Records were broken at the 32nd annual Kalamalka Rotary Dream Auction.
The 460 guests at the gala event Saturday raised close to $255,000 at the Vernon Lodge Hotel.
“This year, we had more than $300,000 donated to the Dream Auction, an all-time record for donations, “ said Sarah Pruckl, event chairperson.
“This event would not be possible without the generous contributions from Greater Vernon businesses, and others farther afield, who year after year, demonstrate their support. We also want to thank our guests who bid on these items the night of the auction to help us raise money.”
Some of the top live auction items included a seven-game Detroit NHL, NBA and MLB sports package which went for $8,750 and a Kal Tire jet getaway for eight which went for approximately $35,000.
Over the years, the Dream Auction has raised more $3 million.
“The money raised at the Dream Auction enables Kalamalka Rotary to support dozens of worthy community and international projects each year,” said Brian Reid, club president.
A new element of the evening was the live showcase charity, which focused on raising funds specifically for the Okanagan Rail Trail. The auction for the rail trail raised $88,000 which was supplemented by a $50,000 pledge from Kalamalka Rotary. That $50,000 is also being matched through the rail trail, bringing the amount raised for the rail trail to a grand total of $188,000, and possibly as high as $276,000.
“It was very exciting for our group of volunteer trail ambassadors to witness the auction bring in more than a half kilometre of trail development in just a few minutes,” said Brad Clements of the Rail Trail. “What a generous group! This event took the campaign over the $2 million dollar mark and enables us to apply for further matching grants. The communities along the trail are truly grateful for the contribution the Kalamalka Rotary Dream Auction has made to the development of this legacy for our valley.”
Community groups can begin applying for Dream Auction grants from now until mid-January. Full details are available at www.kalrotary.org under the funding tab.