National pride, community spirit and outstanding generosity has resulted in a summer surge of fundraising for the Okanagan Rail Trail.
In the first 10 days of July, $450,422 was raised, putting the campaign total now close to $700,000, and nearly 4.4 km of trail construction funded.
At the end of June, an anonymous donor came forward with an idea for a matching fund challenge, beginning on Canada Day. This patriotic donor offered up to $50,000 in matching funds for donations given from July 1st to July 10th. With $33,000 coming in in the first three days, the donor increased the matching challenge to $100,000. When it looked like the $100,000 might be met, the anonymous donor was thrilled with the response, and did not want to dampen the enthusiasm.
“It was just so exciting to see the donations coming in, I wanted to see it continue”, remarked the generous donor. I never imagined the donations would more than double the $100,000 I already provided.”
The Canada Day Matching Funds Challenge brought in a total of $225,211 from 876 donors, and another surprise. Don and Cathy Archibald, long time supporters of the rail trail, and North Okanagan homeowners, stepped forward and offered to assist the matching program to ensure it provided maximum benefit. Between the Archibalds and the original donor, the $225,211 raised will be matched, providing $450,422 towards the construction of the trail.
“This trail will help shape the future of this valley and provide an incredible legacy for our communities” said Don Archibald. “We need to do all we can to ensure this trail gets built as soon as possible to allow us all to enjoy the benefits”.
“The campaign is grateful for these two generous donors to spearhead the Canada Day Matching Challenge, and the response by each of the 876 donors,” said Duane Thomson, trail ambassador. “The success of the Canada Day challenge means that the first stage of trail development (design and access control) can soon begin. It has also stimulated fundraising ideas by businesses and trail ambassadors, and will help the campaign continue to build momentum.”
To make on online donation, go to www.okanaganrailtrail.ca and click the donate now button. Donations are also accepted at the community foundations listed below. Donations of securities can also be made at either foundation.
North Okanagan Community Foundation
3402 27 Ave, Vernon, BC V1T 1S Ph: (250) 542-8677
Central Okanagan Community Foundation
#225-1889 Springfield Road, Kelowna, BC V1Y 5V5 Ph: (250) 861-6160