Three is a lucky number for a Vernon toddler.
Three-year-old Wes Kendall had been to Butcher Boys with his mom, Richelle, and dad, Nathan, on Thursday, May 4 – young Wes’ actual due date but he arrived earlier than scheduled – and behaved so well at the grocery outlet, mom bought him a pair of Valley Vonka chocolate bars as a treat.
The Valley Vonka bars, a creation of Cotton’s Chocolates in downtown Vernon, are the focal point of a Morning Star fundraiser called Valley Vonka and the Hot Chocolates Factory, which follows along the lines of the legendary Roald Dahl 1964 novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
The story is about an eccentric candy factory owner named Willy Wonka who has placed five golden tickets in his famous Wonka chocolate bars around the globe. Five lucky people who find the golden tickets will get a tour of the factory.
The Morning Star had 2,500 Valley Vonka bars made, to be sold at selected outlets for $5 each with the proceeds going to Jumpstart, Canadian Tire’s charity that allows kids access to sports and recreation without barriers.
Richelle Kendall bought Wes a pair of Valley Vonka bars at Butcher Boys for being good.
On the way home, in 32C heat, mom put the bars between two watermelons to keep them cool. When they got home, Wes got his treat and mom, on a whim, decided to roll the video on her phone.
Inside one of the two bars was a golden Valley Vonka ticket, the third of five to be found in the promotion. Young Wes could barely contain his enthusiasm.
“He was more excited for the chocolate,” laughed Richelle, who liked the idea of supporting local youth getting into sports through Jumpstart.
Wes joins Vernon Nissan finance manager Mike Manka and Vernon resident Liz Dandeneault as golden ticket holders. They, along with the two remaining ticket finders, will be invited to a special night at the Towne Theatre on Wednesday, May 17, where the five winners will find out which of the five grand prizes they’ve won.
The event will be followed by a special screening of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the original 1971 Hollywood movie (a remake starring Johnny Depp as Wonka rolled out in 2005 under the name Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).
The five grand prizes include:
1. An outdoor patio set from Canadian Tire (value of $1,300);
2. Gift cards from Tim Hortons worth $1,200;
3. One year family pass to any recreation center from the City of Vernon (value of $1,500);
4. Spallumcheen Golf and Country Club golf passes (value of $1,500);
5. Vernon Towne Theatre movie package (value of $1,500).
The Towne Theatre’s prize package will include a framed movie poster (value of $200), Towne Theatre membership, which gets you reduced prices for any show (value of $50), 12 Night at the Towne vouchers which consist of two admissions, one large popcorn, two medium drinks and a large candy (value of $35).
There will also be restaurant vouchers worth $800, to a large choice of local spots.
Chocolate bars are available for sale at The Morning Star (also selling bars for sponsor Center Stage Performing Arts Academy), Vernon Nissan, Printech, Butcher Boys and Canadian Tire until May 12 or until they sell out.