Published On: Wednesday, 03 August 2016

Penticton's Cherry Lane Centre: Big Community Contributor

Penticton's Cherry Lane Centre: Big Community Contributor

- Brandy Maslowski is the executive director of the Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached email at director@penticton.org.

PENTICTON - When you stroll through the Cherry Lane Shopping Centre in Penticton and consider the employment opportunities, the surrounding real estate development and the community interaction it creates, you can be certain the mall brings clear benefits to the community.

With a large focus on shop local in recent years, much voice in the news has been given to the independent shop owner or the local farmers market, which truly bring great value to the business culture of Penticton, but we cannot ignore the gentle giant at our city’s core.

If you look at where developers want to build more housing, it’s often near a mall that can support that growth. When you consider transportation, the mall is easily accessible on a main thoroughfare. If you are looking to shop for groceries, clothing, electronics, shoes, food and more, all at once, in the same place, while shopping local, Cherry Lane Shopping Centre is a great choice.

When it comes to community support, Cherry Lane has been putting on the burners in recent years to give back. Speaking with Cherry Lane Marketing Director Andrea Davison it’s clear, “We have a focus on giving back each year to sponsor charities and events throughout the community,” she says, “but it’s not something we are really known for. We just do it.”

With that touch of modesty, I was compelled to do a bit more digging to see what Andrea was really talking about and I found that Cherry Lane offers free space for tables, booths, displays and more to dozens of local registered non-profit organizations to raise money or sell tickets for their cause. These organizations have included SOVAS, SOWINS, the MS Society, BC Cancer Society, the Heart & Stroke Foundation and the Penticton Chamber of Commerce, just to name a few.

At the risk of sounding too ‘listy’, let’s rattle off the community events Cherry Lane has supported over the years. They’ve sponsored the Penticton Peach Festival, Challenge Penticton, the Granfondo, Penticton Jazz Festival, and the Elvis Festival, plus 3 hockey clubs; the Penticton Vees, Osoyoos Coyotes and the Summerland Steam.   

But getting back to the entire point of the tagline – one story at a time – the main charity of choice that Cherry Lane Shopping Centre has committed to for the next 5 years is the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation’s new hospital tower. It’s called the Stories Building Storeys Campaign and you can find out info on how to share your story at Cherry Lane from now until 2020.

The key points of the campaign are to create awareness, recognize donors, stir up community spirit, act as a showcase for the cause and offer space for the community to gather their support. It’s a brilliant idea that will go a long way to create awareness for the hospital tower project.

The next time you wander by the line up of several dozen families waiting patiently for their moment with Santa in the mall, know that the mall takes nothing. Every penny from Cherry Lane’s share went to the hospital tower project and it totalled more than $12,000. Do you want to save money and wrap your holiday gifts yourself?

Every dollar of Cherry Lane’s Christmas Giftwrap Program, manned by the Penticton Hospital Auxiliary for the Christmas season, helps the hospital tower as well and they raised over $7,000 in 2015. Cherry Lane has committed these funds to the tower for the next 5 years so give yourself a break from wrapping and lay your change on the table.

The Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce is proud to have businesses like Cherry Lane Mall as a long time chamber member and Cherry Lane is a huge sponsor of over $3000 for the upcoming Business Excellence Awards this fall to bring guests a champagne reception, a Cherry Lane shopping spree giveaway and more.

For more information about the Cherry Lane Shopping Centre Stories Building Storeys Campaign, visit www.cherrylane.ca and click on “More Information” then “Giving Back.”