A gift of solar power
Nicholas Johansen - 8:08 am - Get Involved

Image: File Photo

Several volunteers spent their Saturday on the roof of the Kelowna Gospel Mission Saturday, helping save the shelter $1,000 per year in expenses.

Crews from Okanagan Solar, along with Highstreet Ventures, spent the day installing a solar panel array on the building, worth about $20,000. The money saved through the free energy from the new system will be spent on providing services to the Mission’s clients.

“Look at the need in town, I mean, just helping to give back to the community,” said Rob Monteith, owner of Okanagan Solar.

Monteith said the idea started last fall, when he was driving some of his suppliers down Leon Street.

“There happened to be a couple hundred people in the street and I said to (the suppliers), ‘If you guys have any extra materials that you want to donate, this would be a good place to see if we could help them out with some grid-type power,’” Monteith said. “And they all immediately said yes.

“Then I mentioned it to one of my clients, Highstreet, and they said ‘We’ll help do the install.’”

The savings from the free power will have an impact on what the Mission can offer its clients.

“This is a fantastic project, obviously it’s going to save us money throughout the year on our electric bill, plus it’s green energy,” said Randy Benson, executive director of the Gospel Mission.

“Every dollar helps, it’ll go towards our other programs of feeding and sheltering the people that we serve.”

The grid is expected to begin generating power within a week or two.

Doughnut raises $800K
The Canadian Press - Apr 20 - Get Involved

Image: Twitter

Tim Hortons says the sale of a doughnut bearing the colours of the Humboldt Broncos has helped raise more than $800,000 for the junior hockey team that was involved in a horrific collision earlier this month.

The company had come under fire last week after a franchisee in Nova Scotia reportedly began selling the Broncos-themed doughnuts without intending to donate the proceeds to the team.

Tim Hortons apologized for the “misunderstanding” and then launched a national fundraising campaign to support the team.

In a statement at the time, the coffee and doughnut chain said the franchisee “proactively sold this doughnut as a thoughtful gesture” and had made a personal donation to the Humboldt Broncos Hockey Club.

Sixteen people — including 10 players — were killed and another 13 people were injured after the team’s bus and a truck crashed in a rural Saskatchewan intersection.

On Friday, Tim Hortons said restaurants in every province donated $1 from each yellow and green doughnut sold — along with extra donations made by customers — to a total of $801,066.27.

The company says that makes it “highest donut fundraising initiative in Tim Hortons history.”

“We are humbled by the remarkable showing of support from our restaurant owners and our guests for the Humboldt community following this unimaginable tragedy,” Sami Siddiqui, Tim Hortons Canada’s president, said in a statement.

The company said all proceeds will go to the Humboldt Hockey Club and will be presented to the team Monday.

More than $15 million was also raised for those affected by the crash through an online fundraiser on GoFundMe, which will be distributed through a memorial fund.

Hounds for Hospice
Darren Handschuh - Apr 19 - Get Involved

Image: Fiona Hook, Image Studios

One of the top photographers in the city will be taking snaps of pets for a good cause.

Fiona Hook of Image Studios will be conducting $99 pet photography sessions during May with the money going to the North Okanagan Hospice Society.

Hook said the goal of Hounds for Hospice is to raise $5,000.

“I photograph a lot of babies, families and for a while now we have been photographing pets. I absolutely love photographing dogs,” said Hook. “I have three dogs myself and I just think it’s awesome to have a really nice portrait of your pet, so when we got asked to Dancing with the Vernon Stars we just thought it would be a really great way to raise the money. We have to raise a minimum of $5,000.”

While Hook is calling the fundraiser Hounds for Hospice, the animal being photographed does not have to be a dog.

“We’re hoping to exceed our goal of $5,000,” said Hook.

People can email [email protected] to set up a photo session.

Carolily cares about Karis
Special to Okanagan Edge - Apr 17 - Get Involved

Image: Apryl Stead

When we were first introduced to Karis Support Society it was through one of the Kelowna Women in Business luncheons. We had never heard of the organization but were immediately taken with how passionate the team was and the amazing change it was creating in our community.

Karis seeks to impact the community and the province by providing safe housing, support, life skills, and training for women caught in life-altering addiction and mental health challenges.

One of our mandates at Carolily has always been to inspire and empower women, and to help them feel more beautiful. When we selected Karis as our 2018 charity we knew that we wanted to do more than just donate our time and money—we wanted to have a significant impact on these women’s lives and for them to know they are valued members of our community.

Image: Apryl Stead

On Friday, April 6—with the help of our incredibly kind, giving and creative team—we organized a makeover and photo shoot for three of the Karis ladies, Racquel, Dena, and Diane.

