A Vernon real estate company is building bonds with its young neighbours by throwing them a party to remember.
O’Keefe 3 Percent Realty shares the parking lot at 3609 32 Street with the city’s Teen Junction, an organization that’s part of the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club. Wanting to get to know the teens they see every day – and also wanting to give them their support – the realtors and staff members at 3 Percent are hosting a block party in the parking lot on Sunday, Oct. 20 from 1 to 4 p.m.
3 Percent’s Sue O’Keefe has led the charge on the event, which doubles as a celebration of the company’s clients who have all been invited.
“Wanted to give back to our clients but we wanted to tie it in with having this event where we can raise some money for that organization.”
O’Keefe says she thinks Teen Junction serves more youths in Vernon than most people know. She visited the organization on Thursday and saw two volunteers feeding up to 50 kids – a typical after-school turnout.
“I’m not sure the community is aware how many teens are accessing this place. The numbers have risen over the years for sure.”
The event will be hard to miss as it will look something like a mini carnival right beside the highway, complete with toonie games, a bouncy castle and cotton candy machine from Emmanuel Fellowship Baptist Church, and a dunk tank to keep some participants on their toes.
“I’m going to have to pump some hot water in there because it’s Oct. 20 so it might be chilly!” said O’Keefe. “The Boys and Girls Club are fully supportive and they’re going to be there as well. We’re trying to get some of their higher-ups to get dunked.”
The teens themselves will begetting involved. A group from Teen Junction are producing pieces of artwork that will be sold in a silent auction.
“Our little neighbourhood has just fully got on board, it’s been awesome,” said O’Keefe, who invited surrounding businesses to participate. The Starbucks across the street will provide hot drinks and the neighbouring Boston Pizza is donating pizzas to be resold at $2 a slice. All proceeds from the party will go towards Vernon’s Teen Junction.
Local ska artist Chipko Jones will be playing music and hosting an open mic for any youth who would like to show off their pipes. Accentz Dance Studio will also there to give a performance.
Open 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, Teen Junction is a place for youth aged 13-19 to gain life skills and connect with community services.
“Teen Junction offers positive adult mentors guided by the club’s core values to build self-esteem and encourage healthy relationships while instilling the importance of mutual respect, teamwork and being socially responsible,” said a spokesperson for Teen Junction.
“While youth may just need a safe and supportive place to ‘hang out,’ we also offer recreational opportunities, games, creative arts and special events.”