Contest critical for Lake Country food bank plans

The Rotary Club of Lake Country has qualified for the semi-final round of a national online contest

If organizers behind an online campaign to try and raise money for a new Lake Country Food Bank building can garner enough public support to win an online contest, construction for a new building could begin in the spring.

But that’s a big if.

The Rotary Club of Lake Country has qualified for the semi-final round of a national online contest being held by the Aviva Community Fund. The winning project will receive $100,000 from Aviva.

“We’re absolutely delighted we’ve made it to the semi-final round,” said Dave Colquhoun, Lake Country Rotary Club secretary.

“We’ve got a large number of supporters who are helping us build support for the project by voting for it on the web site. We are hoping they will continue to vote and push us into the finals.”

The first round of the contest completed earlier this month and Lake Country received enough votes to move onto the next round of the contest. Now it will be up against 120 other projects across Canada with only 40 advancing to the final round.

“It’s only one in three projects that will advance so we are in a very tight race,” said Colquhoun. “We’re hoping to rally all of the community behind us to vote on the project.”

During the past two years the Rotary Club in Lake Country has raised over $100,000 to go towards building a new food bank building. The District of Lake Country has given land for the building to be built on, in the same complex as the Winfield Curling Club and arena. Local building contractors are ready with in-kind donations while Okanagan College and UBCO are also stepping forward to help with labour,.

But the project won’t go ahead until another $100,000 is raised and the Aviva project would put the fundraising efforts over the top.

“We need a little over $200,000 to initiate construction,” said Colquhoun. “If we are successful in this contest that would take us most of the way there to the point where we would need very little more to get going. If we are unsuccessful we will continue fundraising for it.”

Plans to build a new food bank building were given even more of a push recently when a for sale sign went up on the Lake Country Boys and Girls Club, property owned by the Central Okanagan School District and the building where the current food bank operates out of.

The semi-finals of the Aviva contest begins Dec. 1 and runs for 10 days. To find out more information, search A New Home For the Lake Country Food bank on Facebook, or register and be ready to vote at www.avivacommunityfund.org.