Stock cabinet, feed the hungry
Okanagan Edge Staff - 9:52 am - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery will be shining some light on Black Friday.

The company will be donating three meals to those in need for every bottle of cask-strength Laird of Fintry single malt whisky sold on Friday.

“As a family, we have never been fans of the mass consumerism surrounding Black Friday,” Okanagan Spirits wrote in a press release. “So we thought: Why don’t we work together with you, our local Whisky and Spirits community, to see if we can do something that powers a great cause.”

More information about the community initiative can be found here.

Border giving gift of heat
Okanagan Edge Staff - Nov 25, 2020 - Get Involved

Photo: Darren Hull
Joe and Lynda Gerolami

If you or someone you know is having trouble with their heat or hot water and don’t have the financial ability to fix it, Border Plumbing, Heating & Electrical wants to hear from you.

The Kelowna company this holiday season is giving away a pair of prize packages in the form of service to a heating or hot water system or replacement of a furnace or hot water tank. It’s called the Gift of Heat and the Gift of Hot Water.

“We know that many families have been hit hard this year, either from the COVID-19 pandemic, illness, financial stress or other circumstances,” Border owners Joe and Lynda Gerolami said in a press release. “When times are tough, maintaining or repairing a home’s heating system, hot water tank or plumbing system might not be at the top of the priority list. We know this, and we want to help.”

Simply nominate someone for either the Gift of Heat or the Gift of Hot Water here, and a nominee will be chosen for each gift on Dec. 15.

“Our community has been supporting us for over 20 years,” Lynda Gerolami said, “and we want to support our community by being there in their time of need.”

Kamloops Foodie Box created
Okanagan Edge Staff - Nov 23, 2020 - Get Involved

Photo: Instagram

Three Kamloops food businesses have joined forces in an effort to keep local dollars at home this holiday season and help the health-care industry at the same time.

Wild Mountain Jun, Local Pulse and Honest Elixirs are three businesses that participate in the local farmers’ market and have embarked on a project called the Kamloops Holiday Foodie Box. Proceeds will directly support Royal Inland Hospital Foundation.

“Since people can’t shop local at holiday craft fairs this year, we put our heads together to figure out how to bring the craft fair to the safety of people’s homes.” Wild Mountain Jun owner and project lead Naomi Spendiff said in a press release.

The initiative’s goal is to support Kamloops makers and health-care workers. Kamloops citizens can order online and choose from three box sizes: small, medium and deluxe, starting at $65. Every item in the box is provided by a Kamloops business.

“With the Foodie Box, our goal is to provide an online outlet for Kamloopsians to buy locally made gifts, support our local producers and give back to the health-care heroes who have never stopped working hard to keep us safe and healthy,” Local Pulse owner and project organizer Kent Fawcett said.

Contact-free delivery and curb-side pickup options will be available for the boxes from Dec. 11 to 20. The deadline to order a Kamloops Holiday Foodie Box is next Friday, Dec. 4, at 5 p.m.

Orders can be placed here.

Rotary donates to ski club
Jon Manchester - Nov 18, 2020 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

COVID-19 may have ended the Vernon Ski Club’s hosting of provincial and national championships in 2020, but upgrades to the club’s cabin at SilverStar Mountain have continued thanks to a $10,000 donation from the Kalamalka Rotary Club.

The 28-year-old club cabin received new windows, doors and siding as part of the upgrade project.

“We are fortunate to have the club cabin thanks to the efforts made … by our past members, along with the support of the Canada West Sports Training Society,” club president Murray Smith said.

The club has helped develop young ski racers for more than 85 years.

Its cabin was fundraised, designed and built by volunteers and supporters of the club in 1992.

“We believe that our programs foster not only ski racing skills, but amazing technical skiers by offering a fun, safe progression with a peer group of advanced skiers and outstanding coaches. Our philosophy is that the best racers also build athleticism outside of the gates with lots of time skiing the whole mountain,” Smith added. “We take pride in the fact that many VSC athletes move on to regional, provincial, national and university teams, as well as every athlete focusing on excellence in skiing and life.”

The total cost of the upgrades was $46,000. Fundraising from raffle tickets and Vernon’s annual ski swap covered the balance.

Meanwhile, Kal Rotary has been forced to cancel its annual Dream Auction fundraiser this year due to the pandemic.

However, an online campaign is accepting donations until Nov. 21.

Clean your ride, feed hungry
Okanagan Edge Staff - Nov 17, 2020 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed
(L to R): Chris, Dave and Jason Skoglund are raising money for those in need.

Skogie’s Auto Spa is hoping to raise $10,000 for the Central Okanagan Food Bank this holiday season.

The company, which is set to open its fourth Okanagan location, is donating 50 cents from every car wash during the months of November and December at its Auto Spa location, which is on Harvey Avenue across from Superstore.

“We knew that the food bank was going to be in extra demand this year because of COVID and loss of work for people,” said Chris Skoglund, who runs the family business with his brother, Jason. “We’ve been a successful family business for 50 years in Kelowna, and we wanted to do something to help.”

More information about ways to help Central Okanagan Food Bank can be found here.

Open house goes virtual
Sarita Patel - Nov 17, 2020 - Get Involved

The annual Kelowna Fire Department open house has moved online.

The City of Kelowna has collaborated with Kelowna Fire Station No. 1 to share what local firefighters do behind the scenes.

