Vernon, Kelowna and Kamloops ski resorts raise big bucks for Australian bushfire relief | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon, Kelowna and Kamloops ski resorts raise big bucks for Australian bushfire relief

Kelowna, Vernon and Kamloops ski resorts have raised thousands of dollars to send to Australia as the country deals with the worst wildfires in decades.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Big White Ski Resort
January 30, 2020 - 7:30 PM

Three ski resorts across B.C.’s Interior have raised thousands of dollars for Australian charities affected by the country’s deadly wildfires.

Over the past few weeks, ski resorts near Kamloops, Kelowna and Vernon have all held fundraisers in an effort to support the communities and wildlife affected by the wildfires currently raging across Australia.

SilverStar Mountain Resort media relations manager Chantelle Deacon says in total, staff raised roughly $48,000 for the Community Enterprise Foundation, National Bushfire Disaster Appeal and the NSW Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Inc.

“We have had a couple fundraisers and the big one that we had just a couple weeks ago, the sausage sizzle, that one we raised $38,000,” Deacon says. “It was a completely staff-led initiative.”

Deacon says many workers at the Vernon ski resort come from Australia, and the fundraisers were really close to their heart.

“We were not expecting such community support but everyone really came together and it was just such an amazing fundraiser,” Deacon says, adding the rest of the money was raised through matched donations from former and current SilverStar ski resort owners.

Deacon says some ski resort staff will continue fundraising until the end of the season by saving a portion of their tips or continue having donation boxes open at coffee shops.

Kelowna’s Big White Ski Resort raised more than $22,000 for a variety of organizations in Australia, according to a press release. Some of the fundraising efforts included a sausage sizzle, and certain restaurants and retail outlets donating a portion of their sales.

“The charities receiving these funds we’ve raised are so grateful for this outpouring of support from overseas, especially when it’s lead by us, these young travellers who can’t believe what’s been happening back home, “Globe Assistant Manager Ben Cahill said in the news release.

In Sun Peaks, local Alex Smith says they are still counting up the total from fundraising efforts this past weekend, but says they are well past the $5,000 mark.

“The community came together so well that if that if there is a need to do it next year we would definitely be willing to do it again, but we are all hoping there is no fire season like that next year,” he says.

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