A Kelowna business held a fundraiser in a backyard to raise funds for Foundry Kelowna and knock down barriers around mental health.
The event dubbed Let’s Build Longer Tables, Not Taller Fences hosted by Innov8 Digital Solutions raised over $40,000 for Foundry Kelowna and the Canadian Mental Health Association on July 12 and featured music from Scotty Berg, a 12-year-old Kelowna singer, and country star, Aaron Pritchett.
“The message was really about treating mental health like any other illness; to support people that struggle,” said Katia Brosseau, director of marketing and client services at Innov8. “We had all of the tables arranged in one long set-up. Let’s Build Longer Tables, Not Taller Fences, and let’s support people with mental illness just like we do people with other illnesses.”
Katia and her husband Andre Brosseau, president of Innov8, hosted the fundraiser in the backyard of their Kelowna home. Katia said when the donations started coming in it was a domino effect.
“The crowd got challenged to raise $20,000 to receive an extra $10,000 from an anonymous donor. (Innov8) sponsored all the ticket sales and 130 people joined the sold-out event and this amazing group of friends all individually donated a $1,000,” she said.
“We were just short of a couple thousand and Andre‘s boot went around the crowd to reach the $20,000 goal. Then Jillian Harris texted me to help reach our goal with another $1000. We did it! Another anonymous donation of $5,000 was received right after and all together we are at $40,000. An unbelievable magical night.”
Foundry Kelowna has recently relocated to a temporary home at Central School after a fire shut down the centre on July 9. Katia said this event was already being planned at the time the fire happened.
“I had a gentleman text me the next day that he had never talked about his mental illness to anyone, ever, until that night; he just felt so relaxed,” said Katia. “It was such a relaxed and open atmosphere. That’s the goal.”