Ribfest in Kelowna nearing; protestors have bone to pick
A fundraiser that bills itself as being family friendly isn’t being friendly to animals, according to a handful of animal-rights protestors.
Organizers for the third annual Sunrise Rotary Ribfest held a media launch at City Park in Kelowna Wednesday afternoon. The event attracted scores of people, along with a half dozen or so protestors. The goal of Ribfest is to raise funds for JoeAnna’s house, a temporary place for people to stay if family members are receiving treatment at Kelowna General Hospital.
That’s laudable, said Ribfest opponent Kim Gaalas, but added using meat to raise money is wrong.
“We’re trying to ask Kelowna Sunrise and Rotary clubs across Canada to change their biggest fundraiser across Canada, which is Ribfest, to not be based on the suffering of animals and also not be based on something that causes human health disease,” said Gaalaas, who called herself a concerned citizen.
Gaalaas said “we wouldn’t even be doing a protest if it were called Peachfest or Piefest and it had some meat vendors within it,” stating “they are doing a fundraiser that is totally insensitive and makes light of the suffering of animals.”
Meanwhile, Ribfest organizers say they’re OK with people protesting the event, saying everyone has a right to free speech.
Bill Reynolds, chair of 2018 Ribfest, said the event “is a family friendly event in Kelowna. We encourage everybody to bring their family and friends down. And it is a fundraising event, with our major beneficiary this year being KGH Foundation’s JoeAnna’s house project.”
Regarding the protestors, Reynolds said “they have their opinion and we have replied to them. And, really, no further comment.”
Ribfest will take place August 24 to 26 at City Park. For more about the event, click here.
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