Penticton’s upcoming youth centre has cracked the $1-million mark in a $3-million fundraiser that began just a month ago. Submitted photo

Youth centre cracks $1M mark one month into fundraiser

The Community Foundation’s fundraiser kicked off on Dec. 5 with a goal of $3 million

A month into their fundraising campaign, already $1 million has rolled into the bank accounts for a new youth centre.

“Every dollar we get from fundraising brings us a step closer to this goal we’ve been working towards for so many years now,”said Sarah Wood, a grade 11 student at Princess Margaret Secondary and member of the YES (Youth Engagement Strategy) Steering Committee and YES youth advisor.

“We appreciate every donation and can’t wait for the future of the youth resource centre.”

Related: Penticton Youth Centre gains key resource

The Community Foundation of the South Okanagan/Similkameen announced the milestone in a Thursday news release, with fundraising chair Judy Lloyd calling Penticton a “very generous community.”

“We obviously aren’t done yet, but being one-third of the way to our $3-million goal after 30 days is fantastic,” Lloyd said in a news release.

The Community Foundation is set to take possession of the building at 501 Main Street on Jan. 15, after months of searching for a home and years of planning.

“We are really excited to get started with the building,” said Community Foundation SOS executive director Aaron McRann.

“We are in design meetings with our second floor tenants who are very eager to move in as soon as possible. It’s also amazing to have Foundry Penticton as an anchor tenant on the main floor of the building.”

Related: Penticton Youth Centre fundraising campaign begins

Foundry Penticton, whose partnership with the YES Project was announced in December, is set to open in late 2018 and will be run by the Penticton and District Community Resources Society.

“Our organization has been working collaboratively with the Community Foundation and many local service providers on the YES Project since 2013, so it’s really gratifying to see Penticton donors getting excited about creating this space for our youth,” said PDCRS executive director Tanya Behardien.

“Everyone working in this sector knows that our youth are struggling, and our community can do more to help them. Opening a Foundry that is equipped with care providers for any health need is a big step forward.”

The youth centre is intended to be a safe, inclusive one-stop shop for youth resources to help Penticton’s young population grow in self-esteem and become health adults.

Related: Youth Centre gets support from city

“It’s heartbreaking to know that any young person is struggling,” Lloyd said. “It is incumbent on all of us to show our youth that they are not alone. When youth are struggling, they absolutely must know that Penticton cares and that there is a safe and friendly place for them to find the help they need.”

Organizers say they will continue to reach out to the community to try to make that $3-million goal, with a charitable tax receipt available for donors.

Donations can be made at www.cfso.net or by calling the Community Foundation office at 250-493-9311.

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