“We were disappointed to cancel this well attended community event which helps support the Kelowna Professional Firefighters Charitable Society,” fire prevention officer Paul Johnson said.

“We see how much fun it is for kids and their families every year. But safety is paramount, so instead we filmed our team walking through a tour of Kelowna Station No. 1 showing off some of our vehicles and equipment used in fire and emergency situations.”

The video showcases Fire Engine 1, ATV 1 ‘The Gator’ and Kelowna Rescue 1, complete with explanations about when each vehicle is used and what different tools each have for fighting different types of fires or assisting in an emergency.

Typically the open house attracts upwards of 1,500 people each year and in the past five years, has raised more than $12,000 for the Kelowna Professional Firefighters Charitable Society through pancake and coffee donations.

“While we don’t have pancakes and coffee this year, we’re inviting anyone who is interested to visit kelowna.ca/fire from the comfort and safety of their own home and spend a little time with members of our team to learn more about what we do,” Johnson said.

“We are hopeful to be able to host the open house in 2021.”

Hospital gets important donation
Tereza Verenca - Nov 13, 2020 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

Royal Inland Hospital has purchased “much-needed” lab equipment thanks to a $90,000 donation from Kamloops philanthropist and local businessman Ken Lepin.

The funds have allowed RIH to buy an Isoplater, “a sophisticated petri dish streaking instrument that is designed to provide safe and highly reproducible streaking of patient sample on culture media,” according to a news release.

The process was previously done by hand, something that was time-consuming with possible inconsistencies and higher risk of exposure to pathogens. The release notes with the new equipment lab techs are more protected and the procedure itself is much faster and more accurate.

“This new machine is a life saver,” says Deb Eckert, operations supervisor of microbiology. “We had a request for a new machine as we could not get parts or ongoing service for the old machine. When it broke down for good several months ago, we were in a bind, as we had to resort to doing cultures by hand. … The new machine, which is used 24/7, is an essential piece of equipment in the lab; the technicians are thrilled with it.”

Lepin has been a longtime supporter of the Royal Inland Hospital Foundation. Over the last 25 years he has donated more than $1 million.

Jacobs family donates $80K
Okanagan Edge Staff - Nov 13, 2020 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed
Mike and Kim Jacobs with their daughter, Erin.

The Jacobs family has donated $80,000 to help build Okanagan College’s Health Sciences Centre.

Mike and Kim Jacobs made the donation after touring the under-construction facility, which will cost $18.9 million and is being funded in part through the Our Students, Your Health fundraising campaign.

“It’s incredible to see such a modern facility with all the technology and great detail put into the education spaces,” Kim Jacobs said in a press release. “They’ve overlooked nothing. This is a huge step for our community to have a centre like this.”

“We were very encouraged by the fact that students would come to study here and stay,” said Mike Jacobs, who is the chairman of Emil Anderson Construction and founder of Dilworth Quality Homes. “With an aging population, we see the need for more front-line health-care workers. The more and better trained they are, the better our society will be.”

The Jacobs’ gift will support a new classroom for nursing students. Okanagan College educates health-care assistants, practical nurses and the first two years of the bachelor of science in nursing program.

Kettle campaign underway
Miriam Halpenny - Nov 13, 2020 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

The Salvation Army has officially launched its 2020 Christmas Kettle campaign.

The Salvation Army provides help to vulnerable people and families during the holidays and throughout the entire year.

The Christmas Kettle Campaign is the largest public fundraising drive of the year, and as the COVID-19 pandemic stretches on the demand for support is expected to continue to rise.

“This has been a hard year for many in our community,” Kelowna Salvation Army executive director Darryl Burry said. “The impacts of COVID-19 have been far reaching and we have seen a 61 per cent increase in the number of individuals and families reaching out for support. As Christmas approaches, we believe that those numbers will only continue to climb.”

As a result of the pandemic, many traditional fundraising events have been cancelled. The Salvation Army is asking the public for help to fill the gap and ensure everyone has a happy holiday.

“You can make a difference in multiple ways over this season,” Burry said. “You can donate at a Christmas Kettle or online. You can also provide new toys for children and food items by dropping them off at either Salvation Army location in Kelowna.”

People can also host their own Kettle Campaign virtually to encourage their loved ones to donate.

“We’d like to encourage individuals, groups and businesses to sign up to host a virtual kettle. Challenge your friends, family and coworkers to do likewise and make a difference in the lives of many this Christmas by donating to The Salvation Army.”

The success of the campaign relies on the army of volunteers who spend their time ringing bells between Nov. 13 and Dec. 24 at businesses throughout the city.

This year, volunteers will be equipped with personal protective gear and they will follow stringent sanitization measures throughout the day.

The Kelowna Salvation Army has locations at 1480 Sutherland Ave. and 200 Rutland Rd. South.

Tourney raises fire brigade funds
Okanagan Edge Staff - Nov 12, 2020 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

The Micheal Lang Memorial Golf Tournament raised more than $5,000 for the Peachland Fire and Rescue Brigade.

The tournament, which is run by Neighbours Helping Neighbours, was held on Saturday, Sept. 26, at West Kelowna’s Two Eagles Golf Course, and it raised $5,352.65.

The money was donated to Peachland Fire and Rescue Brigade, which used it to purchase an automated external defibrillator for one of its fire trucks and to replace eight sets of wildland coveralls as part of the members’ personal protective equipment.

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