Guests at the 2018 Offleashed Gala were treated to a surprise flash mob involving volunteers, staff and donors to the SPCA. Image contributed by the Kelowna SPCA.

Guests at the 2018 Offleashed Gala were treated to a surprise flash mob involving volunteers, staff and donors to the SPCA. Image contributed by the Kelowna SPCA.

Kelowna SPCA gala sets new fundraising record

The community came together to raise more than $161,000 for the Kelowna BC SPCA shelter.

There was a puppy cuddle lounge, an unexpected flash mob and a huge anonymous donation at this year’s record breaking BC SPCA Kelowna Offleashed Gala.

The 11th-annual event saw its biggest number yet with a last-minute anonymous $50,000 donation that brought the 2018 total to $161,673. The number toppling the previous record breaking amount of $150,000 set in 2015.

The gala took place at the Coast Capri in Kelowna on Nov. 3 with about 200 animal lovers in attendance.

Funds raised at the Offleashed Gala help the BC SPCA with animal welfare, including ending animal cruelty and creating caring and compassionate communities.

“This is an important event for us as it is our signature event of the year and we are so pleased to have such great sponsors and to raise money for vulnerable animals, that’s why we are here,” said Jenny Matechuk, community fundraising officer based at the Kelowna shelter.

The night included a cocktail and canapé reception, puppy cuddle lounge, three-course meal paired with local Okanagan wines, entertainment, dancing and a live auction.

Auctioneer Stuntman Steve Francis got the crowd fired up with large bids on fantastic getaways and items donated by B.C. companies that support the SPCA.

This year’s presenting sponsor was BMO Bank of Montreal, which also sponsored galas in Vancouver and Victoria. The Offleashed Gala in Vancouver managed to raise about $600,000 in the one night.

“For the Bank of Montreal giving back to our community is very important to our customers and to our employees, and specifically to the BC SPCA where so many of our employees are dedicated to helping to defend those that can’t defend themselves,” said John Duff, regional vice president with Bank of Montreal

Last year the BC SPCA helped more than 48,000 animals in distress and sheltered more than 26,000 animals throughout the society’s 44 locations.

A huge record-breaking night for the BC SPCA Kelowna Branch . The annual #offleashedkelowna event raised $161,673 for animals in need . Wow !! πŸΎπŸ’• BC SPCA (BCSPCA)

Posted by Kelowna Capital News on Saturday, November 3, 2018

Read more: Find me my furever home

Read more: ‘Offleashed’ in Kelowna

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