Vernon’s Barrita Durward (right) has been helping build orphanages in Mexico for the past eight years, thanks to funds raised from her immensely popular Valentine’s for Mexico event. The ninth annual affair is slated for Friday, Feb. 23, at the Best Western Vernon Lodge. (Photo submitted)

Valentine’s for Mexico fundraiser approaches

Ninth annual Vernon event helps build orphanages in Mexico

Door prizes. Silent auction gems. Chocolate galore.

And, most importantly, smiles and funds for Mexican orphans.

Cotton’s Chocolates and the Sweet Smiles Society present the ninth annual Valentine’s for Mexico Sweet Smiles Fundraiser and Silent Auction Friday, Feb. 23, at the Best Western Vernon Lodge, presented by A&W.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6:45 p.m.

“We are raising money to complete a childhood development centre at the City of Angels orphanage in Cozumel,” said event founder Barrita Durward of Cotton’s Chocolates. “The centre will have designated therapy and counselling rooms for the children.”

Funds from the popular evening will be used to break ground and begin construction on the seventh house at City of Angels orphanage. This will allow an additional nine children to be rescued from the exploitation of the streets and call City of Angels home.

Organizers will also begin the expansion to the existing Transition House at City of Angels, and money raised in Vernon will be used to begin building a third home at the society’s Family Preservation/Orphanage Prevention project in Huatulco.

“The first two homes have been completed,” said Durward. “The third site has been excavated and we are hoping to begin construction on the third home in early March.

“The transition house will be for when the older kids turn 18 and they can move into this new house. It will help them learn things like shopping and balancing a cheque book.”

Sun-FM Sunrise Show co-hosts Brian Martin and Betty Selin will emcee the Valentine’s for Mexico fundraiser which, Durward said, features all kinds of “crazy prizes.”

“TVs have been donated. A kayak has been donated,” she said.

There are five separate balloon bursts featuring prizes such as jewelry and, of course, there is not one but two chocolate buffets to be auctioned off by auctioneer Paul Cousins.

The evening and the cause are extremely close to Durward’s heart.

“The City of Angels is one of my favourite places, and the new home in Huatulco is going to be just as amazing,” she said.

“I want to thank everyone who takes part, or has taken part, in making a profound impact in the lives of these children. To be able to share the changes with this community is a real blessing.”

Sponsors for the evening include A&W (title sponsor); Baron Insurance (platinum); White House Mortgages (silver); Tim Hortons (bronze); Little Miracles Pre-School (pearl); Sun-FM (media); Rellish Transport Services and The Mortgage Centre – Charmaine Scherk (chocolate buffets); Red Door Photography (photo booth); and Furmanek Jewellry (garnet).

For tickets and/or silent auction donations, contact Mali at 250-550-8207, or Durward at 778-212-2438; 250-503-2535; or cottonschocolates@shaw.ca.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Vernon’s Barrita Durward (right) has been helping build orphanages in Mexico for the past eight years, thanks with funds raised from her immensely popular Valentine’s for Mexico event. The ninth annual affair is slated for Friday, Feb. 23, at the Best Western Vernon Lodge. (Photo submitted)

Just Posted

‘Corona Busters’: Vernon man drives vintage ambulance in appreciation of health-care workers

Rob Newport says he aims to make people smile during the COVID-19 pandemic with Ghostbusters-themed ride

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

Cookie monsters rejoice as B.C. stores sell Girl Guide sweets

With door-to-door sales cancelled, a few big chains have stepped up to distribute

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

Second Vernon-area high school exposed to COVID-19

Kalamalka Secondary School staff, students urged to self-isolate if showing symptoms

Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses amid COVID-19

This is up from the previously announced 10 per cent wage subsidy

World update, 9:30 p.m. March 27: Positive news in Korea as U.S. hits 100,000 cases

The United States now has the most coronavirus cases of any country in the world

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Food Banks BC already seeing surge in demand due to COVID-19 pandemic

Executive director Laura Lansink said they expect applications will keep increasing

Nanaimo couple caught aboard cruise ship with four dead and COVID-19 present

Four ‘older guests’ have died on Holland America’s Zaandam; cruise line confirms two COVID-19 cases

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen cancels April 2 meeting

Staff working to install videoconferencing system during COVID-19 pandemic

Frontline workers receiving COVID-19 isolation exemptions prompt concerns

Provincial Health Authority staff exempt from self-isolation upon return from international travel

Most Read