Raquel Millikin
Okanagan Edge Staff - 6:00 am - Got the Edge

Name: Raquel Millikin

Employer: Nest Design

City: Kelowna

Occupation: Interior Decorator

Tell us about your job: I own Nest Design and I’m one of the lucky ones who loves their job. I am always meeting with incredible clients and helping them design, build, decorate or renovate their homes into spaces they love.

Tell us about yourself: I am a Mother of 3 wonderful children, have a thriving business, a wonderful guy, great friends and family and a sweet dog and kitten. At 43 have I found peace. It’s not always been that way but life is such an incredible journey if you enjoy the ride and learn from your lessons magic happens.

What do you do for fun? I love to be with my family and friends. I love to travel and explore new places. Recently I’ve changed to a pescatarian clean eating diet and have had incredible changes in my body so I’m enjoying finding new recipes and trying them out.

What Winnie the Pooh character do you most relate to? Kanga because she’s Motherly, offers advice and feeds everyone.

Latest movie or book: I’m actually reading a book about teens called “You’re Ruining My Life.” It’s very insightful and shows me the science behind the teenage brain and why they act the way they do and how to handle it. Although my 14-year-old daughter said she saw my book and that it’s not going to work on her, haha.

What’s your go-to happy place? My home: It’s peaceful and cozy and filled with love. If that doesn’t work I close my eyes and go back to Italy.

End Summer Hunger
Contributed - Aug 15 - Get Involved

Image: Contributed

On June 11, 2017 Francis’ Cheng led a team of Scotiabank volunteers to raise money and food for The Salvation Army Central Okanagan at Save-On-Foods at Cooper and Lakeshore. Even the Okanagan Batman made an appearance at each location, providing opportunities for photos, and calling donors the “real heroes”. Save-On-Foods not only hosted the event, but also generously donated product towards a hot dog BBQ.

This one-day event raised a total of $6,872 in cash and pledges, and $2,500 worth of food. Scotiabank generously matched the cash donations up to $5,000, for a grand total $14,372! These donations directly support The Salvation Army’s Community Life Centre (CLC) which runs a supportive food bank in Rutland, as well as providing casework services and programming to the community, with an average of over 540 individuals and families accessing these services each month.

“These donations are coming in at the perfect time as our shelves need restocking”, says Sonia Withers, Community Ministries Coordinator at the CLC, “We need the community to partner with us to meet the needs that so many people have. Francis and his team did just that for us this summer.”

This is the second annual End Summer Hunger food drive, and Scotiabank’s second matching event in the last year. “Francis Cheng has been an incredible advocate for our mission”, says Darryl Burry, Executive Director. “Francis has shared of his personal experience with The Salvation Army, and how his life was impacted, and how he’s giving back. It is a joy and privilege to have him partner with us.”

The Salvation Army is looking for more advocates who would like to spearhead a fundraising event with us. If this is you, please contact Dorothy [email protected] Follow our story of hope on Facebook at The Salvation Army Central Okanagan, on Instagram @salvationarmyokanagan, on Twitter @kelownasallyann and on our website www.kelownasalvationarmy.ca

About The Salvation Army: The Salvation Army is an international Christian organization that began its work in Canada in 1882 and has grown to become the largest non-governmental direct provider of social services in the country. The Salvation Army gives hope and support to vulnerable people today and every day in 400 communities across Canada and more than 128 countries around the world. The Salvation Army offers practical assistance for children and families, often tending to the necessities of life, providing shelter for homeless people and rehabilitation for people who have lost control of their lives to an addiction. When you give to The Salvation Army, you are investing in the future of marginalized and overlooked people in your community.

Porsche hosts 100 men
Contributed - Aug 14 - Get Involved

Image: Contributed

More than 100 men will gather at the newly opened Porsche Centre Kelowna tomorrow to give back to the community.

The Kelowna chapter of 100+ Men Who Give a Damn will hold its ninth quarterly meeting at the newly completed dealership Aug. 15, as members come together to support a local charity.

The group has been gaining notoriety in Kelowna over the past several years for its simple, yet effective strategy.

Four times a year, each of the 100 plus loosely-organized members pledges $100 to give to charity.

At each quarterly meeting, the men come together and hear presentations from several local charities, and at the end of the night decide which to give to.

The evening provides a welcome swell of donations for the chosen charity, and gives the others some much-needed exposure.

Since its inception, the Kelowna Chapter of 100+ Men Who Give a Damn has donated more than $135,000 to local charities.

Fresh off its official opening, Porsche Centre Kelowna will host Tuesday’s meeting. The dealership is located at 888 Finns Rd. in Kelowna. Doors open at 6 p.m. and refreshments will be served.

