VERNON - Maybe you come for the coffee. Maybe the atmosphere. Maybe the constantly changing art. And this month, you might come to Vernon’s Bean Scene Coffee House to show your community spirit.
Every month, the Bean Scene strips the art on its walls and puts up a new show. It’s a fun change of scenery for patrons and staff alike, manager Jen Androschuk says. But this month, there’s something extra special about the art: It’s the focus of a fundraiser for a girl’s support group.
“All the art is donated,” Androschuk says. “We’ve got a 19-year-old artist all the way to a couple of retired people and they’re all local. There’s oil paintings, prints, photographs, pencil drawings — a little bit of everything.”
People can bid on the art until the end of the month, and all money raised will go to the North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society, specifically three programs centred around strengthening girls’ self esteem and anti-bullying.
“I see a lot of things in the news about terrible things happening to younger people who are bullied. It’s in the back of your mind all the time. It really struck a chord for sure,” Androschuk says.
They’re programs that wouldn’t exist without community support, program supervisor Lorel Brown says.
“Without partnerships in the community we wouldn’t be able to run those programs,” Brown says, adding the society’s youth groups receive no government funding.
Every year, the society looks at over 20 different programs and makes tough decisions about what it can afford to run. Community fundraisers make those decisions that much easier.
“Bean Scene has been a godsend,” Brown says of the business' continued support.
One of the three programs receiving a boost from the Bean Scene is called Staying Connected, and provides a safe place for girls to come, talk and get a healthy snack throughout the school year.
“They come here to get grounded, to get support, to be safe,” Brown says. “It’s one of the groups girls continue to come back to because of the safeness.”
The fundraiser wraps up Aug. 1 with an event at the Bean Scene to announce the successful bidders.
Not long ago, the Bean Scene also helped raise funds for a new residential facility for youths.
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