Two community-based charities have been chosen to benefit from the 2014 Daily News Boogie.
The Youth Clubhouse operated by the Kamloops chapter of the Canadian Mental Health Association and The Family Tree Program run by Kamloops Family Resources Society will share proceeds from the health and fitness event.
Charitable funding is decided well in advance of the springtime Boogie by a committee of 20 members comprised of a board of directors and the event's core team of volunteers, said Jo Berry, who is the run organizer.
"It's a super hard decision because all of the charities of the community are worthy," she said.
Ten organizations applied this year, a list narrowed to three that were asked to make presentations to the committee.
"It's quite an extensive process because we're raising a good amount of money for charity," Berry said. "We're going to hit the $1-million mark in Kamloops next year.
Preference is shown for charities that are community-based and struggling. In the past, a single charity was selected; this year was different.
"It was really quite a magical thing," Berry said.
Doug Sage, CMHA executive director in Kamloops, contacted the Boogie group to tell them his organization would be willing to share funding with The Family Tree.
"It's actually selfish of me," Sage said, explaining his holistic view of the situation. "We are desperately in need of funding with government funding being difficult these days, and I know (Family Tree) is suffering as well. When non-profits are stronger, we all get stronger."
His mutual interest also has to do with The Family Tree's work.
"We're a fairly young, non-profit agency and we struggle just to continue," said Susan Clark, executive director. "We serve some of the more vulnerable families in Kamloops."
Many of the clients are young, single mothers at a crossroads in their lives, often dealing with social barriers such as addiction, domestic violence or lack of education, yet lacking family supports.
"Really what we do is create a really safe place for moms and kids to come," Clark said. "They often come in times of crisis. We love them up until they can go out and do what they need to do."
They need to be able to build a life for their families and, in some cases, steer clear of relapse. That strikes a cord with Sage.
"We're in the homelessness business," he said.
Like the CMHA clubhouse, the Family Tree is unfunded by government but does receive United Way grants.
Sage said the number of youths using the clubhouse is five times what it was a few years ago.
"In the course of a year, we'll see 500 different teens come through the door."
Often from disadvantaged backgrounds, they find fun at the clubhouse as well as acceptance and supports if needed.
"In that last six or seven years, there has been a tremendous increase in turning kids lives around."