As we reach the ten-year mark since the closure of Summerland’s beloved Penny Lane stores in 2013, we also celebrate a decade of generosity from the Penny Lane Community Legacy Fund.
From the beginning, the Summerland Charity Shops Society, the driving force behind the Penny Lane outlet stores, embodied a community-first philosophy. The Society was conceived by the late Ellen Lloyd and founded in 2002 by Lloyd and dedicated longtime Summerlanders Bruce Hallquist, Orv Robson, Art Sewell, Allan Fabbi, and Scott Boswell. Together they embarked on a mission to make a positive impact, not just within the walls of their stores but throughout the entire community.
The Penny Lane store was born out of the goal to create a space and more activities for youth in Summerland. Penny Lane and the Summerland Charity Shops Society raised a remarkable $2 million from 2002 to 2013, which was channelled to support over 60 programs and projects, and employment opportunities at the stores for local youth.
In 2013, the Penny Lane stores faced a challenging period, prompted by the closure of their main supplier. To ensure that Penny Lane’s legacy continued, the Society made a strategic decision to close the stores and establish the Penny Lane Community Legacy Fund with the Community Foundation. This fund became a lasting tribute to the Society’s vision, enabling ongoing support for community initiatives focused on children and youth. The Penny Lane Community Legacy Fund has since granted over $120,000 to local youth organizations and will continue to give, year-after-year.
One beneficiary of the Legacy Fund’s support is the Agur Lake Camp Society. “The impact that the Penny Lane Fund has had on our organization is incredible. Thanks to their invaluable funding, we have been able to provide exceptional camping experiences to our visitors.” says Debbie Schneider, Agur Lake Camp Society.
Aside from the Legacy Fund’s annual grants, the Society has left its mark on numerous local projects and programs. Contributions have been made to support the Summerland Skate Park and the Penticton Youth Centre, and to establish bursaries at both Okanagan College and Summerland Secondary School. The Society is also the sole funder of the Penny Lane Pack Program, a program managed by the Summerland Food Bank which provides students with backpacks with food for the weekend.
“We would like to extend our heartfelt appreciations to the Penny Lane Fund, which has been a huge support to our Summerland Schools for many years. The Penny Lane Fund’s donations to both the Giant’s Head Elementary and Summerland Middle School’s breakfast programs has allowed hundreds of children each month the opportunity to have a free, healthy, and nutritious breakfast.” Says Kirsten Odian of School District 67.
The Penny Lane Community Legacy Fund stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of generosity, ensuring that Penny Lane and the Summerland Charity Shops Society’s impact continues to resonate within the heart of Summerland for years to come. As Bruce Hallquist notes, “So many years have passed since the Penny Lane stores closed. Many newcomers to Summerland probably don’t know about them, but we want the community to know that this Fund and its support for the community is still here.”