When you get a chance to enjoy great food, warm company, and support a cause near and dear to your heart, that’s an opportunity you don’t want to miss. The organizers of Okanagan Oktoberfeast offer this to our community annually, with proceeds contributing to important local causes. For the last two years, Oktoberfeast has supported youth mental health initiatives through the Canadian Mental Health Association, Kelowna and District Branch (CMHA Kelowna).
Over 100 people attended Oktoberfeast this year, raising $12,000 towards the opening of an integrated youth clinic in Kelowna. Guests were treated to live music and a menu of wild fish and game. Delicacies included scallops with wild boar bacon, venison sliders, ostrich liver terrine, and over two dozen other creations.
As part of the BC Integrated Youth Services Initiative, the integrated youth clinic will be a world-class centre. Set to open in March 2017, it will enable young people struggling with mental health and/or substance use issues to gain easy access to services including primary care, mental health, substance use, counseling, and social services such as access to housing, employment and education support, and more. “The funds raised by this year’s Oktoberfeast event will contribute to the establishment of this clinic that is so urgently needed. Young people and families will be able to get the help they need, when they need it.” says Shelagh Turner, Executive Director of CMHA Kelowna.
Oktoberfeast is presented by Peacock Financial Group, the KGH ER Department, and the Bohemian Café and Catering Co. “We are so thrilled to be able to support the opening of a youth clinic in Kelowna,” says Dr. Mike Ertel. “In the hospital, in the emergency department, we’ve seen first hand the crisis children and youth are facing when it comes to mental health. We need to do better.”
In partnership with the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation, CMHA Kelowna is looking to the community to raise the two million dollars needed to establish this clinic, support annual program initiatives, and allow for ongoing innovation over the next three years. If you would like to help, please visit https://cmhakelowna.com/donateforyouth