Valley Vonka raises more than $5,000 for Literacy Alberni

Golden ticket winners accept their prizes. From left to right: winners Sandy Shearer and Loretta Burley, Literacy Alberni executive director Graham Hughes, Alberni Valley News publisher Teresa Bird, winner Sharlene Check and Lorraine Brunt (mother of winner Christa Brunt). ELENA RARDON PHOTO
Carlene Sumen receives free chocolate for a year after winning the Valley Vonka colouring contest. The other winner, Leo Fielding, was unable to attend. ELENA RARDON PHOTO
Teresa Bird, publisher at the Alberni Valley News, presents Literacy Alberni executive director Graham Hughes with a cheque for $5,011 for Valley Vonka. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

A sweet fundraiser launched by the Alberni Valley News this year raised a total of $5,011 for Literacy Alberni.

Inspired by the Golden Ticket contest from the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Valley Vonka was a local fundraiser with all the proceeds raised benefitting Literacy Alberni’s Raise-A-Reader campaign.

Coombs Country Candy created 1,000 special chocolate bars and three of them had a golden ticket hidden inside.

Lorraine Brunt purchased eight of the Valley Vonka chocolate bars and gave them to family members. When her daughter Christa opened hers, she peeled back the wrapper to reveal the first golden ticket in this inaugural fundraiser.

Sharlene Check bought four Valley Vonka bars at the Literacy Alberni table at the Fall Fair. While opening the fourth bar, she realized there was something inside the wrapper obscuring the Coombs Country Candy logo: a golden ticket!

Loretta Burley and Sandy Shearer were heading out of town on a camping trip and dropped by Coombs Country Candy for a Valley Vonka bar. That night after setting up camp, they opened their bar to discover the golden ticket inside. They continued on with their 10-day camping trip to the North Island, telling no one of their luck until they got home.

Winners and their prizes were announced at the Raise-A-Reader breakfast at Smitty’s Restaurant on Wednesday, Sept. 25. The three golden tickets were randomly drawn for three prizes:

Christa Brunt received two tickets anywhere Westjet flies.

– Sharlene Check won a Memories and Movies Package, including a photoshoot with photographer Darran Chaisson and 16 Ticket & Treat vouchers for movies at Landmark Cinemas.

– Sandy Shearer and Loretta Burley won the Tigh-na-Mara Couples’ Retreat Package, featuring two nights’ accomodation, a bottle of wine, a spa credit and Endless Tapas Dining Experience.

Valley Vonka also included a colouring contest, giving two kids the opportunity to win “chocolate for a year” from Coombs Country Candy (awarded as 12 – $20 gift certificates). Carlene Sumen and Leo Fielding were the winners.

Sponsors for the Valley Vonka fundraiser included The Fenton Team, R. Anderson and Co., RE/MAX Mid-Island, Jowsey’s, Kurt Meyer Notary, Belle’s Haircare and Pacific Rim Physiotherapy.

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