Kelowna took another big step in becoming a more animal humane community in supporting the local SPCA branch’s 7th annual fundraising gala.
More than 220 people attended the event at the Coast Capri Hotel, with money being raised money through live auction, silent auction and the gala ticket sales.
Global BC TV news anchor Chris Gailus was the MC for the fundraiser, which this year saw similar events held in Vancouver and in Langford on Vancouver Island, setting up a fun competition as to which community would raise the most money from their gala event.
Kelowna philanthropist Tom Budd, who was honoured along with his sons Dillon and Peyton as the SPCA philanthropist of the year, said he was proud of his sons for getting him involved in the SPCA’s endeavours, and for the pleasure and joy he has gained from that experience.
“I see the growth of my sons through this and while people offer feelings of thanks for the our support, it is me who should be giving thanks…for often our dogs treat us better than our friends,” he said.
Budd cited how he was recently cleaning out his condo in Calgary and came across a photo of his dog, who died 15 years ago, and just seeing that photo gave him a sense of emotion about how much he misses that pet, how it touched his life still today.
“I cried over seeing the picture,” he said, citing how strong the bond between a dog and his or her owner truly touches one’s heart.
Donations helped raise money for three funding priorities for the local SPCA branch this year. A permanent pet identification initiative to help relocate lost pets with their owners had its $5,000 cost covered, while donations were close to fulfilling two other projects—a “raising the barn” emergency shelter for larger breed farm animals ($15,000) and a spay neuter initiative to help fight pet overpopulation ($28,000).
Among the other live auction prize packages, Kelowna Rockets suite for 10 for game at Prospera Place, $950; an Alex Fong customized original painting, $4,000; pet home makeover donated by Rock House Style, $1,000; Big White getaway, $1,500; eight bottles of 2003 Pichon Longueville Baron from the private wine cellar of Tom Budd, $2,250; three-night stay at the Free Rein Guest Ranch, $1,500; and a two-night stay at The Hotel Grand Pacific and whale watching tour on Vancouver Island, $2,000.