Standing in support of the JoeAnna’s House fundraising campaign are (from left) Vernon Lodge general manager David Gibbs, Vernon Prestige hotel general manager Clara Snedden, Vernon mom Alana Rudrum and Kelowna General Hospital Foundation director of philanthropy Mischa Mueller. (Barry Gerding/Morning Star)

‘Savour the Okanagan’ fundraiser in Vernon Saturday

All contributions and proceeds will go towards JoeAnna’s House

The Prestige Hotel & Bourbon Street Bar & Grill are hosting their 5th annual “Savour The Okanagan” Wine tasting event this Saturday.

The event will run from 7 to 9:30 p.m and will feature wineries, spirits and beer. Bourbon Street will be offering fresh unique hors d’oeuvres made with local ingredients served Tapas Style from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Guests will walk around to each vendor and sample products while listening to the soft music of Stevie Todd. The room will be filled with cocktail tables under twinkling lights draped over the ceiling for a fun social summer event.

Proceeds from the event and the silent auction will be going to a local charity. This year, Prestige Hotel is partnering with the KGH foundation to build JoeAnna’s House. This charity has a special connection to the hotel as Joe and Anna Huber actually founded The Prestige Hotels.

Related: An evening to savour flavours

Related: Charity event savours local flavours

In their darkest hour, when families need it the most, JoeAnna’s House provides a welcoming home away from home. The stories are all too familiar: a loved one has been in a terrible accident; a child is sick; a baby arriving too soon.

In a moment, everything changes. The local hospital doesn’t have the level of life-saving, specialist care needed. Often, people must then decide whether to leave your home — and everything that feels known and safe — or to be apart during the most difficult time in your family’s life. For many families, there is no choice.

“JoeAnna’s House to my family would mean the world,” said Lisa Dear, mother of Zach Dear, who was born prematurely in Creston and promptly transported to KGH for care.

After two days, Lisa was discharged, but Zach remained in the Neonatal ICU for an additional five weeks.

“It would have meant that every single day I could have been there for my son,” she said. “We were hundreds of miles from home, Zach was in the NICU for 35 days and we had nowhere to stay.”

The goal is to help families like the Dears.

Related: Home for KGH out of town families gaining steam

JoeAnna’s House will be located on the KGH campus at the corner of Royal Avenue and Abbott Street. The two-story home, approximately 10,000 sq. feet in size will offer 20 private bedrooms with shared kitchen, living room and amenities for families on the main floor. Construction is expected to begin in fall 2018 with completion in fall of 2019.

This charity will allow the community to help make this a reality through the ‘Savour the Okanagan’ event on July 21.

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