The Elks Lodge of Penticton raised $5,000 to donate to the
The Elks Lodge of Penticton raised $5,000 to donate to the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund, which supports education and awareness efforts to move towards reconciliation. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

The Elks Lodge of Penticton raised $5,000 to donate to the The Elks Lodge of Penticton raised $5,000 to donate to the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund, which supports education and awareness efforts to move towards reconciliation. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

Penticton Elks raise and donate $5,000 to reconciliation fund

The money will go directly to the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund

The Penticton’s Elks are not strangers to supporting the community, and their latest fundraisers and donation is going to support a timely cause.

Over the last week the Elks raised $5,000 to go to the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund.

A cheque was presented at the Elks Lodge on Ellis Street on Tuesday.

The goal of the fund is to raise awareness, education and understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to build connections between them and move towards reconciliation.

The fund is named for Chanie Wenjack, a 12-year-old Ojibwe boy who died of exposure while trying to escape an Ontario Residential School in 1966, whose story was retold in Gord Downie’s Secret Path album and the graphic novel and film collaborations with artist Jeff Lemire.

Wenjack had escaped the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School near Kenora, Ont., and tried to return to his family over 600 kilometres away.

The Elks raised $3,200 on Saturday, with additional T-shirt sales and donations that came in afterwards bringing them to the $5,000 total.

The Elks also provided a $5,000 cheque to Penticton’s Starfish Backpack program. Those funds help provide a backpack full of food for the weekend for over 60 students for the full school year in SD67.

The Elks not only donate the money, but they provide the space for holding the food donations and volunteer to pack the backpacks.

READ MORE: Elks donate $5,000 towards Starfish Backpack program

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Truth and Reconciliation