From left to right: Lesley Wright (Literacy Alberni Society executive director), Teresa Bird (Alberni Valley News) holding the winning artwork, Avery Johnson (winner) and Leanne Hewitt (Coombs Country Candy manager). In front is Juniper Thompson (honorable mention) with a basket of goodies and books. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

From left to right: Lesley Wright (Literacy Alberni Society executive director), Teresa Bird (Alberni Valley News) holding the winning artwork, Avery Johnson (winner) and Leanne Hewitt (Coombs Country Candy manager). In front is Juniper Thompson (honorable mention) with a basket of goodies and books. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

Second Valley Vonka fundraiser raises more than $5K for Literacy Alberni

The fundraiser was inspired by the Golden Ticket contest from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

A sweet fundraiser has raised more than $5,000 for Literacy Alberni.

Inspired by the Golden Ticket contest from the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the Alberni Valley News launched the Valley Vonka fundraiser back in 2019 with all the proceeds raised benefitting Literacy Alberni’s Raise-A-Reader campaign. The fundraiser was so popular that it was brought back again in 2021.

Coombs Country Candy created 1,000 special chocolate bars. Three of them had a golden ticket.

Ike Dokter discovered the first ticket after purchasing a chocolate bar at Mobius Books. He won a weekend getaway for two to Victoria, including two nights’ accommodation at the Oswego Hotel, passes for the Malahat Skywalk, Victoria Bug Zoo, Miniature World and Royal BC Museum, plus $150 toward travel or dining expenses

Jim Doiron and Wendy Haas discovered the second golden ticket after purchasing the last bar at Coombs Country Candy. They won more than $500 in gift cards for purchases at Alberni Co-op and Buy-Low Foods.

Jensen Warson Castley found the final ticket in a chocolate bar that had been gifted to him. He won a 50-inch, 4K Ultra Hi-Def LED TV from The Brick.

The fundraiser was a success, and Alberni Valley News publisher Teresa Bird presented a cheque to Literacy Alberni Society executive director Lesley Wright for $5,249.20.

The Valley Vonka fundraiser also included a colouring contest. Avery Johnson won the top prize of chocolate and books for a year, courtesy of Coombs Country Candy and Mobius Books. An honourable mention went to Juniper Thompson, who received a basket of goodies and books.



elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

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Valley Vonka winners from left to right: Ike Dokter, Wendy Haas, Jim Doiron, Jensen Warson Castley and MaryLee Castley. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Valley Vonka winners from left to right: Ike Dokter, Wendy Haas, Jim Doiron, Jensen Warson Castley and MaryLee Castley. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Teresa Bird, Alberni Valley News publisher, presents a cheque to Literacy Alberni executive director Lesley Wright. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)