The sold-out Allan Brooks annual fundraiser, held at O’Keefe Ranch, “was the best of the Wine and Wild West fundraisers, raising more than $60,000 towards education programs for children and families throughout the Okanagan,” said communications director Julie Melanson.
Guests to the event were greeted with a cocktail from Okanagan Spirits and servers carried dozens of trays of finger food created by Gum Tree Catering.
MC Brian Martin kept the evening’s events rolling along.
Legendary auctioneer Don Raffin came out of retirement to conduct the live auction. “The hit of the night was the fast talking bidding on the getaway to Wittenham House in South Oxfordshire, England,” said Melanson.
Attendees enjoyed carriage rides and practiced throwing a lariat.
After the silent and live auctions were completed, country music entertainer Rob Dinwoodie, Julia Newton and Dixon Zalit provided music around the campfire.
Board chair Jim Popowich thanked those in attendance and the sponsors for their donations that will permit the nature centre to offer education programs during the next year and to expand the school programs. “We’re able to offer busing grants to schools in low socio-economic neighbourhoods,” Popowich said.
“We can also offer our “Send a kid to camp” activities to low income families. A child may encounter their first snake on our grassland trail, or discover the joy of seeing a live beehive in our Interpretative Centre.”
“We have the opportunity to create experiences for over 5,000 kids in the coming year.”