For more information visit 100 Men Kelowna online.

Swinging for a cause
Madison Erhardt - Aug 14 - Get Involved

Image: Contributed

Golfers teed off for a good cause at the eighth annual Kelowna Golf and Country Club Charity Golf Tournament.

Funds from the event will benefit the Okanagan YMCA’s Strong Kids campaign through 2019.

“We are so incredibly grateful that the tournament committee selected the YMCA’s Strong Kids campaign as the recipient of the tournament proceeds,” said the YMCA’s Rhonda Zakala.

“Our communities are facing growing challenges vulnerable families, unhealthy lifestyles and, with that, social isolation. This donation will provide financial assistance to low-income families so they have equal access to Y programs, memberships and child care programs,” Zakala added.

One hundred and twenty golfers participated, hitting the greens on July 24. Funds were raised through sponsorships, donations and a raffle. Over $60,000 was raised.

“We selected the YMCA’s Strong Kids Campaign due to the Y’s positive proven impact and that 100 per cent of the proceeds go directly to their supportive programming without any administration costs…. We stand proud today, able to announce these funds collected for this great cause,” said co-chair Dr. John Weisbeck.

Karla Kozakevich
Okanagan Edge Staff - Aug 14 - Got the Edge


Name: Karla Kozakevich

Employer: Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen

City:  Penticton

Occupation: Chair of the RDOS and director for Area E Naramata

Tell us about your job:  For the past five years I have represented Naramata as their elected official at the RDOS board table.  I work hard to look after the needs of the community and the Greater Naramata area, which includes Indian Rock, Glenfir, Chute Lake and Falcon Ridge.

In November of 2016 I was elected as Chair of the RDOS.  The RDOS board of directors is made up of 18 elected officials from eight rural areas and six municipalities stretching from Naramata and Summerland in the north to the U.S. border and west to Princeton and Manning Park.

Tell us about yourself:  I was born and raised in Penticton and moved to North Vancouver to attend Simon Fraser University, where I competed internationally for their varsity field hockey team. My father was born in Penticton and still lives here, along with many other family members and friends.

I also lived in Burlington, Ontario where I managed federal and provincial services for youth and adults with disabilities.  While Ontario provided an excellent employment opportunity, it did not provide the same quality of life as the Okanagan Valley. I have lived in Naramata for more than 11 years and have a 12-year-old son attending KVR’s French I\immersion program. He is currently interested in a career in politics.

What do you do for fun? I enjoy skiing in the winter, and while I say I will get out and golf more each summer, I have yet to make that happen. I enjoy travelling and would like to get out and see more of the world.

What Winnie the Pooh character do you most relate to?  As a child I adored Eeyore, but must say I’m much more like Tigger. I appreciate his friendly enthusiasm.

Latest movie or book: I am currently reading Chaos by Patricia Cornwell.

What’s your go to happy place? Sitting on my deck, overlooking the valley and lake, sipping a glass of local wine.

Sandcastles support charity
Chantelle Deacon - Aug 11 - Get Involved

Image: Chantelle Deacon
The start of Rona’s attempted Ursula sandcastle.

The 37th annual Penticton Peach Festival sandcastle building competition Thursday had an even stronger turnout than expected.

Held every year at Skaha Beach during Peachfest, the event attracts impressive sandcastle building skills, while raising money for local charities. Last year the Penticton-Okanagan Rotary Club raised about $5,000.

“This year was exceptionally good because we sold out in less than an hour,” said Rick Covell member of the Penticton-Okanagan Rotary Club. “You never know from one year to the next how many people are going to show up.”

The volunteer team started setting up at 12:30 p.m., on Aug. 10, to water down the sand and make it usable for the sculptures.

“There is corporate teams, family teams, individual teenagers and young kids under 12, all competing for a prize,” Covell said.

The Rona Home Centre in Penticton staff were competing in the event, with the goal of making a popular animated character.

“We were building Ursula from The Little Mermaid but he isn’t no Ursula,” said Chad Mielke owner of Rona Penticton. “It’s going to be an octopus man, a very homely looking one.”

The Rona in Penticton donates about $2,500 to the event. The teams that wins the corporate competition donate $500 in winnings to a local charity of their choice.

Last year, Rona Penticton won the corporate competition and donated their winnings to the South Okanagan Woman In Need Society.

Peter Teschner
Okanagan Edge Staff - Aug 11 - Got the Edge

Name: Peter Teschner.

What business or organization are you involved with? Cherry Lane Homes Ltd.

What is your role with that organization? President, developer and builder.

