Pushor Mitchell gets to work
Okanagan Edge Staff - 3:05 pm - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

Pushor Mitchell lawyers rolled up their sleeves last week and got to work in support of United Way BC.

The Kelowna law firm held Pushor Mitchell Day of Community on Friday, giving back to several groups within the community. Lawyers and staff from the firm visited nine non-profit organizations and performed a variety of tasks, including gardening, painting and sorting merchandise.

Organizations supported included BrainTrust Canada, Central Okanagan Hospice Association, Clubhouse Childcare Centre, CRIS Adaptive, Kelowna Gospel Mission, Kelowna S.H.A.R.E. Society, Reach Out Counselling, Salvation Army West Kelowna and YMCA of Southern Interior BC.

“Giving back to Kelowna and the Okanagan community is at the heart of Pushor Mitchell,” managing partner Joni Metherell said in a press release. “We strongly believe that by serving the community with compassion, understanding, a sense of unity and, of course, some fun that we are all stronger together.

“We were pleased to partner with United Way BC on our special Pushor Mitchell Day of Community and to help many hard-working organizations in our community.”

BrainTrust Canada was thankful for the help it received from Pushor Mitchell, which has 36 lawyers in more than 25 areas of practice.

“We’re truly honored to have the Pushor Mitchell team contribute their time and energy to assist us in the completion of our new office space,” BrainTrust Canada executive director Amanda McFarlane said. “Their unwavering support over the years has been instrumental in furthering our mission, and their Pushor Mitchell Day of Community embodies the firms’ values, their engagement with community and their determination to make a positive difference.”

Voyager RV nears giveaway goal
Okanagan Edge Staff - 11:12 am - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

Voyager RV Centre is on pace to shatter its fundraising target this year.

The Lake Country RV dealership has already donated more than $88,000 to local charities through its Voyager Cares program. Its goal this year was to raise $100,000, and it looks like it will blow past that mark by the end of the year.

The company had given away $30,000 by the end of April, and since then it has donated $11,250 to Kelowna Hospice House, $15,150 to Mamas for Mamas, $13,050 to the BC Heart & Stroke Foundation and, most recently, $17,250 to BC Cancer Foundation.

“While our core business revolves around sales and servicing of RVs, we believe in extending our impact beyond that,” Voyager RV vice-president Jason Friesen said. “I just think there has to be more to it, and I feel like as business operators we have a responsibility to our community.”

Every employee at Voyager RV votes for the charities closest to their hearts, and top eight vote-getters are chosen as the ones to receive donations throughout the year. Each charity is assigned a specific month, and the money raised is from a percentage of each sale during that time.

September’s charity is Paws It Forward Dog Rescue, and October’s is Critteraid Animal Sanctuary.

Photo: Contributed

Uride rides to rescue
Okanagan Edge Staff - Sep 22, 2023 - Get Involved

Photo: Uride

Uride has been busy transporting people around Kelowna and Kamloops, but it has also been helping to feed those who are in need of meals.

The local ride-share company on Wednesday held another “Ride for a Reason” fundraiser as part of its Good Deeds program. Riders were asked to leave canned goods in Uride vehicles, and the promotion resulted in a sizeable collection of canned goods that was donated.

“We are immensely proud of the response from our community,” Uride founder and CEO Cody Roberto said in a press release. “It’s heartwarming to witness the collective efforts of our riders, coming together to create a meaningful impact.

“Every canned item donated reflects a personal commitment to supporting our neighbours and fostering a sense of unity.”

The goods collected in Kelowna and Kamloops went to Central Okanagan Food Bank and Kamloops Food Bank, respectively. Uride has also been sending Instacart orders to local food banks throughout September.

“A big thank you to everyone who chose to ride with Uride on September 20, and to our drivers for their commitment and participation,” Roberto said. “Your generous contributions have indeed made a significant difference, showcasing that small acts of kindness can indeed foster a big change. Together, we have taken a step forward in nurturing a community where everyone looks out for each other.”

Big donation for Men’s Shed
Brayden Ursel - Sep 22, 2023 - Get Involved

The Okanagan Men’s Shed in Kelowna is getting an upgrade.

Home Hardware on Thursday dropped off a sizeable donation of lumber for the not-for-profit men’s group that helps bring retired and working men together to both connect and create.

The lumber donated will be used to build an outdoor work space that the group hopes to call home for years to come.

“We’ve had problems in the past with the high prices of real estate and trying to hang on to anything,” Okanagan Men’s Shed member Mike Boucher said. “We’re not for profit, so there’s not much money to go around. We’re just hoping to get something permanent that’ll work for us.”

