Big donation for OC daycare
Okanagan Edge Staff - 11:52 am - Get Involved

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(L to R): Okanagan College Foundation chair Gladys Fraser, OCF executive director Helen Jackman, Okanagan College Vernon Students’ Association general manager Eric Reist, human service work student Athena Grelson, Lloyd Davies and Janet Armstrong.

Lloyd Davies for years heard from colleagues and students about their struggles with daycare.

That is why Davies and his wife, Janet Armstrong, have donated $500,000 to support the construction of a child-care centre at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus.

Davies first noticed the impact of daycare in 1985, when he returned to Okanagan College to complete his teaching certification training through the SFU extension professional development program.

“I had several colleagues who were struggling with daycare,” Davies said in a press release. “They were trying to get teacher credentials and further their careers, but finding daycare for their children was a hassle.”

Davies, who taught adult upgrading courses at Okanagan College from 1999 to 2014, and Armstrong have been big supporters of Vernon community groups over the years. This donation, however, was definitely near and dear to Davies’ heart.

“I had a whole bunch of adult learners, and a lot of them with younger families had problems with daycare,” he said. “Time and again, I would have students missing class, missing labs, missing exams. It was an ongoing issue with students who had young children.

“It was never a huge number, but it was pretty apparent what was happening. Really good students were working really, really hard, but daycare was just this huge hurdle for them to get over.”

The $500,000 gift enabled Okanagan College to apply to the provincial government’s ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund to create new child-care spaces at the Vernon campus. ChildCareBC’s intake for 2022 focused on spaces run by public and non-profit institutions, with priority provided to spaces co-located at places of learning such as post-secondary institutions.

Toque money will help Ukraine
Rob Gibson - May 06, 2022 - Get Involved

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Big White’s “Stand with Ukraine” toque fundraising campaign has raised $8,302 for the people of Ukraine since it started in April.

Big White senior vice-president Michael J. Ballingall tells Castanet they were hoping to raise $10,000 for the cause.

“The team at Kelowna Stands With Ukraine Association desperately needs the funds, so we will be making the presentation tomorrow (Friday).”

Ballingall says Big White partnered with the Quebec company that produces their toques.

“Elle and her team reached out to BulaBula out of Quebec, who manufacture our world-famous snowball pompom toques, and all proceeds of the blue and yellow toques are going directly to Ukraine.”

“They are doing good work, so on behalf of all those who have contributed, we would like to say thank you,” Ballingall said.

Walk for Alzheimer’s is back
Okanagan Edge Staff - May 02, 2022 - Get Involved

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The IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s will return to communities across B.C. later this month.

The event is the Alzheimer’s Society of B.C.’s flagship fundraiser. The money will go towards local support and learning opportunities for people living with dementia and their families, as well as enabling research into the causes of and cure for the disease

Individuals can sign up for the event and walk throughout the month of May, or they come can attend their local walk and celebration. Kelowna’s will be held on Sunday, May 29, at noon at City Park, near Hot Sands Beach.

This year’s Kelowna honourees are Ian and Janice Beaton. Ian is in his early 60s and was diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer’s.

“I know a lot of people think of dementia as an older person’s disease,” Janice said in a press release. “It’s important for people to know that you can get this at any age. Enjoy life to the fullest because you never know what the future holds.”

For more information about the walk or to find an event near you, visit the website here.

Win cash, support mental health
Okanagan Edge Staff - Apr 29, 2022 - Get Involved

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Kelowna’s Third Space Charity is celebrating its 10th anniversary by raising some money and giving half of it back to one lucky winner.

The “Win Big for Mental Health” promotion is an online 50-50 raffle through Kelowna-based software company Trellis. It is one of the smaller charities in the Central Okanagan that has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation over the last two years, so it is looking for a boost from the community.

Tickets are $5 each, three for $10 or eight for $20, and they can be purchased here until May 9. The draw will happen on May 11.

Third Space Charity builds capacity and supports community mental health through an intensive, high-level internship practicum program for clinical counsellors in training and free, supportive care counselling services for young adults between 18 and 29 years of age.

Last year alone Third Space Charity mentored 12 student interns who provided 275 young adults with more than 1,650 free sessions of supportive care counselling.

Buy a towel, help a Mama
Okanagan Edge Staff - Apr 25, 2022 - Get Involved

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Tofino Towel Company will be producing a limited edition towel to raise money for Mamas for Mamas.

The Tofino business will make 500 towels as part of its 2022 collection, and the proceeds will go to the Kelowna-based organization that supports mothers and caregivers who are in crisis.

The towel was designed by an Okanagan artist and mom who incorporated the Mamas for Mamas logo into the design of the towel.

“As we created a custom towel, this process of development can often take up to a year, and we were fortunate to have a local Kelowna mama donate her design-creation of the artwork for the pattern,” Tofino Towel Co. executive director Kathryn Lee said in a press release. “It took over six months to weave this custom towel for the Mamas for Mamas, as each towel is woven by hand.

“This towel isn’t just a towel; it has so many ways to use it. You can use it as a throw, table cloth, scarf, stroller cover, picnic blanket, swaddle, sarong, wall tapestry and, of course, as a towel.”

Each towel is made from 100% organic Turkish cotton, and they are a natural and sustainable product. The towel is reversible.

More information about the Mamas for Mamas towel can be found here.

SOWINS seeks board chair
Chelsea Powrie - Apr 25, 2022 - Get Involved

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The South Okanagan Women in Need Society is looking for a new board chair.

It is a volunteer position at the helm of an energetic team of 10 members who oversee the non-profit work SOWINS does to help women and children fleeing abuse in the South Okanagan.

