Shuswap Stars back to dance
Victoria Femia - Sep 21, 2021 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

The popular fundraising event, Dancing with the Shuswap Stars, is back for another year after being cancelled last year due to COVID-19.

The charity organization took to its Facebook page to announce its return.

“Dancing with the Shuswap Stars is back (with a few COVID changes) for 2021 and so are our wonderful dance instructors Heather and Jens from City Dance! They have already started developing amazing routines for our new competitors!”

This year, money raised will be donated to the Shuswap Hospice Society.

Anyone can support a couple by buying stars for $5 each for them.

The fifth Annual Dancing with the Shuswap Stars will take place on Nov. 19. The deadline to submit your junior contest application and video is Sept. 30 at noon.

The event will be live streamed with takeout food packages available.

More information can be found on their website.

More than $1M for Terry Fox fund
Colin Dacre - Sep 21, 2021 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed
Norm Letnick

Kelowna has now donated more than $1 million to the Terry Fox Foundation.

Contributions from the weekend’s virtual event are still trickling in, but so far the 2021 edition of the Kelowna Terry Fox Run raised more than $25,000.

Prior to this weekend, between 1985 and 2020, $990,788 had been raised in Kelowna. This weekend pushed the community over the $1 million mark.

“Thank you to everyone from Kelowna and across Canada who laced up their shoes and carried on Terry Fox’s incredible journey and mission to raise cancer awareness and funding for cancer research,” organizer Norm Letnick wrote on Facebook.

“We can now begin the exciting work of planning for a return to an in-person event in 2022, but I wanted to extend a very sincere thank you and congratulations to our community for everything they have done to help carry on Terry’s life changing work and continue his legacy as a Canadian hero.”

Mamas sets sights high
Okanagan Edge Staff - Sep 20, 2021 - Get Involved

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Mamas for Mamas has set a huge fundraising goal for the next 10 days to make up for its cancelled annual gala.

The Kelowna-based charity, which raises money for mothers and fathers in need, is conducting the $21 for 21 Moments of Hope campaign, beginning Tuesday (Sept. 21) and wrapping up on Sept. 30. The goal is to raise a whopping $210,000 for parents in need.

The organization’s gala was scheduled to take place on Oct. 1, but it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When the pandemic caused us to have to postpone our annual gala, our team came together and developed a plan to help us replace these much needed dollars normally raised during that event,” Mamas for Mamas founder and CEO Shannon Christensen said in a press release. “Poverty doesn’t take a break because of the pandemic. In fact, we have seen a large increase in the needs for Mamas for Mamas services over the last nineteen months.

“What is most important is that we do everything we can to find a way to raise money so that we can continue to support our clients and continue to give everyone we see a hand up and provide these moments of hope in some of their darkest times.”

Anyone who wishes to support Mamas for Mamas in this campaign can do so here. Nimmo Bay has donated a two-night, all-inclusive stay for two—a package worth more than $8,900—as a door prize for all participants who either donate financially to this campaign or provide a random act of kindness to someone else and then upload a photo and tag Mamas for Mamas and use the hashtag #mamas21moments.

The campaign results and selection of the winner will be announced on an Instagram Live hosted by Christensen on Oct. 1 at 6 p.m. on the Mamas for Mamas Instagram account.

Enactus OC seeks apple pickers
Okanagan Edge Staff - Sep 20, 2021 - Get Involved

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Enactus Okanagan College students are looking for a few good volunteers to help them make healthy snacks for children and others in need.

The student business organization is seeking volunteers to help its members pick apples for their Fruit Snaps project that was created in 2018 out of Vernon and Penticton. Enactus OC takes unused apples from local orchards and turns them into Fruit Snaps, which are dried snacks given to underprivileged children and others in need throughout the Okanagan.

The Fruit Snaps team held its first apple picking session on Sunday at 10168 Grey Rd. in Coldstream, but it has three more scheduled for the rest of the month. It is asked volunteers to join the team on Wednesday (Sept. 22) from 4 to 6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 25, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesday, Sept. 29, from 4 to 6 p.m.

Volunteers are asked to bring masks to ensure COVID-19 protocols are followed.

Fruit Snaps has diverted 42,000 pounds of apples from going to waste over the last three years, providing 75,000 servings of nutritious fruit to more than 4,000 children and people in need.

Fill a BigSteelBox for Sally Ann
Okanagan Edge Staff - Sep 14, 2021 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

The Salvation Army in Kelowna is teaming up with BigSteelBox on a donation drive next week.

The event will take place on Thursday, Sept. 23, at Kelowna’s Superstore, which is located at 2280 Baron Rd. BigSteelBox will have one of its containers there, and the goal is to receive enough donated items to fill it between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

BigSteelBox volunteers will be on hand to take the donations. The Salvation Army says “many small contributions can have a huge impact and help us all build a stronger community.”

The items will go to The Salvation Army thrift store locations in Kelowna, Rutland and West Kelowna.