The group has been forced to move locations a number of times in recent years, which impacted membership.

“It’s been a welcome relief,” he said. “We lost a lot of members over the year because there was nothing to do anymore, so members are coming back now. We’re getting more members coming back all the time and some new ones as well. It’s working out really good.”

Paul Hobbs, the general manager of Home Hardware Kelowna, was on site the day of the delivery to lend a helping hand.

“They’re looking at a 12 by 24 shed to come off their current building (to create) a place for them to work outside,” Hobbs said. “We’re in the wood business. We sell a lot of decks, fences, we work alongside a lot of our home builders in Kelowna. We’re a big part of the community, and this was just a great opportunity to be another connection to the community.”

Cheryl Morrow of the Okanagan Men’s Shed said she’s seen these men come together and do some pretty incredible things for the community.

“We have so many retired people in our community, and we have a lot of these gentlemen who have downsized out of homes, and they don’t really have a garage or anywhere to go to, yet they’ve been so involved in woodworking,” Morrow said. “Now the Okanagan Men’s Shed is a place for them to come and to have a community where they can work on projects.

“They give back to our community so much. They build the crates for the food bank, and they are involved in the Scarecrow festival that is happening in Rutland this weekend, Society of Hope where they’ve built benches. You will see so many things around our city that these elderly gentlemen have done … For them to be able to have a place to come is not only good for our community, but is good for them and their mental health, so we just appreciate this donation from Home Hardware so much.”

The Okanagan Men’s Shed hopes to have the deck completed within a month so that they can bring on bigger community projects in the future. Those who wish to get involved can find more information here.

Festival of Trees sponsors wanted
Okanagan Edge Staff - Sep 21, 2023 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed
The Rota family’s Moana tree, in honour of daughter Ruby, at last year’s Festival of Trees.

Businesses, organizations, families and individuals once again have a chance to raise money for the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation and create beautiful Christmas decorations at the same time.

The annual Festival of Trees will light up the Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort lobby this holiday season, raising money and keeping alive the memory of those who have been lost. The fundraising event has been held for more than 30 years.

Anyone can sponsor a tree, decorate it to their heart’s content and put it on display for all to see. People can then make donations in the name of a certain tree, and the fundraising amounts are tracked for each one.

There is also a People’s Choice Award, for which the public votes for their favourite tree. The winner will be recognized publicly, and this year, as an added bonus, the sponsor of the winning tree will receive a three-night stay in a newly renovated vacation home at the Delta Grand.

The Festival of Trees is especially near and dear to the hearts of Kelowna’s Rota family. Ruby Rota passed away in May 2017 due to a brain tumour, and her family buys and decorates a tree each year to honour her memory. The Rota tree is often the one that raises the most money, too.

“It’s just part of our grieving processes to try to find something positive around the holidays to remember Ruby by,” dad Wes Rota says. “It’s not just for us, but everybody else that knew her: teachers, friends and all those people. It gives them somewhere positive to go and maybe just reflect a little bit.”

The money raised this year will go to childhood cancer research. Last year’s proceeds went to the fight against diabetes in young people.

Those interested in sponsoring a tree can do so on the Festival of Trees website here. The event’s decorating and kickoff party will be held Thursday, Nov. 16, at the Delta Grand, and the trees will be on display until Jan. 5.

Bank supports business students
Josh Dawson - Sep 12, 2023 - Get Involved

Photo: TRU

Scotiabank has committed $300,000 over the next three years to support first-year Thompson Rivers University business students as part of its BBA First Year Student Success Project.

TRU said the project aims to increase academic support, peer mentoring, social engagement activities and financial awards for first year bachelor of business administration students in the Bob Gaglardi School of Business and Economics.

Gaglardi alum and 2023 Scotiabank Entrepreneurship challenge winner Vikrant Singh said individual support is critical to student success.

“Business school isn’t just about knowledge, it’s also about personal and professional development,” Singh said.

“Individual support can make a difference by providing mentorship, personalized learning, career guidance and feedback.”

Scotiabank said it has made the investment as part of a 10-year initiative to promote economic resilience among disadvantaged groups.

“Giving students the tools they need to help them transition to post-secondary education helps to create opportunities for youth to thrive,” said Larry Clements, Scotiabank district vice-president for southeast B.C.

“Through ScotiaRISE, we are proud to support Thompson Rivers University to help remove barriers to full and successful post-secondary participation.”

TRU said research on post-secondary retention across the U.S. and Canada has shown at-risk student populations, including first-generation and low-income students, are prone to lower retention rates.

