Okanagan Rail Trail campaign has wide appeal, organizers say - InfoNews

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Okanagan Rail Trail campaign has wide appeal, organizers say

Brad Clements says the rail trail would offer a safe, scenic and accessible community pathway to tourists and locals alike.
August 05, 2016 - 5:30 PM

OKANAGAN - The Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative is reporting a wide range of people responding to its fundraising campaign, everyone from deep-pocketed anonymous donors to little kids with lemonade stands.

“The community is stepping up to make this trail a reality,” rail trail ambassador Brad Clement said in a press release.

One runner and cyclist hosted a tea party and raised $800. Local bike shops in Kelowna and Vernon have been selling technical shirts and donating a portion of sales to the rail trail. A crew of women bike riders have been donating money for every kilometre they ride.

All that fundraising creativity has paid off. Clement said the group has sold 4,875 metres of trail.

“If you want to turn that into dollars it’s about $780,00,” he said.

That translates into 1,400 people making individual donations as well as 20 businesses making in-kind donations, Clement said.

The Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative is the fund-raising effort behind the development of the former CN Rail corridor, which runs 48.5 kilometres from downtown Kelowna to Coldstream outside Vernon.

The first phase is estimated to cost $7.8 million and could begin construction in 2017.

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