The board hopes to fill the job with the right person for a start date in June 2022 for either a one- or two-year term.

Prior chairs have indicated that the time commitment is approximately 25 hours per month.

“The Board Development Committee is working on a succession plan to encourage current board members to pursue leadership positions,” the board explained in a press release.

“However, for this coming year, the SOWINS board requires an experienced non-profit chair to come forward from our community.”

The non-profit organization has a budget of more than $3 million, with 50 union and non-union staff managed by an executive director.

Anyone interested can find out more about SOWINS here.

All inquiries can be sent to Sharon Romank, board development chair, at [email protected] by May 13.

Stober helps meet fund goal
Okanagan Edge Staff - Apr 22, 2022 - Get Involved

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The student-led investment fund at Okanagan College got a big boost of capital this week.

Stober Foundation poured a $40,000 donation into the fund, which helped the business students who started the initiative to get to their $100,000 goal.

OC business students Riley Dunsmore and Steven Fiust, along with recent alumnus Justin Rantucci, created the Okanagan College Student Investment Fund to give students experiential learning opportunities and benefit future students with bursaries and scholarships.

The fund will provide a pool of money for business students at all four OC campuses to make real-world investments under the supervision and support of a team of expert advisors. The fund will be held and governed by Okanagan College Foundation, but the students will be calling most of the shots.

“This fund fits the Stober Foundation’s mission beautifully; it’s progressive, forward-thinking and sustainable in nature,” Stober Foundation lead philanthropist Keith Z. Brewster said in a press release.

Once the fund builds to $500,000, all proceeds will be distributed as bursaries and scholarships to incoming classes of Okanagan College students.

Much given on Day of Giving
Rob Gibson - Apr 22, 2022 - Get Involved

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The KGH Foundation raised almost $1 million in this year’s annual Day of Giving in support of local mental health care.

Thursday marked the sixth annual KGH Foundation Day of Giving, a one-day call to action for the community to support excellence in local health care. By midnight last night, April 21, a total of $969,207.06 had been raised in support of the Foundation’s ‘We see you’ campaign to provide immediate funding for local mental health-care providers and support long-term collaboration for system change.

“Yesterday, the community made their commitment to advancing mental health care right here at home absolutely clear,” KGH Foundation CEO Allison Ramchuk said. “Mental health care must be a priority. Because it is care for all of us.”

The campaign is a collaboration between the foundation, Interior Health, and community providers, including CMHA-Kelowna, Child Advocacy Centre and Kelowna Community Resources.

But even before Thursday’s fundraiser, three generous local families agreed to match all donations made up until midnight.

“What we saw this year, compared to Day of Giving in years past, is so many more people are giving. Calling in, donating online and driving through our donation station at the hospital,” relayed Chandel Schmidt, the KGH Foundation’s senior director of philanthropic programs.

“Our first gift of the day, just before 6 a.m., was from a gentlemen who seemed a little down on his luck. As he was walking by, he asked what we were up to. When we told him, he dug into his pocket and produced 40 cents. He said, ‘It’s all I have, but I want to give. What you’re doing is very important,’” Schmidt said. “We were so touched by his generosity. This is why Day of Giving is incredibly special. It provides everyone with the opportunity to take action in support of better health care in our community.”

The Sprott Shaw Change Bandits and a host of Kelowna ambassadors, including Gavin Hamilton from the Kelowna Rockets and Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran, threw their efforts behind the cause.

“Being a part of this Day of Giving reminds us how important it is that we come together as a community to support one another,” Orchard Plaza Save on Foods manager Scott Nazaruk said. “It was really heart-warming to witness the generosity of folks firsthand.”

“This was a truly an unprecedented show of support for local mental health care programs in our community,” Ramchuk said. “Nearly a million dollars in one day. Incredible.”

OneSky could use your help
Okanagan Edge Staff - Apr 22, 2022 - Get Involved

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OneSky Community Resources is looking for new board members.

The Penticton-based community support organization provides services to children and families, youth, adults and seniors throughout the South Okanagan and Similkameen.

It is looking for anyone with backgrounds in human resources and business, advocacy and government relations, information technology, finance and accounting, law, fundraising or marketing. Board members are needed for six to eight hours per month.

The OneSky Community Resources board provides vision and strategic direction to more than 20 diverse social and health programs in South Okanagan and Similkameen communities. OneSky also partners with other community organizations to provide housing and health services.

Application forms, which can be found here, should be sent to [email protected] by May 13.

Camaro convertible up for grabs
Tim Petruk - Apr 19, 2022 - Get Involved

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Tickets are on sale for a classic car raffle benefiting Habitat for Humanity Kamloops.

Ticket sales for the agency’s 2022 classic car raffle started last Friday, and $25 will give you a chance to win a red 1968 Chevrolet Camaro SS convertible.

Habitat for Humanity Kamloops is a non-profit housing organization serving Kamloops and communities in the Thompson-Nicola, Columbia-Shuswap, Cariboo and Fraser-Fort George regions of B.C. to provide safe, decent, affordable housing.

Proceeds of the charity raffle will support Habitat for Humanity Kamloops and its mission to build affordable housing for seniors, veterans and families throughout the service area.

Tickets can be purchased online here or in person at Castanet Kamloops (102-635 Victoria St.), ReStore Kamloops, ReStore Salmon Arm, Raceway Barber in Salmon Arm, PJ’s Family Restaurant in Salmon Arm, the Falkland Pub, Salmon Arm GM and Swan Lake Motors in Vernon.

Ticket sales will close on Oct. 15, with the draw slated to take place later that day.

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