BeadTrails helps fire victims
Contributed - 9:58 am - Get Involved

Image: Contributed

Karen Griggs, the owner of Summerland’s BeadTrails Experience Store, recently presented a cheque for $1,395 to the BC Red Cross to help provide assistance to people affected by this summer’s wildfires.

For a minimum donation of $15, the public received a fire department shield bead-charm, which was chosen to show appreciation for the dedication of the B.C. firefighters and emergency crews.

BeadTrails received donations from across Canada, and as far afield as Great Britain.

The BeadTrails experience is a cross-marketing enterprise designed to stimulate business and tourism in the region. Tourists and locals take part in a modern-day scavenger hunt, which ends in a memory bracelet.

Each BeadTrails business member has a bead that tells their own unique story. The Trails include family
activities, historical sites, galleries, eclectic stores, wineries, cideries, distilleries and more.

With 190 business members in 20 communities, Karen and the BeadTrails team felt a strong connection with those affected by the wildfires and wanted to provide a meaningful way for people to donate.

Justin Amis
Okanagan Edge Staff - 6:00 am - Got the Edge

Name: Justin Amis

What business or organization are you involved with? 
Kelowna Chrysler Dodge Jeep

What is your role with that organization? 
Fleet manager and sales representative

What’s your favourite thing about living in the Okanagan? 
I would say the biggest draw of the Okanagan for me was the work lifestyle balance that we enjoy here. I am lucky enough to have a job doing what I love, and when I’m not at work it is so easy to get to the beach or the mountains, or even just to have a relaxing lunch at a local winery.

When you live in the Okanagan, every day feels like a vacation and you just can not beat that.

If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would you choose and why? 
Of all the people in the world right now, the person I would be most interested to have lunch with would be Elon Musk. He is an extremely inventive and ambitious entrepreneur who I admire very much and I would love to talk to him more about his vision of the future.

What’s your go-to happy place? 
It is hard for me to pick one go-to happy place; I really enjoy a lot of great places. If you made me pick one, though, I think it would be my condo in the Glenmore area of Kelowna. After all, it is difficult to beat a place you can call you very own.

What are you most proud of? 
When I think of what brings me the most pride I immediately think of the praise I get from my clients about the quality of the service they receive. Specifically, what I am most proud of is my wall of reviews in my office at Kelowna Chrysler. I am blessed to have so many wonderful reviews from my past guests and I love reading them every chance I get.

It reminds me of not only the great people I’ve met but also the fact that I’m making a difference. I am also very proud of my recent promotion to fleet manager, delivering 19 fleet vehicles in the Okanagan last month and helping local business’ with their commercial vehicle needs.

What are the top three things on your bucket list?
The number one thing on my bucket list is to one day drive a Dodge Viper on a closed track where I could really see what it is capable of. Another experience on my bucket list I have always wanted to try and hope to check off soon is to go deep sea fishing with my Dad.
Finally, I’ve always wanted to own a Jeep Wrangler so I definitely plan on getting one as soon as possible.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? 
I was always a picky kid growing up and even now I’m a bit hesitant of trying weird foods. The furthest I’ve ever gone would probably be escargot, which I actually really enjoyed and have had a few times since.

Latest movie or book: My girlfriend and I just re-watched all of the Fast and Furious movies in preparation for the new one coming out on April 14th, so you could definitely say that we are excited to see that when it comes out.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? 
This is kind of a weird one, but the gift that sticks out most in my memory is one I got from my grandfather when I was only about six years old. He had a collection of old guns and swords and he gave me a replica sword that looked like it was from medieval times for my parents to hang in my bedroom.

My grandfather passed away a few years ago around Christmas and I still have the sword to this day, it’s definitely a gift that is very sentimental to me.

If today were your last day, how would you spend it? 
If today were my last day, I would choose to spend it here in Kelowna with all of my friends and family, going out on the lake and enjoying the Okanagan sunshine. I would also want my Mom to make her famous bouillabaisse as my last meal because it is my absolute favorite food.

Ginny Becker
Okanagan Edge Staff - Oct 20 - Got the Edge

Name: Ginny Becker

Employer: Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust (SIDIT)

City: Kelowna

Occupation: Program Manager – Business Advisory Service

Tell us about your job: I consider myself very fortunate. I work for an amazing not-for-profit organization and I get to go home every day feeling like we are doing good, contributing to the economy and to the community.  Specifically, I manage a division of SIDIT that aims to assist growth-stage companies build success through access to executive level support and mentoring.  Our goal is to see these entrepreneurs achieve success and grow their businesses in a profitable and sustainable manner. It is a very rewarding role.

