Local Philanthropist Pairs With Food Network Star On Dinner To Raise Funds For Inclusive Playground


Flavours won’t be the only thing in play for a new fundraising initiative if local philanthropist Brent Marshall has his way. Marshall, who has a long record of raising money for various charities, recognized a unique opportunity and is extending a special dinner invite to Kelowna.

After hearing that Food Network star Bob Blumer is in town developing a tv series with local filmmaker Norm Coyne, Marshall jumped at the chance to connect the dots to raise funds for West Kelowna’s first fully inclusive playground, Julia’s Junction.

“I heard Blumer was in town and when he was here last, we hosted a fundraiser dinner at Crown & Thieves that sold out two nights in a row,” said Marshall. “It seems like too good an opportunity to pass up to make a difference for kids here.”

Coyne pointed out that Blumer is only in town for a short time and pulling together the dinner on a tight timeline would be risky. Marshall acted fast and was met with enthusiastic support from winery owner Jason Parkes who offered to host the event in his home. To guarantee the fundraiser will be a success, Marshall is covering all costs associated with the dinner meaning 100% of all money raised will be donated to Julia’s Junction.

The dinner will be 5 courses curated by Blumer and local star chef James Holmes paired with some wines from Jason Parkes and special cocktails from bartender Renee Quesnelle featuring Dwayne ‘the Rock” Johnson’s Teremana tequila, Evan Williams bourbon, and Remy Martin VSOP fine champagne cognac.

“Exclusive fundraiser dinners at Parkes house have sold for $10,000 in the past without Blumer.” said Marshall, “Adding in this star power means this is going to be a great meal for a great cause!”

Julia’s Junction is a playground designed to accommodate all abilities & disabilities, whether physical, social, emotional, or cognitive, as well as friends and family of those with disabilities, The non-profit organization is a plan to create a safe, and most importantly fun space where children can make friends, increase self confidence, and build physical strength as well as many other important benefits of play.

People with disabilities represent 5,500 residents in West Kelowna which is 1 in 6 people who live in West Kelowna. Fundraising efforts for Julia’s Junction have already garnered $692,557 with an overall goal of $800,000.

The dinner will be taking place on March 9 at 6pm at the home of Jason Parkes. Only 20 tickets are available for the event on a first come, first serve basis. Ticket cost is a minimum $250 donation.

For more information, call 250 640-6670. For those wishing to donate but won’t be attending the event, head to https://juliasjunction.ca/

Brent Marshall

Marshall made his mark on a menagerie of industries—auto, aviation, real estate, film production, construction, and health. He has a long legacy of leveraging business to help those in need. Brent’s determination to have all of his companies donate to charity has allowed him to construct a Children’s Wing on the UNBC hospital, an outdoor patio for a paediatric ward, a Cancer Lodge Family Room, an outdoor all-wheels park for kids, and large donations to over 30 other charities. Marshall has orchestrated the donation of nearly $5 million dollars to charities these past 15 years, earning him the title of “The Face of Philanthropy”. In his role as a commercial realtor, he donates 50% of his net commissions to charity.

Bob Blumer

Bob Blumer is a professional gastronaut with an adrenaline addiction. He has created and hosted three award-winning TV series that have aired in over 20 countries including The Surreal Gourmet, World’s Weirdest Restaurants and Glutton for Punishment, written six acclaimed cookbooks, and broken eight food-related Guinness World Records. In his books and appearances around the globe, Bob transforms ordinary ingredients into wow-inspiring dishes through simple cooking methods and whimsical presentations that have become his culinary trademark. Publishers Weekly summed up his most recent book Glutton for Pleasure: “equal parts memoir, lavish art book, multi-genre soundtrack and culinary tour de force”.

Media release and image provided by Norm Coyne, Barker Street Cinema.

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