Those who drop off items will also be able to enter for a chance to win two youth Pelican kayaks.

50/50 helps troubled youth
Okanagan Edge Staff - Sep 14, 2021 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

The number of young people in the Okanagan who are anxious, harming themselves or suffering from eating disorders is increasing due to the pandemic, and a local organization is doing what it can to give more aid to the region’s youth.

Kelowna’s Connect Counselling & Therapy Society is planning to run a pair of eight-week group counselling services at no cost. There is currently a five-month waiting list to receive services from the organization, so Connect is trying to alleviate the pressure.

Connect is currently conducting a 50/50 in honour of a special birthday. The deadline for the Connect Counselling and Therapy 35th Anniversary Celebration Jackpot is this Monday, Sept. 20, at midnight, and the draw will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 21, at 1 p.m.

“We have experienced a spike in youth seeking counselling since the COVID-19 pandemic,” Connect executive director Roxie Van Aller said in a press release. “Youth benefit from counselling and develop a greater degree of self-awareness, coping strategies and understanding of themselves and others.

“This improves self-esteem and becomes reflective in their personal relationships. Healthy youth grow into healthy adults, and this always benefits the community as a whole.”

Ticket information for the 50/50 can be found here.

Myeloma march raises $20K
Okanagan Edge Staff - Sep 13, 2021 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed
Greg Balkwill, left, and his team raised more than $5,000.

The sixth annual Multiple Myeloma March in Kelowna has raised more than $20,000 … so far.

The five-kilometre walk and run was held on Saturday at Kerry Park, and leading the fundraising charge was Greg Balkwill, who is suffering from smouldering myeloma. Balkwill raised more than $5,000 himself to fight the disease, which is the second most common form of blood cancer.

Organizers of the Kelowna event were hoping to raise $10,000 at the event, so they were ecstatic to more than double their goal. Kelowna was one of 32 communities across the country to take part in the annual march.

Train Station Pub gives back
Rob Gibson - Sep 13, 2021 - Get Involved

The Train Station Pub will be closed to the public on Monday so it can focus on giving back to Kelowna General Hospital and BC Cancer Care staff.

“We were looking for an opportunity to do something good for the community,” Train Station owner David Lindsay said.

The Train Station is offering all KGH and BC Cancer Care staff a free meal on Monday. Front-line health-care workers are being encouraged to reserve a time online.

“We wanted to recreate a health-care shift, a 12-hour shift,” co-owner Rhonda Lindsay said.

The pub is taking reservations between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Monday, and it has already had between 150 and 200 reservations.

“It’s been a long road for all of us and certainly for the health-care workers. They have been working super hard and super long. We thought it was a good opportunity to give back to them,” David added.

The public is encouraged to stop by and show their appreciation and support for health-care workers as well.

“We’re bringing back our famous hotdog stand that we started at the beginning of COVID, and it will be open to the public, with proceeds going to the KGH White Heart Foundation,” Rhonda said.

Essential workers enjoy the view
Okanagan Edge Staff - Sep 07, 2021 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

It appears the complimentary Big White lift ticket provided to essential service workers proved mighty popular over the Labour Day Weekend.

The resort attracted more than 2,000 visitors to the top of the mountain over the weekend, which was also its closing days of summer operations. The press release didn’t indicate how many of those visitors were essential workers, but Big White Ski Resort vice-president Michael J. Ballingall said in a press release that the response to the offer was “very positive.”

“Thank you, everyone, for coming, and we will remain focused on these vital members of our community,” Ballingall said.

“We are proud to showcase our support and gratitude. These people are our modern-day heroes—let’s keep the love going.”

Ballingall also encouraged the public to support KGH Foundation’s White Heart Project, a support campaign for Kelowna General Hospital employees.

Here’s your chance to ‘Fuel Good’
Darren Handschuh - Sep 02, 2021 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

Armstrong Regional Co-op is offering its members and customers a chance to “fuel good.”

As part of Fuel Good Day on Sept. 21, 10 cents from every litre of fuel sold at all Armstrong Regional Co-operative gas bars will be donated to local charities.

This includes all grades of gasoline and diesel fuel. Each gas bar location will be supporting a different non-profit or charity.

The Armstrong gas bar will support the Armstrong Kin Club, The Salmon Arm location will support the Shuswap Theatre Society, and the Vernon station will support the Canadian Mental Health Association.

“The Armstrong Regional Co-operative is committed to serving the community and giving back, not just on this day, but throughout the year,” said Jason Keis, marketing and sales manager of the Armstrong Regional Co-operative. “Fuel Good Day is one of many ways we fuel our communities, whether it’s by sharing profits with our members or supporting local organizations that are doing important work right here in our own backyard.”

Throughout Fuel Good Day, Armstrong Co-op gas bars will have giveaways, member draws, as well as visits from its mascot, Cooper.

The Armstrong Regional Co-operative has served the Okanagan and Shuswap for more than 99 years. Today, the Armstrong Regional Co-op serves more than 23,000 members and many more customers.

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