Tell us about yourself: I am a working professional and a Mom.  My husband and I have two little girls that make life interesting and rewarding every day.  I am deeply passionate about the Okanagan, having lived here for most of my life.  We try to take in all that the valley has to offer as often as possible: the wineries, the activities, the events, all of it. I love to travel as far and as often as possible.

What do you do for fun? My husband and I love to entertain. Having friends over for great food and big laughs is our favourite thing to do on the weekends.  We also love to camp and we never have to go too far, the Okanagan is full of amazing camping opportunities.  A campfire, a good book and a glass of wine is about as perfect as life can get.

What Winnie the Pooh character do you most relate to: T.I G.G.E.R!

Latest movie or book: I recently watched Rogue One, our little family is pretty dedicated to Star Wars.

What’s your go-to happy place? My home. It sounds funny but home is a little piece of paradise where the rest of the world disappears.  At home with my family is the best place I can think of to be.

Coats for the cold
Kate Bouey - Oct 19 - Get Involved

Image: Contributed
(L-R) Ryan Doherty, GM of Lake City Casinos Vernon and Nathan Mackintosh of Hyundai Vernon are asking for Coats for the Cold.

It’s getting colder and some people just can’t afford to get winter clothing.

For the third year running, Vernon Hyundai and Lake City Casino Vernon have banded together for ‘Coats for the Cold’.

Donations of coats, blankets, jackets and winter boots are being sought. As well, every donation receives a ballot to win a grand prize of over $500.

“The first year we did it, we received over 1,000 articles of clothing for people who were in need,” said Nathan Mackintosh, sales manager at Vernon Hyundai. “It was so great to see the community rally behind such a great cause.”

Mackintosh said the whole downstairs at the Upper Room Mission was filled with rack upon rack of clothing.

“It was wonderful to see the smiles on people’s faces as they waited to pick up some warm clothing.”

For those able to spare extra winter clothing, including winter boots, you are urged to drop off the items at Lake City Casino 4900 Vernon, Anderson Way or Vernon Hyundai, 4608 27th Street.

Coats for the Cold runs until Nov. 17.

Katie Balkwill
Okanagan Edge Staff - Oct 18 - Got the Edge

Name: Katie Balkwill

Employer: Big White Ski Resort

City: Kelowna

Occupation: Sales and marketing manager

Tell us about your job: I love my job!  There’s never a dull day in our office and many of my meetings take place on a chairlift. I’m responsible for Big White’s sales and marketing initiatives in Western North America.  The hardest part of my job is getting someone to Big White the first time, but once they’ve experienced everything we have to offer they are sure to return.

Tell us about yourself: I’m always up for an adventure, and live by a work hard, play hard mentality. There’s so much to enjoy in the Okanagan and so many great people to enjoy it with.

What do you do for fun? In the winter you’ll find me on the slopes and enjoying some of the Okanagan’s great culinary and craft beer creations!  Summer is all about embracing the outdoors and the natural beauty of the Okanagan: biking, boating, camping, and more.

What Winnie the Pooh character do you most relate to? Tigger! I tend to walk with a bounce in my step and full of energy.

Latest movie or book: I’ve been binge watching Sons of Anarchy.  I’m a little behind in the series but finally catching up to everyone else.

What’s your go-to happy place? Big White! On a champagne powder day you’ll find me on my snowboard riding through the Enchanted Forest and Thunder Glades.

Okanagan Edge Staff - Oct 17 - Get Involved

Image: Stone Sisters

Grab your beer steins and squeeze into your lederhosen, because Munich’s favourite festival is coming to Kelowna.

This weekend, the Stone Sisters and the Brain Trust Canada will bring Oktoberfest to the lower Mission, packing the community hall with pretzels, beer, “shotskis,” an oom-pah-pah band, and more–and it’s all for a great cause.

“This event is going to be an absolute blast,” says the Stone Sisters’ Tamara Stone.

She and her sister’s first annual Oktoberfest celebration promises to be a party to make the jolliest of Germans jealous, and all the money raised will support a “very worth cause.”

Tickets to the event include dinner, a beer stein and access to the entire night’s festivities, and will only run you $45.

That money will be donated to the Kelowna-based Brain Trust Canada, which runs education campaigns on reducing preventable brain injury, and provides support services for those affected by brain injury.

Stone says the cause is “very close” to both her and her sister. Her sister, Shannon, has two boys who play hockey, and her husband has suffered from concussions in the past.

They two also have clients they’re particularly close to who have suffered severe brain trauma.

“Kelowna brain trust was very, very helpful to them both, so it’s a charity we really love to support,” she says.

