Wolf Depner/News Staff

Kelowna kids safety organization may shut its doors

The Kelowna and District Safety Council faces funding problems

The Kelowna and District Safety Council may be shutting down due to lack of funding.

Executive director John Grimes announced the organization is facing significant financial hardship and may be in danger, after nearly forty years, of closing its doors, according to the non-profit’s news release.

“Here at KDSC, we always taken pride in the fact that while many non-profits are sustained by significant operating support from government – municipal, provincial, federal – our revenues are largely self-generated, in the form of tuitions for our various safety courses,” Grimes said. “This year, however, a combination of factors, including vandalism and low summer motorcycle training enrollments – due to smoky conditions – have resulted in severely reduced funds with which to finish the year.”

Since its founding in 1980, tens of thousands of people, from toddlers to teenagers, adults, and seniors have led safer and more enjoyable lives because of the range of courses KDSC has provided, Grimes went on to say. “I began here as executive director in April, inspired by KDSC’s long record of service, its vision of ‘safety is everything’, and its potential for continued service to the community.”

READ MORE: Kelowna kids safety organization needs your help

KDSC had previously announced its Campaign for Children’s Safety, designed to raise $300,000 in time for its fortieth anniversary in 2020.

“More than ever, I am still inspired by KDSC’s mission, and committed to a future of service to the community, but our current financial position requires that we make an urgent and immediate appeal to the community for financial support,” Grimes said.

KDSC came into being in 1980 because of a public commitment to the cause of community safety, and through essential partnerships, including with the City of Kelowna, and the Rutland neighborhood, where it is located.

“I am confident that community safety is still a deeply rooted value here in the Okanagan. Hopefully, by working together, KDSC can continue to survive, and ultimately thrive, in its vital service to the people of Kelowna and beyond.” Most people care deeply about safety, Grimes believes, but may take it for granted until something happens that affects them directly. Safety is more important to our community now than ever, he points out. “Safety really is everything. Without safety, community, family life, education, and recreation are all undermined, and the quality of life of everyone suffers.”

“If you care about community safety, and especially children’s safety, now is the time to give,” Grimes emphasized.

Gifts in any amount are welcome. A GoFundMe page has been established at https://www.gofundme.com/children039s-safety.

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