Hundreds of community members came to see JoeAnna’s House officially open on Thursday night (Nov. 21).
After two years of fundraising and construction, the 20-bed house is finally ready to welcome families in need.
KGH Foundation’s CEO Doug Rankmore said the community’s generosity was incredible. He said they campaigned to raise $8 million, but the community went above and beyond to raise $10 million.
He said they wanted to open the house to the public before it became a home to out of town families.
“We wanted people to have a look at it before it became a home for people travelling for care. And this is a special project because this is a project Kelowna came together and generated over 4,000 individual gifts to make this a reality,” Rankmore said.
“And the interesting thing about it is no one from Kelowna will ever actually stay here. This is built for people from outlying communities… and it’s been built with the love and care of people from Kelowna. And that really means to me what Kelowna is all about.”
The city’s mayor Colin Basran also spoke a few words thanking the community.
“Our community saw a glaring need for a home like this, and our community came together to build it,” Mayor Basran said.
“We as a collective family rallied around this project through various events from slow-pitch tournaments to car rallies to raise funds to make sure this is going to become a reality. And all I can say is it’s great to see what’s possible – great things are possible – through the power of family.”
The house is named for Josef (Joe) and Anna Huber, founders of Prestige Hotels and Resorts. Their children wanted to have the home away from home built to honour their legacy in the Okanagan.