What’s your favourite thing about living in the Okanagan? There are many, but one of my favourite thing about living in the Okanagan would be the landscape and scenery. I also love being only minutes away from wilderness, and being able to find peacefulness of nature.

If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would you choose and why? If I could have lunch with anyone in this world I would choose Elon Musk because I respect his intelligence and want to learn more about everything he is doing.

What’s your go-to happy place? My go-to happy place is spending time with my sweetie in our boat, floating on Lake Okanagan and chilling with a glass of wine.

What are you most proud of? I am most proud of my two sons.

What are the top three things on your bucket list?
-A Hot Air Balloon ride in the Napa Valley;
-Go on a trip to China;
-Driving a Tesla across the country.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? Cougar meat.

Latest movie or book? A book about Elon Musk.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? The best gift ever: an infinity bracelet.

If today were your last day, how would you spend it? I would spend it with the people I love.

Store to match donations
Contributed - Aug 10 - Get Involved

Image: Facebook

In response to overwhelming support and feedback from its customers, Urban Fare has announced it will match donations collected by former Hollywood executive and producer Larry Sugar for the victims of the BC wildfires.

Sugar, a long-time Urban Fare customer, decided last week to setup a table outside the Yaletown grocery store and start collecting donations for B.C. residents impacted by the fires.

The response from customers and the public was quick and generous.

“Just over the weekend, we raised about two thousand dollars,” said Sugar. “I even had a homeless man give me twenty cents and tell me that he knew what it was like to lose your home.”

Local Vancouver artist Wendy Williams-Watt lent her famous Big Love Ball to Sugar, to help him grab the attention of passersby.

“The Urban Fare team was really touched by the generosity of our customers,” says Michael Huhn, Urban Fare Store Manager. “I knew right away, we had to find a way to support Larry’s efforts. So we’ve invited him back this weekend and we’re gonna match the donations he collects.”

Sugar will be back outside of the Urban Fare store at 177 Davie Street this Saturday and Sunday, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Donations he collects will go directly to the Red Cross and Urban Fare will match this amount, up to his fundraising goal of $5,000.00

“It’s not just about the money,” says Huhn. “This is about sharing some love with people that really need it right now.”

Okanagan Feast of Fields
Kate Bouey - Aug 10 - Get Involved

Image: Contributed

Local food and drink will be the focus of the Okanagan Feast of Fields celebration and fundraiser.

The event highlights the contribution that local chefs, restaurants, farmers, ranchers, fishers, food artisans, vintners, brewers and distillers make to the local food economy.

Feast of Fields will be held at Caldwell Heritage Farm on Sunday, where guests are invited to taste, sip and enjoy local creations from over 60 of B.C.’s best food and beverage providers.

It emphasizes the connection to the land and support for the regional economy as well as the creation of delicious local, seasonal foods.

Proceeds from the event will be used to support FarmFolk CityFolk, which in turn supports community-based sustainable food systems.

The venue is a working farm in southeast Kelowna with an impressive collection of vintage farm equipment, industrial tools, trucks and antiques. Visitors will get a sneak peek at a small batch craft farm distillery in the making.

To learn more about Okanagan Feast of Fields and to purchase tickets, go online.

The generous Dorcas Ladies
Chantelle Deacon - Aug 09 - Get Involved

Image: The Dorcas Ladies
Anne Polishuk, manager of the Osoyoos United Church Thrift Shop.

The Osoyoos Dorcas Ladies are giving $30,000 to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation’s campaign to supply the medical equipment for the Penticton Regional Hospital expansion.

The Dorcas Ladies run a thrift store, located in the basement of Osoyoos United Church, and donate all profits to charity. The thrift store, which has been operating for more than 50 years, generates about $50,000 a year in proceeds.

“It still surprises me how well we do with the Thrift Store because Osoyoos is not a large community,” said Marie Therrien, president of the Dorcas Unit. “We have very limited space but we do very well with what we have.”

The gift has enabled the organization to gain provincial approval to have their name associated with a patient room in the new PRH patient care tower, now under construction.

“So many Osoyoos residents end up as patients in Penticton that we decided it would be very worthwhile for our own community to support it,” Therrien said.

The community knows the Dorcas Ladies have a history of giving and Therrien wants emphasize they have not overlooked Osoyoos charities.

“We have been able to do many things locally here in Osoyoos plus contributing to some individuals’ needs as well,” she said.

The Dorcas Ladies will also continue to donate to the local Osoyoos food bank, an Osoyoos Secondary School scholarship, fire relief efforts, a foster child in Africa and the Osoyoos United Church.

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