Hodge: Fundraising events coming

Kelowna columnist Charlie Hodge and his weekly column

By Charlie Hodge

Not sure about you but at the Hodge House we are more than ready for spring. There are a number of ways of getting excited about the pending warmer weather aside from dreaming about gardening, including making plans to attend various fun fundraising events. My calendar has a number already in place so I share a few with you today.

Top of the list is an event that will not only warm your heart but also your tummy. Dear friend and cohort politician (but don’t hold that against him) Keith ‘Papa’ Thom is holding his annual fun food fundraiser later this month.

Thom, of Peachland City Council and professional musician fame, is hosting his second annual Shepherd’s Pie Cook-off 4 Kids Camp campaign on March 15 at the Blind Angler in Peachland. This filling fundraiser will see Keith put his cooking skills up to public scrutiny against a ‘real’ local cook, Chef Leigh. All proceeds from the event go towards assisting the Silver Lake Camp for kids.

Due to popularity two different sessions will be held that day with the first seating at 5:30 p.m. and the second at 7 p.m. Reservations are recommended by calling 250-767-9264.

Last year’s event saw Thom get his butt kicked by food voters in attendance that gave their nod for their favourite of the two yummy recipes to chef Leigh. Keith, a bit of a sore loser (as most cranky musicians and politicians are), has vowed to return the resounding defeat. Rumour has it that Thom has been practising his new and improved menu for weeks.

Hopefully attendees at the fun fundraiser will also be treated to few tunes by the talented troubadour when the food is all done.

Keith is well known across Canada for his Shepherd’s Pier Tour which he held for eight summers. Thom travelled from Ontario to B.C. visiting various homeless shelters along the way, cooking shepherd’s pie for the crowds prior to performing a number of songs.


If for some (bizarre) reason shepherd’s pie is not your thing then how about taking in a very worthy fundraising event which assists Kelowna General Hospital and the B.C. Children’s Hospital?

Organized for 15 years now (11 in Vancouver, three in Kelowna) by Bernie Ryan – Bands, Burgers, Beer and Balding is another great event involving food, music, libations, and fun in fundraising for a fabulous cause. This one is set for the Laurel Packinghouse on April 7 and raises needed dollars in the ongoing battle to conquer cancer.

Nominated by BCCH and KGH the event received the prestigious Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Giving Hearts Award for Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser of the year in 2017. Bernie has raised more than $200,000 for BC Children’s Hospital Oncology over the past 14 years plus $45,000 for children at KGH during the past three years. KGH now has a room named after the event.

Participants can rest assured that every penny raised goes towards the two charity groups as all prizes and expenses are covered by sponsors.

“Absolutely 100 per cent of what’s received goes to the cause with 50 per cent to each hospital. Even the volunteers pay to get in. Nobody makes a penny,” Ryan says of the great night.

All tickets must be pre-sold so order them now. Last year more than 225 folks attended, danced to the sounds of Kelowna’s own Fighting Orange, enjoyed local wines and beers, and won from an incredible large selection of prizes.

In addition and as part of the entertainment four volunteers will be having their head shaved at the event including two women who will be donating their hair to make wigs for kids. For further info go to facebook.com/bandsburgersbeersbalding.


And last but not least plan now for a fabulous day of golf, once again including great music, food and libations. (Sensing a theme here folks?) This year’s annual and very popular Gonzo Okanagan Music Industry Golf Tournament is set for June 15 at the Sunset Ranch Golf and Country Club.

“It’s all about, good, positive vibes, great music all day and night, and an incredible cause and vision,” says co-organizer Brad Krauza.

“Our mission with this event is to do something a bit different when it comes to golf tournaments. There will be some form of music at every tee box and we are tying it in with supporting a family from the B.C. interior in dire need of financial assistance for medical treatment of their child. We are turning the golf course into a festival ground and beverage garden for the awards and concert.”

For further information regarding the golf tournament and rules contact Jason Wolsey at jason.wolsey@gmail.com or call at 250-801-4993. For information regarding sponsor packages, music, or registration contact Krauza at 250-899-2112.

Charlie Hodge has been writing for the Capital News since the late 1970s.

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