While still shy of it’s $200,000 matching fundraising goal there is a chance the program in support of the Penticton Youth Resource Centre could continue into the new year.
Executive director Aaron McRann of the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan/Similkameen said this week details of the extension are currently being worked out.
At the end of October, it was announced an anonymous donor had come forward offering to match up to $200,000 in donations from the community until Dec. 31, 2018.
“We’re still tallying right now, we had a bit of a rush at the end of the year and we’re right around $120,000. Considering the short amount of time we had to work with it went pretty well,” said McRann. “I’m pretty positive we’re going to be able to keep going with that and be able to announce the next steps in a couple of weeks.
“In talking with our anonymous donor it’s been rewarding regardless of whether or not we’ve been able to hit that 200,000 in that short period of time.”
The donation is a huge push for the Future Starts Here fundraiser for the youth centre which two months ago was just over halfway to its $1.2-million goal.
Construction is currently underway at the Youth Resource Centre and Foundry Penticton at 501 Main St., which will be a hub of collaborative services for youth 12 to 24 and their families.
The Community Foundation is the body behind the Youth Engagement Strategy (YES), which, several years ago identified the critical need for such a facility in the community.
Particularly gratifying about the recent fundraising campaign to McRann was who the people that were that were making the cash gifts.
“So far the amount that we raised, virtually all of that has come from smaller donations. Usually when you’re trying to raise that amount of money, that quickly, you’ve got a couple of people who ante up for 50 grand or more, and we were able to raise that amount of money with none of that,” said McRann. “We really had a huge influx of support from the general community which is pretty gratifying and obviously very promising for the community.
“It shows great support for the youth, which is one of the most important aspects of this — to demonstrate that support to our young people so we look at it that way too.”
He added there were several large donations — in the thousands of dollars — generally, it was smaller amounts, $50, $100 and $200 that made up the bulk of the contributions.
“Several hundreds of people donated over the last couple of months. I mean if you had just one donor ante up the whole thing that would make my job easier, but it’s important to show the youth in the community that the community as a whole really cares too.
“This is obviously one of the most important aspects to demonstrate that support to our young people.”