Sunterra in with a Bang
Okanagan Edge Staff - 9:12 am - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed
(L to R): Sunterra owner Ranvir Nahal and Okanagan Wesbild senior VP Brad Pelletier.

Sunterra Custom Homes will be the presenting sponsor of this year’s Bollywood Bang.

The event, which is a Bollywood-inspired night, has raised more than $250,000 for local charities. The $6,500 sponsorship from Sunterra will go towards the Vernon branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association.

“We are pleased to offer our support of this multi-cultural event that has made such a positive impact on so many lives in our community,” Sunterra owner Ranvir Nahal said in a press release.

This year’s event will feature a red carpet reception, henna painting, Bhangra dancers, a feast of more than a dozen authentic delectable South Asian dishes and desserts paired with fine Okanagan wines. There will also be a dance celebration with a live DJ, along with live and silent auctions featuring unique prize packages.

Tickets are $175 each or $1,750 for a table of 10. A limited number of tickets will be available to the public.

Joubert wins aviation scholarship
Okanagan Edge Staff - Mar 19, 2019 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed
(L to R): John Olsen, Anisha Joubert and Doug MacKinnon.

Kelowna’s Anisha Joubert has captured the Vernon Flying Club’s John Olsen Scholarship for spring 2019.

The award is given to students who excel in aircraft maintenance engineer training at Okanagan College. It is given biannually to students in both of the college’s graduating classes who exhibit dedication, attitude and potential leading toward a successful career in their chosen field of aviation maintenance.

“My dad has been an AME for 30 years, and he has been a role model and a big influence for me,” Joubert said in a press release. “I was in Kelowna’s Air Cadet Squadron 243 and made it to flight sergeant. I have also visited my dad at his hangar at Kelowna Flight Aerospace. I was able to see Lockheed C-130s, Boeing 737s, 747, 757, and the search and rescue Buffalo.

“My interest kept growing as I watched his crew come together and work as a team. I am also a baggage handler for WestJet through Ironman Holdings. I enjoy stacking the pit and watching the aircraft take off after I wing walk. Once I am done the course I want to work at KF Aerospace and extensively expand my knowledge of aircraft mechanics.”

Joubert will now attend Northern Lights College in Dawson Creek to start the next phase of her training.

Comedy night for DIPG fight
Kirk Penton - Mar 19, 2019 - Get Involved

An aggressive and untreatable form of cancer took Sevanah Simmons when she was just six years old, so a local real estate company is trying to do what it can to help stop the deadly disease from taking other children.

DIPG, which is short for diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, is an inoperable and aggressive brain tumour with a zero per cent survival rate that has featured no advances in treatment options in more than 50 years.

“Neil Armstrong’s daughter, Muffie, actually passed away from it in 1962, and essentially the treatment is still the same,” Sevanah’s mom, Angelina, says. “It’s just palliative care and radiation. Right now there is no cure, not even one on the horizon.”

The fact that awareness, treatment and prognosis have barely changed in more than half a century shows just how much work there is to do. When David Harper of 2 Percent Realty Okanagan learned that his daughter’s teacher—Angelina—had lost her daughter to DIPG and he had never heard of the cancer, he decided to act.

A movie night was held last fall that raised $1,200, and early next month his real estate group will host the 2 Percent Realty Okaganan Comedy Night in support of the Sick Kids Foundation. Comedians John Cullen, Ivan Decker and Myles Anderson will perform at the show, which will be held at 7 p.m. on April 1 at Kelowna Community Theatre.

“As a father of two little girls myself, I found myself thinking: What would I do?” Harper said. “I didn’t even know DIPG existed. After learning of the Simmons’ story, we decided as a group at 2 Percent Realty to try to do our little part to help raise awareness and some money to help.

“We’re hoping this comedy night not only helps the Simmons family raise funds in Sevanah’s memory but also hopefully helps other families suffering with DIPG as well.”

Sevanah was diagnosed with DIPG on April 1, 2015, and she died five months later, on Sept. 4, in her parents’ arms. Before she passed, Sevanah said, “When I get better, mommy, we can help other kids with DIPG!”

There is a foundation in Sevanah’s name, and her mission continues.

Tickets for the show can be purchased here.

Amanda Westrheim
Contributed - Mar 13, 2019 - Got the Edge

Photo: Contributed

Name: Amanda Westrheim

What business or organization are you involved with? Real estate

What is your role with that organization? Residential sales

What’s your favourite thing about living in the Okanagan? We live in paradise! My favourite thing is the unparalleled beauty and weather. I’m so passionate about where we live.

If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would you choose and why? Gwen Stefani. I just adore her!

What’s your go-to happy place? Knox Mountain. I can’t stop taking photos of the views.

What are you most proud of? My bodybuilding achievements. I had no clue how disciplined the sport is. I have such an appreciation for it now!

What are the top three things on your bucket list?
• Travel the world
• Help everyone access clean water
• Invest in land outside of Canada

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? Mystery meat in Thailand. LOL.

Latest movie or book? Birdbox

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? When I bought my first house in Vernon at 19, my dad visited from Vancouver and took me to Rona, where he purchased all of the must-have items a homeowner needs. He then helped me to improve the home and do simple energy saving upgrades over the whole weekend. I just lost my father, so this memory is special to me.

If today were your last day, how would you spend it? Eating all my favourite foods with a very expensive bottle of wine. Or two. Or three.

West K needs volunteers
Okanagan Edge Staff - Feb 25, 2019 - Get Involved

File photo

West Kelowna is looking for volunteers who would like to have a say in the city’s economic development.

