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Oak Bay teens rise together, bring talent to the stage to benefit Greater Victoria soup kitchen

Dec. 17 Holiday Charity Benefit Show at Dave Dunnet Theatre raises funds for Rainbow Kitchen

A teen-led philanthropic network hosts its first community charity show less than a year after its two founders pondered the idea over a cup of coffee in late January.

By February, Oak Bay High students Holly Smith and Trishna Gill had formed Rise Together and had jars out in several businesses gathering donations for a small charity neither had heard of before.

“We wanted to help a small charity and a local organization,” Gill said, explaining how the 1-up Single Parent Resource Centre became the first benefactor of Rise Together.

“The purpose of it is to support local organizations mainly with donation jars which are in local businesses,” Smith explained.

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The focus is local groups providing services to Greater Victoria residents. So, over the year, they added the Victoria Women’s Transition House to their benefactors and raised around $4,000 in cash and goods for the two charities through donation jars, raffles and small grants.

For November and December, Rise Together is partnered with the Victoria Rainbow Kitchen Society, the second largest soup kitchen in Greater Victoria. Rainbow Kitchen serves 10,000 meals every month and operates a school meals program.

“Now we’re trying to build it up with events while maintaining the jars,” Smith said.

Thus the Holiday Charity Benefit Show, on stage in the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre at Oak Bay High (2121 Cadboro Bay Rd.) on Dec. 17. The night of live performances will include fellow students, graduates and staff and benefit Rainbow Kitchen and its holiday hampers, Gill said. Anyone looking to work with the teens can email

Get tickets to the show ($11.52 including fees) at or find the link on Instagram at @risetogether1. Learn more about the organization online at

Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

I'm dedicated to serving the community of Oak Bay as a senior journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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