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

Penticton firefighters were handing out breakfast bags at Penticton Lakeside where there was a steady stream of vehicles coming to the 10th United Way Drive Thru March 2. (Monique Tamminga Western News)Penticton firefighters were handing out breakfast bags at Penticton Lakeside where there was a steady stream of vehicles coming to the 10th United Way Drive Thru March 2. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
There was a steady stream of vehicles coming to the 10th United Way Drive Thru at Penticton Lakeside March 2. (Monique Tamminga Western News)There was a steady stream of vehicles coming to the 10th United Way Drive Thru at Penticton Lakeside March 2. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
United Way’s Kahir Lalji was thrilled with the community support of the annual fundraiser. (Monique Tamminga)United Way’s Kahir Lalji was thrilled with the community support of the annual fundraiser. (Monique Tamminga)
Valley First staff walked thru the United Way fundraiser Wednesday morning. (Monique Tamminga)Valley First staff walked thru the United Way fundraiser Wednesday morning. (Monique Tamminga)
Hundreds of breakfast bags were handed out March 2 during United Way’s drive thru fundraiser. (Monique Tamminga Western News)Hundreds of breakfast bags were handed out March 2 during United Way’s drive thru fundraiser. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Animal Lifeline Emergency Response Team was collecting donations at the United Way Breakfast Drive Thru March 2. (Monique Tamminga)Animal Lifeline Emergency Response Team was collecting donations at the United Way Breakfast Drive Thru March 2. (Monique Tamminga)

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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