Challenge race officials seek regional district grant

Last minute presentation to RDOS board seeks a second year grant of $25,000

  • Dec. 7, 2013 2:00 p.m.

Kelly Hopkins, Marketing and Events Manager for Challenge Penticton, and triathlete Alan Kidd managed to attract the regional district board’s attention in time to make a last minute presentation to the board in order to be considered for grant funding in the RDOS 2014 budget.

The unscheduled presentation included the distribution of Challenge golf shirts to board members by Hopkins as Kidd described the organization’s plans for the next Penticton Challenge race.

“Support from the regional district is essential,” said Kidd, following a brief powerpoint presentation, adding the race society was making improvements to the event for 2014 by adding a half triathlon and “Kids of Steel” program. He added that Challenge was striving to increase registration, which in turn would increase tourism in the area.

“That’s all fine, but how did you end up last year?” asked Area “D” Director Tom Siddon, adding the board had pitched in (with a grant) this year, and was currently facing some tough decisions regarding the 2014 budget, already projected to be higher than last year’s.

“Did you come out on target?” he asked.

Kidd responded that Challenge Penticton had met their targets, but one target also projected the group to become profitable in five years.

“Not all the figures are in,” he said, “we’re proceeding nicely, we still need some help, that’s why we’re here.”

Additional attempts by directors to find out the financial position of Challenge Penticton were answered evasively, to the point where Kidd replied Challenge Penticton was not obligated to reveal it’s financial position.

Summerland Director Janice Perrino offered to go in camera to find out, saying that she was struggling with the decision, without knowing where Challenge was with respect to the group’s  finances.

The delegation departed after requesting the same amount granted by the regional district for 2013 – $25,000.

The board raised the Challenge grant request during budget discussions later in the meeting, going in camera for an initial discussion regarding the race’s finances.

Afterwards, the board was at odds over the significance of the Challenge race on a regional basis, with Osoyoos Director Stu Wells calling some of the board’s response to the request “Pentictoncentric.”

Several board members recalled this year’s request from Challenge to be a “one off” deal, noting they were back once again, while other directors indicated an interest in pursuing a “phasing out” of the grant by decreasing annual amounts.

“I remember the last request as being ‘one time,’” said Oliver Director Ron Hovanes. “I said they would be back – we might as well make it a line item.

I don’t think I will support this.”

“We have $600,000 worth of financial pressures  to deal with in the 2014 budget,” said Area “D” Director Tom Siddon, “we took $25,000 out of economic development this year – it was to be  a one time deal to ensure a smooth launch (of the race).

I’d agree to $12,000 – cut it in half.”

The board found some consensus in Siddon’s comments, and after further discussion, agreed to make a provision in the budget for a grant to Challenge Penticton in the amount of $12,000.