The hope of a title sponsorship with Valley First Credit Union became reality for Challenge Penticton.
The announcement was made Wednesday morning by Challenge Penticton vice-chair Diana Stirling and Valley First president Paulette Rennie, who is also a volunteer board member of the Penticton Triathlon Race Society.
Following the press conference, Stirling said it means a great deal to have Valley First as the title sponsor as it enhances the profile of Challenge Penticton triathlon races scheduled for Aug. 24.
Stirling said the race society wants to make Valley First Challenge Penticton a world class destination race, “and having a title sponsor enables us to do that.”
Rennie said becoming a title sponsor is a natural extension of the support provided by Valley First in 2013, the debut of Challenge Penticton, when Valley First presented the athlete and volunteer celebration dinner.
The title sponsorship increases that support and Rennie said they are working to take it to the next level. The title sponsorship is for one year with an extension to be discussed in the future.
Rennie said they were able to support the event after Valley First fulfilled its three-year partnership with what is now Prospera Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan.
“I couldn’t be happier with this partnership,” said Rennie in a statement.
“It’s the perfect fit for Valley First.
“We’ve become well-known for leading exciting new initiatives and Challenge has brought a fresh new approach in multi-sport to the South Okanagan.”
When asked how she balances her dual responsibilities with Valley First and Challenge Penticton to ensure both sides get the best deal possible, Rennie said her No.1 priority is “my business, members and clients of our credit union and our staff.”
“My role with Challenge Penticton Canada is as a volunteer board member … providing them with my professional business experience as a way to do my part in giving back to our community,” she said.
“I am fortunate to have excellent management and staff at Valley First who provide expert skills in marketing and community giving.
“These are the people who work directly with our community and corporate partners to work out the fine details of sponsorship contracts.”
Rennie said Valley First staff enjoy being part of Challenge Penticton and said last year staffers rallied to man one of the aid stations.
In addition to the title sponsorship, Valley First Challenge Penticton has embraced Feed the Valley. Rennie said they will be incorporating the hunger-fighting initiative into the race.
Feed the Valley celebrated its fourth anniversary after being launched in 2010.
The Feed the Valley campaign has exceeded expectations, raising $615,000 with the initial goal being $100,00 per year.