A special announcement was made by Southwest Homes, highlighting two final donations that helped the organization reach their fundraising goal for a new van.

Participants, staff, and friends of Southwest Homes gathered in Riverside Park yesterday for a lunch get-together and the announcement. 

The first was an amount of $19,500 donated by Dean and Verna Pederson in memory of their son, Kale.

The second donation was provided by an anonymous donor who provided $150,000, $135,000 of which will be put towards the van and the rest is set to go to the programs Southwest Homes offers.

Leah McDonald Perrault, executive director at Southwest Homes, is grateful for all the support the community shows the organization and for helping them reach their fundraising goal so quickly.

"We spend every day with these amazing participants who need our supports and who invite us into every moment of their lives," said Perrault. "When we have an opportunity to gather together on such a beautiful day, it's always a reason to celebrate."

The Pedersons raised proceeds for the donation through a lemonade stand that was set up at Kale's Celebration of Life, as community members often saw him with a lemonade stand during the summer months.

"We'll just keep this in Kale's memory, he would be very proud of the crowd today and what this will mean in the future," she shared.

Southwest Homes began their fundraising with the sale of a previous van, followed by a fundraiser at Riverdene Greenhouse before the two donations came in to top it off.

Participants of Southwest Homes, Clint and Harvey, are looking forward to the new van and enjoyed spending time in the park.

Are you excited about the new van? "Yeah," Clint said.

Are you enjoying today? "It's good, yep," said Harvey.

The event ran from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with music, pizza, refreshments, a cheque presentation, and a visit from the Swift Current SPCA.

The new van is set to arrive for Southwest Homes as soon as this coming September.