Aaryn Gowing

Aaryn Gowing

Funds sought to help youth

 

A former member of the Summerland Asset Development Initiative hopes the community will contribute the money needed to keep the youth organization operating.

John Bubb hopes to raise $100,000 a year for the organization through the SADI Sustainer program. 

This works out to contributions of $2,000 a year from five service clubs, $1,000 a year from 20 businesses and $100 a year from 700 individuals.

“A message needs to get out to a very large number of people,” he said.

The youth organization has faced significant funding cuts over the last two years.

The total budget, which was at $270,000 a few years ago, has now dropped to $120,000.

In June, 2010, a funding shortfall of $70,000 was announced. The youth organization worked on fundraising and brought in around $50,000.

This year, another $70,000 was lost and as a result, staffing was reduced to one full-time and two part-time positions.

Randy Wheeler’s youth support worker position at the organization was cut.

“If we can make enough money to rehire Randy, that would be a major contribution,” Bubb said.

A recent fundraiser at Zias Stonehouse Restaurant raised $12,500 for the youth organization and while that funding is important, Bubb would like to see other ways to raise money.

“It was a positive event, but it’s a lot of work,” he said.

In previous years, the funding for the organization came from Penny Lane Bargain Outlet, but because of changes at Penny Lane, the same amount of money is no longer available.

There are around 125 children and teens from Grade 6 to Grade 12 who are members of the organization.

Between 25 and 40 are at the after school program from Monday to Thursday. Movie night events draw around 20, while 10 to 15 attend various other activities.

Bubb hopes service organizations, businesses and individuals will choose to contribute.

He said the service clubs in Summerland have set youth as a priority and he hopes to see them get involved with the initiative.

For individuals, a donation link is set up on the youth organization’s home page at sadi.ca. Donations are also being accepted at the organization’s office on Prairie Valley Road.