When Tom and Sue Kelly used to drive home from Penticton at the end of a work day, turning into quiet Kaleden gave them both such a sense of peace. “The stress was just instantly removed. It was a place to let your shoulders relax, and to spend time with family.”
Preserving this piece of paradise for others to enjoy is what spurred the Kellys to give a sizeable gift to the newly-developed Kaleden Community Fund. “I just want Kaleden to stay a special place forever,” says Sue. “I’m so grateful for where we live.”
It’s not just the natural beauty of Kaleden but the people who make it special. Kelly admires this community spirit, knowing that the sense of calm and peace is actually the result of many people’s hard work – volunteering on community projects large and small.
“Look at the group that was working so hard to preserve Sickle Point,” says Sue. “Just last week, the volunteer fire department was out all night searching for an elderly woman with dementia.”
She also points out that smaller projects make Kaleden a better community for all. “Right now, we’re putting a plaque with a QR code on the hotel. There are so many cyclists and people walking by, asking if someone can tell them about it. Now, it’s great. They’ll be able to scan their phone and learn about this piece of history.”
With their gift of $100,000 – the largest donation ever given to a local community fund – the Kellys hope to provide stable funding for Kaleden projects for years to come. Ironically, Sue sees their act of generosity as a pretty good deal. “If you look it, that’s only $2,500 for every year of the 40 years we’ve lived here.”
It feels right to be generous towards a community so filled with other generous people – whether they are giving donations, ideas, enthusiasm or time. In fact, Sue says the number of residents who support Kaleden is simply too long to list. At a centennial barbeque more than 600 people turned out. “We had people from across Canada coming back to join in the celebration because this place means so much to them.”
Sue encourages others to think of donating to the community fund as a way to make their donated dollars go further, adding that the community fund can provide for all kinds of arts and sports activities, events, programs and infrastructure, year after year.
“I know firsthand the difference that community funds can make,” says Sue, who has many years of experience working in finance, volunteering, and even serving as board chair for the Community Foundation for several years. Whether large or small, a donation to the fund is an excellent way to ensure that the community continues to thrive.
“There’s so many great ideas for Kaleden to make it better. When people contribute to the fund, it makes the annual income grow and grow, and it will all be spent on this community. It’s a great way for us to preserve what is near and dear to our heart.”