Stolen silent auction items a setback for Vernon non-profit
By Charlotte Helston
FILE PHOTO - Venture Training is a non-profit organization that supports individuals with developmental disabilities through employment-based programs and residential services. Someone broke into the Venture Training building on the weekend and stole several high-value silent auction items.
(CHARLOTTE HELSTON / iNFOnews.ca)
November 07, 2016 - 1:38 PM
VERNON - A non-profit group in Vernon is shocked and upset after someone broke into their building and stole several high-value silent auction items over the weekend.
The theft happened about 11 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5, at Venture Training, an organization that supports adults with developmental disabilities in the community.
Operations director Ryan Cucheron says the thief pried open a window in the board room and ransacked the office. The culprit ripped open some locked cabinets where items donated for the organization’s Christmas fundraiser — the Celebration of Trees — were being kept, and made off with a couple of watches and some head phones together worth roughly $600.
“That’s what they’re worth but they might’ve gone for more at the silent auction,” Cucheron says.
He believes the suspect got scared off and fled when a security guard arrived on scene.
The annual fundraiser generates a large chunk of the organization’s funding, and is used to support programs, residential support and employment-based initiatives for clients.
The theft has dampened spirits in what is normally a happy and festive time of year.
“Everybody’s just a bit sad that someone came in and took things for our big fundraiser,” Cucheron says.
He says the organization has had trouble with vandalism and thefts before, including bikes taken from its Cycle/Cycle program.
“The money we spend to get fences fixed… it all comes out of the programs for people with developmental disabilities,” Cucheron says.
The group is still aiming to have a positive and successful Celebration of Trees event on Dec.1 . Anyone interested in making a donation to the silent auction can contact Cucheron at 250-542-2374. Venture Training is located 4240 Alexis Park Dr.
Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call the Vernon RCMP detachment at 250-545-7171 or remain anonymous by contacting Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
— This story was corrected at 3:23 p.m. Nov. 7, 2016 to say the fundraiser is called the Celebration of Trees, not the Festival of Trees.
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