Pictured from the left are CDC board members Deanna Phillips, Chad Matthies, Peter Bowman, Williams Lake Beer Festival directors Al Becker and Joel Martin, CDC executive director Nancy Gale, CDC board members Connie Sauter, Eric Johansen, beer festival director Adele Hamilton, CDC board member Ralph Fowler, beer festival director Brandon Nikolaisen and his wife, Brandi with their daughter, Leah, seven months. The CDC board also includes Jan Hermiston, Sara Hutchins, Elaine Watt, Cathy Chernoff, and Arla Driver who are not pictured. Beer festival committee members not pictured also include Dave Dickson, Dave Reedman, Jason Pole, Nicole Martin, and Tracy Becker. Gaeil Farrar photo

Williams Lake Beer Festival raises $30,000 for CDC playground upgrade

The third annual Williams Lake Beer Festival raises $30,000 for CDC playground upgrade

The Williams Lake Craft Beer Festival held in February was far more successful than organizers ever expected, raising a total of $30,000 for the Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre.

“We were really proud to write the CCCDC a cheque for $30,000 this year, which surpassed our goal of $25,000,” said organizing committee member Brandon Nikolaisen.

“This is a milestone for us,” Nikolaisen said. “And a big part of our success has been the sponsorship and support we have received from local businesses throughout the community.”

The funds will be used to repair and upgrade the CDC’s playground which has had heavy use over the past 15 years, said executive director Nancy Gale.

“When the CDC is not in operation the playground is open to the general public and is one of the most popular playgrounds in the community,” Gale said.

She said the entire playground needs to be re-levelled and the equipment reset for safety reasons.

The wood on the big toy is also splintering and cracking causing children to get slivers which can become infected.

Some of the money will be put toward purchasing a new wheelchair accessible plastic big toy that would have a longer shelf life.

Some of the money will also go towards replacing the soft drop-mats in the playground which are deteriorating and lifting making it difficult for children with mobility issues to get around on them.

The third annual Williams Lake Craft Beer Festival held Feb 18 at Thompson Rivers University in Williams Lake, featured beer from 23 breweries around the province and was attended by 425 guests, Nikolaisen said.

“During the event, there is beer tasting, food is served and we give our guests the opportunity to interact directly with brewery representatives to discuss some of the best craft beer B.C. has to offer,” Nikolaisen said.

Participants received a small glass with the festival logo on it to take home and use to sample offerings from local breweries such as Barkerville Brewing and Red Collar Brewing to breweries in Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, Port Moody and Ontario.

Four Winds Brewing from Delta B.C. won the fan favourite trophy for their beer “Apparition,” a west coast white ale from their Zephyrus series of beers, Nikolaisen said.

Free rides home were provided at the end of the evening.

He said the event was so successful this year that the organizing committee is already reviewing options for next year’s event.

In addition to Nikolaisen, the beer-fest is organized by co-chairs Adele Hamilton and Joel Martin and committee directors Al Becker, Dave Dickson, Dave Reedman, Jason Pole, Nicole Martin and Tracy Becker.

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