School District 27 teachers and staff are hosting a variety show and silent auction this Saturday evening to raise funds for the Williams Lake Food Bank.
The adult event is part of an ongoing Poverty Challenge effort by the secondary teachers and staff to raise food and funds for the food bank, says co-organizer and retired School District 27 support staffer Grant MacLeod.
“We are trying to help out the food bank because we think it is a vital resource in our community and they need all the help they can get,” MacLeod says.
“We are hoping some day food banks won’t be needed but until that day we like to try and help.”
He says the fundraiser is so important for the community that the organizers decided to send an invitation to Premier Christy Clark.
“The premier couldn’t attend but we had a nice response from her office within three days of sending the letter,” MacLeod says.
The variety show and silent auction will be held at the Ramada/Overlander Convention Centre Saturday evening, Nov. 23 starting at 7 p.m. with performances by Drum and Bell Tower, Samira Bellydance, Carmen Mutschele, Troy Forcier, Sage Trampleasure, and music teacher Dena Baumann who are all donating their time and talent for the event.
In addition to snacks MacLeod says there will be lots of interesting items in the silent auction including a trip to Las Vegas and a signed Carey Price jersey. He says the face value of the donated items is about $8,500.
“Eighty one businesses donated approximately 100 items for the cause including a few out of town business,” MacLeod says. “The local businesses have been very generous to our cause. The fact that the money is all staying in Williams Lake makes a difference too.”
Tickets are $15 and available at the School District 27 main office on Second Avenue until 4:30 p.m. today, Friday, Nov. 22 or at the main offices of the Columneetza and Williams Lake campuses until 4 p.m.
MacLeod says secondary teachers and staff are also working on an Empty Bowl Project and Talent Show event to support the food bank.
This event was originally scheduled for Dec. 5 but has now been postponed to early in the new year. With help from their art teachers students at the secondary schools are making clay bowls that will be sold for $15 each or $25 for two during the family event where participants will be given a bowl of soup and get to keep the bowl it comes in.
He says the teachers and staff at the former Williams Lake Secondary School raised funds for the pottery supplies and to host this Saturday’s fundraiser by selling waffles and ice-cream last May and June during the school lunch hours.
School district fundraising for the food bank also included a poverty challenge issued last year by Columneetza teacher Shannon Rerie. She challenged teachers and staff to try and live on the poverty level food budget of $26 a week or donate the equivalent funds to the food bank.
In November 2012, he says the poverty challenge raised $6,240 in one week. The challenge continues this fall.
This spring he says he and teacher Joan Erb went to the food bank to see what had become of the poverty challenge donation.
They found the shelves bare and went back to the then two high schools to initiate a food drive.
The goal was to collect a ton of food collect a ton of food (approximately 3,200 10-ounce cans of food).
With help from the Williams Lake Truck Loggers he says the schools exceeded their goal in collecting 4,200 food items.
This fall the secondary schools, elementary schools and board office staff joined in another food drive that was recently completed.
Lake City Secondary also issued a challenge to the Williams Lake Downtown Business Improvement Area to collect food for the cause.
Collectively, MacLeod says everyone raised 7,437 food items or the equivalent of 2.3 tons of food for the food bank.
“Everyone is generous around Christmas time but it is important to remember that the needs go on all year long,” says McLeod.