SilverStar Mountain Resort sales managers Tamara Melanson (Destination, left) and Ginny Scott (Local, right) present Community Foundation of North Okanagan executive director Leanne Hammond with $17,375, the March total from the resort's Filling the Gap program to help local families. The amount also includes a donation from Bannister GM and proceeds of the Star's chair auction. (Photo submitted)

Vernon resort challenge to fill the gap heard loud

SilverStar’s Filling The Gap program contributes more than $42,000 in partnership with Community Foundation North Okanagan

Challenge accepted; challenge: successful.

After an overwhelming response to SilverStar Mountain Resort’s Play it Forward initiative in February, the mountain challenged other businesses to donate to help feed local families in need this spring, and the outcome was truly incredible.

Since the beginning of February SilverStar’s Play it Forward Fund, in partnership with the Community Foundation of North Okanagan (CFNO), has helped raised more than $42,000 for Filling the Gap, which allows local families, seniors and individuals who have been financially impacted by the pandemic to have access to fresh groceries and produce.

“The pandemic has really illuminated the gap between those who live comfortably, and those who struggle to provide for their families on an ongoing basis,” CFNO executive director Leanne Hammond said. “For those who were barely getting by before COVID-19, the situation has created gnawing stress over how to afford healthy groceries along with rent and all the other household bills. Our Fill the Gap — Good Food Box and grocery card program has provided relief to so many.

“The way SilverStar Resort stepped up through the SilverStar Play it Forward Fund, and the way the community stepped up to ensure no one goes hungry, is truly inspirational.”

After the first push of the Filling the Gap initiative in February, local businesses started reaching out to SilverStar asking how they could be a part of the fundraiser.

“It was humbling and amazing to see so many businesses want to join in,” SilverStar media relations manager Chantelle Deacon said.

“We live in a truly incredible community, and because of all these businesses and community members we were able to help hundreds of local families through these challenging times.”

Break down of funds raised since the beginning of February:

• $8,330 – CFNO Donation Page – Donation’s from community members;

• $2,550 – SilverStar Chair Auction;

• $1,850 – Bannister GM Vernon;

• $10,000 – SilverStar Mountain Play Forever Fund;

• $7,500 – Foord Family Foundation;

• $10,000 – Paul Docksteader Foundation;

• $1,000 – Buy Low Gift Cards;

• $1,145 – CFNO;

Total = $42,375

“We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who donated,” Deacon said. “It’s because of our community coming together that we were able to help so many people in need right here in our community.”

If you’d like to learn more about the Play it Forward Fund or donate to those in need in the community, please visit this link.

READ MORE: Vernon resort challenges businesses to feed families

READ MORE: Ski resort, local foundations help fill Vernon’s food gap

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