The women began their week with a trip to Georige Girl Vintage. Owner Angela Bricker met with the women for a dress fitting, and each of them walked out with a gorgeous summer dress, gifted to them by Angie.

On the day of the photo shoot the ladies visited Crimson Hair Salon, where salon owner Tara Sebastianis and her team pampered them and styled each of their hair.

The trio was then doted upon by Sarah McIntyre and Brandie Jollimore, our two incredible makeup artists. It was hard to not get teary-eyed, but, with everyone wearing fabulous false eyelashes, there was no crying allowed.

Once their hair and makeup was finished we helped each of the ladies pick out two of our necklaces that made them feel fabulous.

There is nothing quite like seeing someone light up when they find a piece of jewelry that speaks to them. And man, were these ladies beaming—especially when they realized the jewelry was theirs to keep.

Image: Apryl Stead

Apryl Stead, the owner of White Willow Photograpy, opened her home and her studio to us for the photo shoot. As the team was snacking on the most delicious charcuterie board (courtesy of Breanna of Table Forty Nine) Apryl took the ladies one by one into her studio.

She took the time to coach each of them, making sure they were comfortable in front of the camera and were feeling confident. The result was some of the most beautiful photos we had ever seen of women looking and feeling their best.

We want to thank our amazing team for making this day happen. But, more importantly, we want to thank Racquel, Dena, and Diana for letting us be a part of their lives and for opening up their hearts to share their stories with us.

This was one of the most rewarding experiences we have ever had and we plan to make this an annual get together.

This story was originally published by Carolily Finery. More information is available here.

Wineries raise $50K for kids
Colton Davies - Apr 16 - Get Involved

Image: Naramata Bench Wineries
Hundreds of people attended ReWined on Tuesday, which helped raise more than $50,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

An event hosted by the Naramata Bench Wineries Association earlier this week raised more than $50,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of B.C. and Yukon.

Hundreds of people attended ReWined, the NBWA’s annual spring wine tasting event, on Tuesday night in Victoria.

Nineteen Naramata wineries provided products for the tasting event. Proceeds are donated to charities, and the event gave to Make-A-Wish for the first time.

“We were able to enjoy a lovely evening together and raise awareness and funds for granting wishes for kids who really need a boost in their spirits,” Make-A-Wish B.C. and Yukon CEO Ross Hetherington said in a news release.

The event included a silent auction and raffle, and food came from various restaurants from Vancouver Island.

Support for youth ski racing
Contributed - Apr 10 - Get Involved

Image: Contributed

TELUS and Big White Ski Resort Ltd. hosted the fourth annual TELUS Kelowna Cup in February raising $32,564 to support amateur racing through the Big White Ski Club and the world famous Nancy Greene Race League.

On April 5, 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games Gold Medalist and Big White Ski Resort homegrown hero, Kelsey Serwa, presented this donation to the Big White Ski Club on behalf of TELUS and Big White Ski Resort Ltd. Serwa and fellow Olympian, Ian Deans, were on-resort April 5-6 hosting a special ski cross camp for the young athletes of the Big White Ski Club. Both Serwa and Deans began their professional skiing careers as members of the Big White Ski Club.

“We’re grateful for the support from TELUS for the Big White Ski Club and incredibly proud of the club’s history here at Big White,” says Josh Foster, director of snowsports for Big White Ski Resort Ltd. “The club continues to develop great young athletes and graduates of the club have gone on to do amazing things – including World Cup successes and of course, most notably, Kelsey Serwa’s Olympic silver and gold medal winning performances.”

The Big White Ski Club was honoured to be the recipient of the funds raised through the annual TELUS Kelowna Cup. The club plans to use these funds to help with new equipment to support their quality ski racing development programs for children aged 5 to 16.

“Specifically, the new race equipment consists of gates, gate shafts, brush markers, bamboo and rope.  The club also plans to acquire some Barry nets to enhance athlete safety on the side of the race training courses,” says Dave Willoughby, secretary of the Big White Ski Club.

“Our program is growing and showing tremendous success in all of our age categories. With the continued support from Big White Ski Resort and TELUS we will be able to further enhance our programs going forward,” says Trevor Haaheim, president of the Big White Ski Club. “Kelsey Serwa was a graduate of the Big White Ski Club and with our focus on providing the best available coaching and training – perhaps the next Olympic gold medalist will come from our club.”

Wear green for Broncos
Okanagan Edge Staff - Apr 09 - Get Involved

Image: Contributed

Okanagan Edge, Castanet, and Okanagan Oldies 103.9 staff are showing their support for the families of Friday’s hockey tragedy in Saskatchewan.

Staff will be wearing green or yellow on Tuesday, as well as hockey jerseys and green ribbons, in support of the Humboldt Broncos.

