Diamond event raises $15,000

Venture Training’s commitment of turning disabilities into abilities for 60 years shined bright like a diamond

Venture Training’s commitment of turning disabilities into abilities for 60 years shined bright like a diamond when more than $15,000 was raised at the 13th annual Celebration of Trees.

The event, which recently took place at the Vernon Atrium Hotel, featured 10 original art pieces, crafted by 46 participants who attend the ACT program, as well as 15 one-of-a-kind Christmas trees. They all fell under auctioneer Kevin Rothwell’s gavel as a record breaking number of guests celebrated the culmination of Venture Training’s diamond jubilee year.

“The community has been outstanding” said Eileen Howells, executive director for Venture Training. “As well as the trees, we had over 150 silent auctions items, most of which were donated by local businesses. We were pleased to welcome many new faces and we are always grateful to the people, including the local dignitaries, who continue to support us year after year.”

A highlight of the evening was the recognition for Scotiabank employee Susan Foster, who is retiring this year.

Foster was involved with the first Celebration of Trees in 2002 and through her role in the branch, has continued to not only donate trees, but has matched the bids made on Scotiabank’s trees.

The giving back to the community continued throughout the night with Venture sharing the $200 proceeds for the Christmas Memories tree  with the Landsdowne chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star (Enderby) as part of  the service group’s campaign to raise funds for cancer projects.

Venture Training is one of the region’s longest standing organizations and it has been providing services to people with developmental disabilities since 1955.

“This 60th anniversary celebrates the journey embarked upon by a group of dedicated visionaries wanting a better quality of life for people with disabilities,” said Howells.