Disco dancing for men's program


The public is invited to disco dance for a good cause in Penticton on Thursday night. The South Okanagan Victim Assistance Society is holding SOVAS Goes Disco to benefit its financially challenged men's counselling program.

“We are desperate for funding to keep this going,” said Amberlee Erdmann, resource development coordinator for SOVAS. “Our hope is the community comes together to support our men's counselling program by having a fun night.”

SOVAS, located on Martin Street in Penticton, provides counselling, court support and information to men, women and children who have experienced abuse. The men's program has been around for four years and offers services to adult men who have experienced childhood abuse, sexual assault and relationship violence.

Initially, it was offered for eight hours a week, but that was expanded to 12 hours a week two years ago thanks to funding from the Gaming Commission, the United Way, the Health Sciences Association and its own fundraising initiatives. The current shortfall is in money from fundraising. Without it, the program will be cut back to eight hours again leaving more men on the waiting list and less appointments available.

Last year, when SOVAS Goes Disco was held for the first time, $2,500 was raised. The hope this February is to pull in $3,500 to go toward the men's program. The main attraction Thursday night will be a performance by the Penticton School of Dance. There will also be a dance competition, silent auction, door prizes and prizes for best disco costume. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with the program starting at 7 p.m., at the Barking Parrot. Tickets cost $15, including a hamburger and beer, and are available at Penticton Lakeside Resort, Grooveyard, SOVAS and Ten Thousand Villages.