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Event plants seeds of fundraising for Vernon college childcare centre

Vendors, food trucks, lemonade crawl, free yoga, painting and more May 10 at Okanagan College
Vernon’s Okanagan College campus hosts a one-day fun event and fundraiser for the new Sunflower Childcare Centre being built on campus, along with student housing. (Morning Star photo)

With ground now broken on a new childcare centre at the Vernon campus of Okanagan College (OC), a one-day event is being held to help raise more funds.

The Plant A Seed Day Fundraiser which will support the Sunflower Childcare Centre goes from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 10, at the Vernon campus.

The one-day event will feature a Lemonade Crawl – complete with eight different flavours of the popular drink; delicious local eats; coffee, ice cream and doughnut trucks and a lunch special from Uprooted Catering, and more.

Free activities, with no registration required, will include a yoga class from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.; Crazy 8s Card Tournament from 11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.; a sunflower art class from 12 p.m. to 12:45 p.m., and a line dancing class from 1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.

It’s all in support of the Sunflower Childcare Centre Campaign to help students and their families bloom.

“The critical shortage and cost of childcare can be major barriers for parents wishing to pursue higher education,” said OC. “In response, Okanagan College is building the Sunflower Childcare Centre.”

Ground broke on the facility on Friday, April 21.

The college invites everyone to Plant A Seed Day. All donations in May will be matched up to $80,000, thanks to the generous support of philanthropists Lloyd Davies and Janet Armstrong.

The childcare centre was the result of a substantial donation of $500,000 from Davies and Armstrong.

Davies is a former instructor at the Vernon campus, having started in 1999 and retired in 2014. He said every year he worked at the college, he would ask, ‘where is the daycare?’ and every year he would be told it was in the plans, but not ready yet.

He decided to initiate the funding for the daycare centre after years of seeing students having to miss classes, labs and exams to take care of their kids.

“It just tied in perfectly with the federal government and the provincial government making an agreement for $10 a day daycare, and I knew that the college was actually building a residence up here as well, and so tying all those together with our donation, we were able to kick-start the college to actually take this on,” Davies said at the ground-breaking for on-campus housing and the daycare centre.

“And this is something that is going to affect all of Vernon, because even though there’s other daycare centres being built, this one is going to be specific to this community and also take the pressure off those other daycares because students can have their children here and that leaves those spaces down in town more available for other parents who need that care downtown.”

READ MORE: Ground breaks on student housing and childcare facility at Vernon’s Okanagan College campus

READ MORE: Vernon community radio station locates broadcast home

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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