Nature’s Fare Markets and the communities of Vernon and Kelowna raised a whopping $30,000 for Okanagan Rail Trail construction in a two day matching fundraising campaign.
“We are thrilled,” said Alexa Monahan co-owner of family run business Nature’s Fare Markets. “This campaign exceeded our expectations. Our customers and visitors were extremely generous, and between the Kelowna and Vernon stores, contributed $15,124.64. Nature’s Fare is happy to join our customers in contributing $10,000 towards this valuable community project.”
On the last day of the campaign, when the totals posted outside of the store indicated that the response would exceed Nature’s Fare matching, an anonymous donor volunteered to make up the difference to reach a total of $30,000, according to Nature’s Fare.
“The matching campaign has been a great experience for our staff and customers,” said Claire Volpatti, Nature’s Fare co-owner. “Nature’s Fare challenges other businesses to come forward as rail trail business partners, and meet or beat our meters. With five or six similar business campaigns, we could fund a kilometre of trail, and this will build as more businesses come forward.”
This amount will fund 187.5m of the rail trail on the discontinued rail corridor between Coldstream and Kelowna.
“The success of this two day event demonstrates the power of donation matching. Supporters who had not yet come forward were motivated by the opportunity to double their donation,” said Heather Stewart, Kelowna Trail Ambassador. “It will be great to see businesses from Kelowna to Vernon stepping up to meet Nature’s Fare challenge and help make the trail happen.”
The rail trail fundraising campaign is community driven with volunteer Trail Ambassadors in Kelowna, Lake Country and Vernon working with campaign partners and business partners to raise awareness and inspire donations. The Community Foundation of North Okanagan and the Central Okanagan Foundation are collecting donations and providing tax receipts. Since the campaign began in May, communities have raised about $870,000, enough to fund nearly 5.5 km of trail construction.
“The response to the Nature’s Fare campaign has been fantastic,” said Brad Clements, trail ambassador. “It is important to keep up the momentum in order to be prepared to start trail work next spring. Any businesses who would like to join in the campaign should contact us through the website: www.okanaganrailtrail.ca.”