I would like to comment on the letter to the editor from Elizabeth Hill in the Sept 1 Review.
Thank you Elizabeth for supporting the youth of Summerland in particular the Summerland Blossom Pageant and Royalty Program.
Yes, the Sister City trip to Japan is a huge undertaking for both the Royalty and the committee who run the program.
With four Royalty members representing Summerland in Japan this year, the total amount to fundraise was $12,000.
I too strongly believe in fostering the relationship between Toyokoro and Summerland and providing our royalty with the opportunity to travel as ambassadors and showcase our town and all that we have to offer.
For these reasons we graciously accept the invitation to travel to Japan each time the sister city trip occurs. Summerland’s Royalty and the Royalty committee also provide homestay accommodations for the students and adults visiting from Toyokoro each year.
The mayor and council did originally approve $500 in funding for the trip at the June 27 council meeting. Following that there was a meeting between Sister City Committee members, Blossom Pageant members and city hall staff.
The mayor and council approved an additional $1,500 in funding at the Aug. 22 council meeting.
The funding is greatly appreciated and needed and we hope to continue to receive funding from the city for the royalty to attend the sister city trips in the future.
We would also like to thank all of the local businesses who assisted with our fundraiser and purchased advertising in the royalty’s gift to the town of Toyokoro.
Thank you to the community of Summerland for opening your doors and donating your bottles to our bottle drives.
The Summerland Blossom Pageant and Royalty Program’s mandate is to promote education and self esteem while creating leaders of the future and forging links of friendships between communities.
Having said that, I also agree with Elizabeth that Summerland should absolutely have a float in parades.
The Royalty do participate in many events in other communities throughout B.C. however, there are also a lot of events they do not get asked to attend because we do not provide a float for parades.
We have checked into this many times but have never built a float due to time, costs and storage. However we are certainly open to the idea if anyone has suggestions.