Celebrating seven decades of local love together, from home.

November 19, 2020 – The community really showed up Thursday night, together but apart, to support the United Way’s 70th Anniversary “Stay at Home” Gala presented by Sun Life. The fundraiser was forced to go virtual due to the pandemic but proved to be an evening of great retrospect and celebration. Raising over $70,000, the event was hosted by Robert Fine and took guests through seven decades of local love with performances from nine local bands and musicians, and appearances from many familiar faces connected with United Way over those decades.

The champions of the evening were the many donors, sponsors, event partners, speakers and volunteers who contributed to the end result through ticket sales, donations, and online auction sales. Donations are still being accepted until Giving Tuesday, December 1st at: locallove70.com

A huge thank you goes out to everyone involved but especially to the speakers who told their stories of how United Way changed their lives for the better through investments and partnerships with local programs. It was inspiring to hear their stories and see the incredible progress that Andrew, Jordan and Ben had made thanks to their community supports and resilience.


“We are so grateful to all our performers and guest speakers for their contributions and to everyone who bought tickets, or donated and were a part of this event,” says Jude Brunt, Events Manager for United Way SIBC. “Thank you so much for sharing your local love. If we all tell one more person of the needs in our community and how we can all work together to help our neighbours like Andrew, Ben, Jordan and others,  then gradually our local social issues will become #UNIGNORABLE and we can all focus on solutions.”

The event started out with local musician, Jeff Piattelli entertaining the crowd followed by a welcome from Robert Fine and cocktail class hosted by Colin MacDougall of beverage sponsor, Corby. Many guests purchased a “Born to Shake” cocktail kit and Colin provided an excellent demonstration on how to make the signature evening cocktail with Ungava Gin dubbed “7 Reasons, 1 Season”. The result was a tasty gin cocktail for all who participated to enjoy.

In addition to celebrating with a special cocktail, guests were encouraged to support local by ordering a special take out gala night dinner from participating restaurants in:

Kelowna: Freddy’s Brew Pub 
Penticton: Brodo Kitchen
Vernon: The Med Express

The main show kicked off with an address by Kahir Lalji, Executive Director followed by the seven decade guest speakers and musical performances.

The 7 decades of local love were introduced by sponsors, former Chairs and local personalities who brought us back to what was happening in the Central Okanagan at that point in time. They then introduced the musical performances. Thanks to Nick Arkle with Gorman Bros Lumber, Scott Lanigan of Trinity Baptist, Karen Hill with Black Press Media, Rachel Renaud of the Roasters Foundation, Maxine DeHart, Rick Maddison of Tempest Media standing in for Jeff Parker Real Estate, Craig Pelletier with Sun Life, and Paul Tonita of Pushor Mitchell.


Other notables from the evening:

  • The online auction raised over $5200 thanks to all the generous bidders and donors including Alex Fong, Corby, Bell Media, BC Wineshop, Black Press Media, Castanet, Global Okanagan, OK Tire Rutland, Penticton Lakeside Resort, Tempest Media, and many more!
  • The door prize which consisted of an incredible $1000 “Invest Your Way” donation from Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union plus an Alex Fong “United Way” print was won by Dale Krebbers. The Krebbers then generously donated $1000 back to the fundraiser!
  • Thanks to the many sponsors and partners who supported this event:


Event Materials:

Facebook Photo Album

Download Event Poster

Gala Credits (complete list of partners, sponsors and contributors)

Watch the recording of the show!