Leighton Byflield, general manager of Orchard Valley Retirement Residence on 34th Street Vernon, Nov. 18, 2020. (Brendan Shykora)

Leighton Byflield, general manager of Orchard Valley Retirement Residence on 34th Street Vernon, Nov. 18, 2020. (Brendan Shykora)

Vernon seniors to light up Christmas trees in support of local families

Businesses can sponsor a tree through a new Orchard Valley campaign supporting Boys & Girls Club

Seniors at Vernon’s Orchard Valley Retirement Residence will be lighting up trees in support of Okanagan families and youth this Christmas season.

Ahead of the holidays, Orchard Valley General Manager Leighton Byfield was looking for ways to help the community in a year beset with challenges related to COVID-19, while also giving their senior residents a chance to take part in holiday activities.

To that end, Orchard Valley is presenting the Festival of Lights event in support of the Okanagan Boys & Girls Club — Vernon chapter. Businesses are invited to sponsor a tree, which will be decorated by Orchard Valley staff and residents on their behalf.

By sponsoring a tree, businesses will be directing funds to local families and youths in need.

“This season has been so hard for so many people, including our seniors, who are really not able to go out and be involved in the community as they would have for Christmas,” Byfield said.

All proceeds will go towards an Adopt-a-Family initiative through the Okanagan Boys & Girls Club, helping families and youths in the Vernon area with some Christmas funds.

“It’s not just being able to say we’re donating money, but it’s being able to say that we stand with you guys and we know what’s happening and we’re here to help in whatever way we can.”

The Festival of Lights will run Nov. 22 to Dec. 3o. Byfield said a handful of businesses have already been added to the list of sponsors, and staff have already begun getting trees and decorations ready.

He said his senior residents are eager to get involved in some festivities after a long year of being largely confined to their living quarters due to the coronavirus.

“They like to be part of the community and they like to give back in whatever way possible.”

The deadline for entry into the program is Dec. 6. There are four different levels of sponsorship, ranging from $125 (sponsoring one person) to $600 (sponsoring seven to nine people). For more information, contact Leighton Byfield at 250-545-0455 or at leighton.byfield@siennaliving.ca.

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Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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