According to the university, this may be due to a lack of resources for dealing with the challenges of completing a post-secondary degree program.

Gaglardi dean Mike Henry said the student success project’s goal is to increase post-secondary participation for students, especially those facing barriers.

“Dedicated academic advising is particularly important for student retention,” he said. “It’s also helping us create other engagement opportunities that will decrease the need for such interventions in the future.”

TRU said eliminating achievement gaps is one of the university’s four 10-year change goals.

The other goals include honouring truth, reconciliation and rights, being a leader in community research and scholarship, and designing lifelong learning.

Residents wanted for input
Kristen Holliday - Sep 11, 2023 - Get Involved

Photo: Castanet

The City of Kamloops is putting out a call for volunteers who would like to provide input into the future of the city’s civic and recreation facilities.

In a news release, the city said it’s looking for community members to take part in four working groups that will provide information to council’s recently struck Build Kamloops select committee.

Build Kamloops is a program to re-establish the city’s prominence as Canada’s Tournament Capital, foster recognition as a premier arts and culture destination, and keep up with residents’ recreation needs.

Coun. Mike O’Reilly, chair of the Build Kamloops committee, said in a statement this program is about improving quality of life for residents by providing equitable arts, culture and recreation opportunities.

“These volunteers will play a pivotal role in ensuring this program builds up all of Kamloops and creates opportunities that match the diversity of our community,” O’Reilly said.

The four working groups will focus on communications, concept development, community user engagement and finance.

The city is looking for volunteers who have a track record of commitment to the community, demonstrated independence and innovative thinking, and who are collaborative, with experience offering ideas in a group setting.

The city will also be seeking volunteers who have experience in a field or sector related to architecture, property development, construction or finance.

A resume is required to apply for those positions.

Working groups will meet a minimum of four times per calendar year, starting in October 2023.

The application period is open until 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 22.

Residents interested in joining the working groups can find more information and apply through the city’s Let’s Talk page.

Businesses to host fundraiser
Casey Richardson - Sep 07, 2023 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

Hoping to help support those who have lost so much, a group of Penticton businesses has gathered together to host a fire relief fundraiser next weekend.

On Sunday, Sept. 17, a number of local vendors, musicians, restaurants, breweries and wineries who have all willingly donated their time, energy and merchandise will be gathered at 124 Estabrook Ave.

“Our beautiful but strong community has been through a lot over the past few weeks. As local business owners, we thought there must be something really special we could do to help our neighbours, our loved ones, and our friends,” the event post reads.

One hundred per cent of proceeds from entry fees and silent auctions will go to various relief organizations throughout the Okanagan.

Tickets are available online here or at the door. Partial proceeds from the sales at each vendor will be donated as well.

Broke Down Trucks will also be coming from Kelowna to play live music with its four-piece band, followed by Will Schlackl of Jack and Jill and one-man band Ari Neufeld.

For more information, head to the Facebook event page here.

Uride gets kids geared up
Okanagan Edge Staff - Sep 01, 2023 - Get Involved

Photo: Uride

It’s time to go back to school, and a local ride sharing company is trying to make sure every child has what they need.

Uride is taking its Good Deeds Day and donating backpacks filled with school supplies to selected elementary schools in the cities in which it operates.

“Children are the future,” Uride founder and CEO Cody Roberto said in a press release. “Investing in their education and well-being is crucial. By ensuring they have the essential tools, we are actively contributing to their journey of knowledge and growth.” 

Uride operates in B.C., Alberta and Ontario, and it is donating backpacks to 16 schools in those provinces.

That includes Kelowna’s Watson Road Elementary, which will be on the receiving end of backpacks, notebooks, calculators, pencil crayons and more. The intent is to alleviate some pressures faced by parents, teachers and school administrations while bolstering the learning experience for students.

Bond over hospice support
Okanagan Edge Staff - Aug 30, 2023 - Get Involved

Photo: Facebook
Some of the silent auction packages are seen on photographed Instagram posts.

North Okanagan Hospice Society is gearing up for its biggest event of 2023.

From Hospice with Love will be an evening of delicious food, great entertainment and fun games. It is the hospice society’s largest fundraiser of the year.

The James Bond-themed event will take place on Saturday, Sept. 23, at Prestige Vernon Lodge Grand Ballroom.

Some of the highlights will include a champagne reception with canapes, a gourmet three-course meal, The Legendary Lake Monsters dance band, casino games, silent auction, dance demonstration, James Bond impersonator and an online 50/50 that could pay up to $10,000.

More information about the From Hospice with Love event, including the ticket link, can be found here.

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