to thank the United Way for their financial support.

“The United Way is funding our stroke program,” said Linda. “Stroke can happen without warning and it changes your whole life, both physically and financially. With this funding, we can offer that important support.”

In 2020, over $20,000 was raised and 900-plus breakfast bags were handed out to a constant stream of vehicles. Lalji believes 2022’s fundraiser will exceed that.

READ MORE: 54 charities across Southern Interior benefited from United Way donation

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Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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