Catch glimpses of Lillooet's past during Apricot Fest

The cupboard is looking a little bare at the Lillooet Food Bank these days, but Kevin Goforth has a plan to help with that. One that will also add to the fun of the three-day celebration that is Lillooet’s Apricot Tsaqwem Fest.

“Every year we get the big food bank drive at Buy-Low every winter. And it’s amazing, they pack in a lot of food,” he said.

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But Goforth added even with that annual display of generosity, and other contributions from the community, the food bank sometimes comes up short, and it’s happening more often.

“People are getting to the point where they’re going to be homeless and they don’t know what to do because Hydro is so high and food is so high. The prices of everything are just way to high and we’re getting more and more people at that food bank.”

He said the food bank can usually supply its clients with about four days worth of food each month and then supplement that a little further with weekly bread and other perishable baked goods, etc.

It helps out a lot, but more help is needed, Goforth said, which is what he hopes to accomplish with his Lillooet Stories of the Past presentation during on July 19.

“The entry fee will be either cash or a non-perishable food donation for the food bank.”

 Canned food, including soups are ideal donations, Goforth said.

“My main concern now is to try to get our food bank stocked up a little bit more so that we are able to continue to give what we have been giving.”

For those not familiar with Goforth’s Lillooet Stories of the Past page on Facebook, it is a rich trip down memory lane for some, and an equally rich introduction to this area’s past for newcomers and those who are interested from afar. Photos and stories from days gone by, along with memories shared int the comments section provide a fascinating glimpse of the community and surrounding area in former decades.

My family’s been here for more than 160 years, my great-grandmother was born in Lytton “in 1858, so we go back a ways. The reason I started that is because people love to reminisce. The old days are good days as far as we’re concerned. I didn’t want to lose that history, and I wanted to make that history more available.”

There was definitely an appetite for it, after it had been up for seven days, the page had, get this, 777 members, and Goforth adds more every day.

The plan for the food bank fundraiser is to bring that same glimpse of Lillooet’s history to a big screen, and do it outdoors on a summer evening during the Apricot Festival.

He hopes to incorporate a few guest speakers with deep roots in the community to be part of the 90-minute presentation and also include the opportunity for the audience to have their questions answered.

The event will be in Downton Park from 9 to 10:30 p.m., with an 18-foot inflatable screen and a high definition projector. The whole thing will duck indoors to the REC Centre gymnasium if the weather turns bad, although the forecast looks promising. The Chillaxin group will be running a concession as a fundraiser for their organization.

“So, bring a perishable food item and bring a chair, or a blanket. The more people we get, the more offerings to the food bank we get, the better off we’re going to be.”

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