Melanie Genois

FREELANCE PHOTO - A COST IS INVOLVED Craig Douce RMO photo

The Banff Child Care Centre wine and cheese fundraiser has had a snowball effect over the years, growing to the point where it catches the attention of the entire town. Melanie Genois started the annual event and has played a major role in maintaining its momentum. “There were 65 people there in the first year,” said Genois. “I didn’t know what I was doing at all. It was just a tiny little auction, and now it’s so big… It started with $1,700 and last year we raised $30,000.” The fundraiser has generated over $100,000 in its seven year history, with all funds going towards the Banff Child Care Centre. Genois initially started the fundraiser when her infant son, Dylan (now eight-years-old), was enrolled. It was a way to keep enrollment costs down for parents and to support efforts the daycare couldn’t otherwise afford. “To help keep fees as low as possible as a parent, that’s pretty big … I just wanted to do something for the daycare, and they needed money, so I started the fundraiser,” she said. “It’s really expensive to have a child in care, so I wanted to help keep the costs lower for parents. They needed a new playground and extra funds every year for a bunch of stuff.” Genois says every year local businesses help with the ongoing success of the event by donating cheese, wine and silent auction items. A new playground at the daycare centre was one of the major accomplishments as a result of the fundraising. “The playground was really big to get. It’s awesome,” she said.

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