Fifteen members of the hockey team and staff were killed when a semi slammed into the team bus.

Several locals schools have also declared Jersey Day, asking students to show their support.

Castanet Media will contribute $20 to the Broncos family GoFundMe campaign for each staff member who participates in Kelowna, Vernon, and Penticton—and staff are invited to make personal donations as well.

Join us in wearing yellow and green on Tuesday and show Humboldt we care. Email in a photo as well, for inclusion in the Castanet reader gallery.

On Thursday, you have another chance to join the outpouring of grief across the country.

A group of B.C. hockey moms has started a Facebook push encouraging Canadians to wear sports jerseys that day in support of the Broncos.

‘Special’ concert tonight
Rob Gibson - Apr 06 - Get Involved

Image: Contributed

Kelowna is ready for The Hip Replacements.

The longtime Kelowna tribute band will be rockin’ out tonight at the Kelowna Community Theatre.

The Hip Replacements and special guests are performing as part of the Gord Downie Tribute Fundraiser Concert.

All proceeds from the concert will go towards the Kelowna and District Safety Council’s children’s and senior’s programs.

The lineup is full of songs you know and love and includes a “special” tribute to a local musician with a heart-rending story of perseverance, love, and acceptance.

Downie passed away after being diagnosed with an aggressive and incurable form of brain cancer called glioblastoma.

Mayor Colin Basran who has been fighting an illness for the last few days tells Castanet News he will do everything he can to support the event and he has gone above and beyond to help with tonight’s “special” tribute, which is guaranteed to bring a tear to your eye.

“Once people see this story, and see it’s a worthy cause they have been asking what they can do to help and it’s been awesome.”

You can find out more at tonight’s event tickets are still available.

Joining the Hip Replacements, Jimmy Leguilloux, Niki Martinus, Katrina Lawrence, Garrett Scatterty, Brad Krauza, Mike Brown, Rawle James, Anna Jacyszyn and a Special Mystery Celebrity Performer!

Science centre scholarship
Darren Handschuh - Apr 04 - Get Involved

Image: Contributed The Okanagan Science Centre is offering a $300 scholarship.

In 1985, Marg and Bill Sim founded the Vernon Science and Discovery Society, and while Marg may be gone, her memory lives on through a scholarship.

The $300 Marg Sim Memorial Scholarship is being offered to graduating North Okanagan high school students who are members of the Okanagan Science Centre, graduating high school this spring and entering a post-secondary program in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) or education fields in the fall.

The Sims were the driving force behind the society which founded the Okanagan Science Centre in 1991.

The science centre re-located to the heritage Park School in Polson Park in 1997.

Marg was the first person to bring dinosaurs to the centre, re-building a large dinosaur that sat on the roof of the science centre building.

She regularly drove long-time Okanagan Science Centre employee Kevin Aschenmeier through the Okanagan as he delivered planetarium shows with our portable StarLab at schools and organizations throughout the region.

Information on how to apply is available on the Okanagan Science Centre website.

Enactus thanks Valley First
Okanagan Edge Staff - Apr 03 - Get Involved

Image: Contributed

Okanagan College’s Enactus team hosted a ceremony this week to mark a milestone in support from one of the team’s key sponsors.

March 26 students from the college’s School of Business recognized Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union, for the organization’s numerous contributions and support which this year will reach $100,000 given over the past three years.

“Giving back to our communities and supporting social enterprises like Enactus OC is in Valley First’s DNA,” says Valley First’s Tracy Clark. “Enactus OC’s values strongly align with ours and it made sense to partner with them and work together to support growth in our shared communities.”

Valley First began its partnership with Enactus OC in early 2016 and provided its initial donation of $10,000 to support one of Enactus’ projects, CANsave–a financial literacy education program. Bolstered by Valley First’s support, that program has grown into a nationally recognized and award-winning financial literacy program impacting teachers and students in more than 6,000 elementary schools across Canada.

Since its initial donation, Valley First has stepped forward with support for Enactus OC on numerous occasions over the past three years and has agreed to provide up to $35,000 this year.

Valley First’s support has manifested itself in other ways as well. Last year, the organization nominated Enactus OC for the 2017 Concentra Empowering your Community award, which the team went on to win. The award netted the team from OC $10,000 to sustain and continue to grow its initiatives.

“This financial support helps build our sustainability as an entire team and supports us in competitions at the regional, national and worldwide level,” explains Enactus OC president Abbey Jones. “Enactus OC has more than 65 students across all four campuses and this support ensures we can continue to develop our nine projects and programs which truly impact and empower individuals of all ages in our community and nationwide.”


All Get Involved Stories