She says she’s delighted to be able to support the charity as much as possible, raising it some much-needed cash, and hopefully its profile.

Stone says she is anticipating a sold-out event, and encouraged anyone interested to pick up their tickets as soon as possible.

Oktoberfest will take place Oct. 20, at the Okanagan Mission Community Hall. For more information,  or to purchase tickets, check out the event online.

Tolko gives back
Kate Bouey - Oct 17 - Get Involved

Image: Contribute
Tolko has donated $7,000 to the Boys and Girls Club

Tolko Industries has donated $7,000 to the Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs.

A cheque was handed over to Diane Entwistle, chief executive officer of the Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs, in Vernon last month.

The clubs have been running programs and services for youth in Vernon, Kelowna and West Kelowna for a number of years.

Tolko’s donation will help with upgrades to the Vernon facility as well as provide basic supplies and resources needed to support the youth in the local community.

Charmaine Scherck
Okanagan Edge Staff - Oct 16 - Got the Edge

Name: Charmaine Scherck

Employer: The Mortgage Centre

City: Vernon

Occupation: Owner and mortgage broker

Tell us about your job: I have been in the mortgage industry for more than 27 years. I started my career with Scotiabank in 1990 but left in 2003 to advance my career as a mortgage broker and focus on what I love, which was helping people fulfill their dream of home ownership. I purchased into the Mortgage Centre franchise almost eight years ago and am so grateful to be where I am today as a business owner.

I truly love my job and love the people I get to work with each and every day. My success today is built on integrity, hard work, building long-term relationships with my amazing clients and referrals.

Tell us about yourself: I am a mother of a beautiful 19-year-old girl Hannah and my son Jordan, who is almost 17. I am so blessed to have the career I have today which I love so much. I enjoy running my own business and being my own boss, it has allowed me freedom to enjoy life, as I believe in a happy well balanced life style.

What do you do for fun? I love to hike and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us in nature. I also love to travel and experience new cultures. I love adventure and meeting new people and enjoy dining out.

What Winnie the Pooh character do you most relate to? Kanga. She was kind-hearted, calm and patient. She kept things organized and was protective of Roo. She had a great sense of humour and used kind words.

Latest movie or book: The Five Love Languages. It’s a book based on discovering another’s love language and how people express love to one other. A great book to read in all relationships of life.

What’s your go-to happy place? Definitely my home, my kids and my friends. I love the peacefulness and calmness of my home. I always love and enjoy going home to see my kids after a day of work and my friends always put a smile on my face.

Brad Perepolkin
Okanagan Edge Staff - Oct 13 - Got the Edge

Name: Brad Perepolkin

Employer: White House Mortgages Dominion Lending Centre

City: Vernon

Occupation: Mortgage broker

Tell us about your job: There are generally two ways to get a mortgage in Canada: From a bank or from a licensed mortgage professional.

While a bank only offers the products from their particular institution, licensed mortgage professionals send millions of dollars in mortgage business each year to Canada’s largest banks, credit unions, trust companies, and financial institutions; offering their clients more choice, and access to hundreds of mortgage products.

As a result, clients benefit from the trust, confidence, and security of knowing the are getting the best mortgage for their needs.

Tell us about yourself: I moved to Vernon in 1993 and have been registered as a Mortgage Broker for 16 years.

What do you do for fun? Some of the things I like to do are boating, dirt biking, skiing, scuba diving, camping, travelling, and hanging out with my dog.

What Winnie the Pooh character do you most relate to? Christopher Robin

Latest movie or book: Kong: Skull Island

What’s your go-to happy place? A getaway in the Kootenays.

A barrel of laughs, cash
Okanagan Edge Staff - Oct 12 - Get Involved

Image: Contributed

A trio of “world-class” comedians will take the stage in Penticton this weekend, when the Community Foundation of of the South Okanagan-Similkameen hosts its annual comedy festival.

The fundraiser is entering its 18th season, and once again promises to be full of great food, exceptional prizes and loads of laughs.

Taking place at the Barking Parrot Bar in Penticton, the show will feature sets by Herb Dixon, Julie Kim and  John Buehler.

There will also be both a silent and live auction, featuring a plethora of “amazing” prizes.

Thanks to support from the Investors Group and Friends of the Foundation, all the money raised at the event will go right back to the Community Foundation’s operating costs.

Tickets to the Oct. 14 show are $65, and can be purchased at the front desk of the Penticton lakeside Resort, or at the Community Foundation’s office at 390 Main St. The CFSO says that the event is a sold-out hit each year, and encourages anyone interested to get their tickets as soon as possible.

For more information, check out the event online.

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