Guests mingle during last year’s A Taste of B.C.’s Finest event.

‘Gourmet’ fundraiser on tap

Semiahmoo House’s 11th annual A Taste of B.C.’s Finest event set for May 23.

Semiahmoo House Society is getting set for its biggest fundraiser of the year – for one of the organization’s most important programs.

On Saturday, May 23, Semiahmoo House – a non-profit organization that provides support and services for people with disabilities and their families – will host more than 450 people at its A Taste of B.C.’s Finest event, which is now in its 11th year.

Billed as a “gourmet extravaganza,” the event will feature food, wine and beer tastings from more than 40 vendors, as well as music, door prizes, raffle draws and more. This year, two 30-minute wine-tasting tutorials will also be held.

Over the past decade, the fundraiser has brought in between $40,000-$50,000, which goes to support Semiahmoo House’s recreation and leisure programs.

This year, organizers are hoping to raise over $50,000.

“We don’t get any government funding for our rec and leisure services, and about 10 years ago, we thought an event like this would be a good way to support them,” said Semiahmoo House executive director Doug Tennant.

The recreation and leisure services include “a wide variety of different events for people with developmental disabilities,” Tennant explained.

“A whole pile of activities – from a photo club, to yoga, or for social (nights) where they’ll go, as a group, to the casino, or to the movies.

“Basically, it gives them the opportunity to do what anybody else their age is able to do.”

Many friendships are formed among those involved in the various clubs and social groups, which, Tennant added, is important, as having a developmental disability can sometimes be isolating.

“It’s sort of an invisible barrier. A lot of (our clients) they wouldn’t get to go out to these things without their families, or go out at night to these types of things, so it can be lonely for them,” he said. “But now they’re out in a group, meeting people. It opens up a big world for them.”

Speaking of opening up big worlds, Tennant said that another benefit of the Taste of B.C.’s Finest event is that it gives the community and chance to come by and see what Semiahmoo House is all about.

“Fundraising is always important with an event like this, but more than anything else, this is a chance for us to invite the community into our building and thank them all for their support,” he said.

Tickets to the event are $75. For more information, visit www.atasteofbcsfinest.ca, email events@shsbc.ca or call 604-536-1242.

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