Residents in Lake Country are being asked to vote early and often for a contest beginning Dec. 1 to try and win $100

Lake Country Food Bank advances to finals of Aviva online contest

With $100,000 grand prize available, a panel of judges will now vote on winners in online contest

The Lake Country Food Bank has qualified for the finals of the Aviva Community Fund community contest and remains in line for some or all of a $100,000 grand prize that would allow the community to build a new food bank building.

The public cast enough votes in the semi-final round of voting in the Aviva contest, which looks at community projects across Canada with a panel of judges now set to decide which project will get the major boost in funding.

Hundreds of ideas were submitted in this year’s competition. As a finalist, the Lake Country Food Bank will receive  a minimum of $5,000 towards the building of the new food bank building. The judges will now determine which ideas will be Grand Prize winners, to be announced Jan. 27 and share in the $1,000,000 in prizing.

There are 40 ideas submitted in different categories that will be grand prize winners with the Aviva Community Fund disbursing  $1,000,000.

“I think we stand a very good chance,” said Bob Rymarchuk, who has been heading the fund-raising drive through the Rotary Club of Lake Country. “We are far further ahead in our planning and development than most other projects. We have a business plan. We’ve already raised more than half of what we need, in direct donations or in commitments of materials and services.”

The budget for a new building for the Lake Country Food Bank is set at $1,058,421. Much of this has already been raised through community fundraising. The municipality has donated land, valued at $262,000, with lease fees and taxes waived, and the Rotary Club of Lake Country has spearheaded community and foundations fundraising with $121,000 raised so far.

Commitments from local contractors and construction firms, University of BC Okanagan Faculty of Engineering, and Okanagan College’s Trades and Apprenticeship Program has been pledged, valued at over $265,000 in materials and services.

The Rotary Club of Lake Country says if the project were to receive the $100,000 grand prize it would push it over the top and construction on the building could begin next year.

The balance of $227,000 will be raised through community fundraising and capital funding by June, 2015.