$300,000 goes toward kid’s safety facilities in Rutland

The Kelowna and District Safety Council will be upgrading its facilities

Rutland kids are getting safer facilities to play in.

The Kelowna and District Safety Council announced the start of a three-year, $300,000 campaign today for children’s safety in support of a long overdue upgrade to its Rutland facilities and programs.

The fundraising goal for 2018 is set at $75,000, with an additional $225,000 to be raised in 2019 and 2020, in time for the organization’s 40th anniversary.

Since its inception in 1980, virtually everyone in the Okanagan has been touched by the KDSC’s vision of safety for citizens of all ages, but most will remember it by the charming little Safety Village across from the YMCA that has been a rite of passage for generations of local children over the years, according to the organization’s news release.

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Its range of programs – from children’s pedestrian and cycling safety, babysitting, first aid and home alone skills, to driving and motorcycle safety for youth and adults – has helped thousands more lead better, safer, more enjoyable lives, the release said.

“Over the years, KDSC has evolved to serve the changing needs of our changing society. Because we are mission-driven, we constantly work to ensure that our programs are accessible and relevant. For many of our programs, we’re able to offer grant-funded scholarships to individuals, children and families of reduced means,” ” sais John Grimes, the non-profit charity’s executive director.

Grimes said that years of use by little tykes have taken a toll on the facility and popular peddle-car small track. “The pavement needs resurfacing, lines need to be repainted, and the pedal cars – which everyone seems to have ridden as a child or had a child that has ridden – need refurbishment. In addition, the classroom used for all of our programs needs upgrades, such as new chairs and carpeting.”

In addition to facility repairs, funds raised will be used to upgrade existing programs as well as offer new ones, such as teen anti-bullying and suicide-prevention coaching, and children’s personal safety. A portion will also go to scholarships to ensure accessibility for all.

If you want to name a street, or a car, or learn about other opportunities for you, your business, or your organization can assist, call 250-765-3163, email or go visit the organization’s website to make a donation.

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