The city’s economic development committee and advisory planning commission are both in search of volunteers who would be willing to serve at various points throughout the year.

The economic development committee “provides advice on local and national economic trends as well as participates in annual economic development planning activities.” The group is looking for applicants who would serve the remainder of the 2019 terms with the opportunity for two more renewals that are both two years long. The committee meets at 7:30 a.m. for two hours up to eight times a year.

The advisory planning commission “provides advice on matters respecting land use, community planning and proposed bylaws and certain permits.” The appointed member will serve a three-year term with the opportunity to be renewed for another three years. The commission meets at 9:30 a.m. for two hours on the third Wednesday of every month..

Application forms for both groups can be found on the city’s website.

Free kids’ dental care
Okanagan Edge Staff - Feb 22, 2019 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

Creekside Dental Clinic has planned a special event for children next month.

The clinic is conducting Children’s Dentistry Day on March 30, giving those who can’t afford dental care a chance to have their kids’ teeth checked out.

Creekside will see as many children as it can, and it will attempt to diagnosis issues first and then determine which procedures it can potentially get done that day. No sedation will be provided, and the service will be available for children under the age of 12.

Creekside is asking candidates to submit an application, which will need to include financial information and one or two paragraphs on why their child should be selected for free dental care.

Hopefuls are asked to send their applications to [email protected].

Get inked for good cause
Okanagan Edge Staff - Feb 19, 2019 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

If you’ve been thinking about getting a tattoo, you might want to circle March 9 on your calendar and get one for a good cause.

That’s the day Kelowna’s Jays and Arrows Tattoo Inc. will be raising money for the Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society, which supports women and children affected by sexual abuse, exploitation or violence.

“Women and children’s services are near and dear to me,” owner and artist Darcy Cameron said in a press release. “There was a time in my childhood when we had to call on services like Elizabeth Fry. They helped us get through a tough time, and thankfully now I’m in a position to give back.”

International Women’s Day is March 9, so Jays and Arrows will be conducting a 99 Red Balloons Tattoo Marathon. Four artists will tattoo non-stop from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., putting a single red balloon on 99 people. Each tattoo will cost $99, with all of the money going to the Elizabeth Fry Society.

Donations will also be accepted from those who want to help but aren’t ready to get a tattoo.

Toys’R’Us battles bullying
Okanagan Edge Staff - Feb 15, 2019 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

Toys’R’Us is once again doing all it can to end bullying.

The toy store will be handing out 100 pink T-shirts at each of its locations on Saturday for kids to wear on Anti-Bullying Day, which is Wednesday, Feb. 27.

Pink Shirt Day, as Anti-Bullying Day is also known, originated in Canada in 2007 and inspires Canadians to take action against violence and bullying.

The T-shirts, which read ‘Be a Buddy, Not a Bully,’ will be given away starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday at all 82 of Canada’s Toys’R’Us and Babies’R’Us stores.

KGH wants more heart
Jon Manchester - Feb 13, 2019 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

A $7-million campaign was launched Tuesday to bring advanced heart rhythm services to Kelowna General Hospital.

The KGH Foundation’s Right Here at KGH campaign will keep Interior patients closer to home.

Every year, hundreds of patients from across the Interior must wait up to eight weeks for a bed to become available at hospitals in the Lower Mainland or on Vancouver Island.

Bringing a state-of-the-art electrophysiology lab to KGH will make it the regional hub for IH’s cardiac sciences program.

“The KGH Foundation makes it possible for these advanced services to be available right here in the Interior because of the support that is provided by the community,” foundation CEO Doug Rankmore said. “Working together we are able to provide funding to allow services like cardiac electrophysiology to be offered sooner than may have otherwise been the case. This is part of what makes KGH an advanced healthcare facility.”

“As cardiac physicians and surgeons, we are absolutely working arm-in-arm with the KGH Foundation to bring EP to KGH. We’ve already seen first-hand how donors can have a direct impact on the quality and accessibility of patient care we can deliver,” said Dr. Kathryn Brown, medical director of IH cardiac diagnostics.

The goal is to have the EP lab operational by the summer of 2020, and it will provide more than 450 life-saving therapies per year.

Heart rhythm services encompass the evaluation and treatment of patients with a variety of cardiac rhythm disorders, also known as arrhythmia.

Currently, only basic heart rhythm services are available at KGH, one of five cardiac centres in B.C. and the only one east of Metro Vancouver.

Arrhythmias are projected to be the leading cause of death in Canada by 2020.

Ramsays donate 50K
Jon Manchester - Feb 08, 2019 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

A Kelowna family is continuing its patriarch’s legacy with a $50,000 donation to the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation.

The gift from Darlene Ramsay and daughters Laura and Kathryn is in honour of the late Jim Ramsay, and will pay for a bedroom at JoeAnna’s House, a home away from home for families of patients that is under construction on the KGH campus.

The 20-room home will serve families who have to travel to Kelowna for specialized health care.

Jim Ramsay died unexpectedly in June 2016 and had previously made a significant gift to the foundation, towards the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

The Ramsays have also donated prizes for the live auction at the KGH Foundation’s Heart of Gold Gala, and offered complimentary makeovers to KGH nursing staff for the annual Innkeeper’s fete.

“It’s our hope that everyone who comes to JoeAnna’s House will feel safe, warm and loved,” Darlene said in a press release.

Construction on JoeAnna’s House is expected to be complete by Christmas 2019.

All Get Involved Stories