Skip to content

That's a wrap: Vernon's Valley Vonka contest raises $3,660 for Jumpstart

Four golden ticket winners received their prizes at an event at the Vernon Towne Theatre

The Vernon Morning Star's second annual Valley Vonka and the Hot Chocolates Factory contest was a sweet success.

 And on Wednesday, June 12, the finders of the golden tickets received their long awaited prizes.

The contest — a fundraiser for Jumpstart based on the well-known story Roald Dahl created in his 1964 novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory — saw golden tickets placed in five out of 2,000 chocolate bars made by Cotton's Chocolates. The bars were sold at five locations around town, and whoever found the tickets earned one of five prizes valued between $700 and $1,500.

The Vernon Towne Theatre hosted a special screening of the 2023 film Wonka starring Timothée Chalamet June 12. Before the movie started, it was time to give out prizes to the golden ticket holders. 

After weeks of selling chocolate bars, only four of the five golden tickets were found, meaning four winners entered a random prize draw, and the fifth unclaimed prize would be donated to charity. 

A random draw determined the order that the winners received their prizes, and the first winner up was Sophia Alderson, which was fitting, as she was also the first person to claim a golden ticket in the contest. Alderson drew the prize package from Spallumcheen Golf and Country Club, totalling $1,500 worth of golf passes. We hope to see you on the course, Sophia!

The second winner was Katrina Redgwell, accompanied by son Isaac, who drew the Towne Theatre's $1,500 movie prize package. We imagine Wednesday's event won't be her last visit to the historic theatre. 

The next winner was Oliver Gombik, who turned seven Friday, June 14. Accompanied by his father Casey, Gombik drew the $1,500 World Health or Ladies World gym membership. Hopefully the Gombiks have some ladies in their life they can spoil. 

The fourth and final winner was Alina Talkachova. She and her husband recently moved to Vernon from Belarus, and have a baby on the way. Talkachova drew the $1,500 FreshCo gift certificate, perfect for a young couple who will soon be shopping for diapers and baby food!

Two young artists also won chocolate for a year from Cotton's Chocolates after winning the Valley Vonka colouring contest. Rae Dunphy secured the chocolate in the under-six category and Julia Goldnick was the winner in the six to 12 category. 

All told, the Valley Vonka contest raised $3,660 for Jumpstart, a community organization that helps kids overcome barriers to sport and recreation in support of inclusive play for kids of all abilities. 

Thanks for playing, and keep an eye out for next year's contest!


Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started at the Morning Star as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
Read more