A prominent ski race returned to Big White Ski Resort over the weekend, and it raised plenty of money for cancer research in the process.
Dozens of racers took to the Lower Perfection run on Saturday for the chance to be named Team Supreme in honour of Ken Mitchell, a real estate agent who passed away in December after a battle with cancer. Seventy-two racers, which made up 18 teams, took part in the event’s return and raised $17,542 for the BC Cancer Foundation.
The Team Supreme recreational adult race was popular in the 1980s and 90s before making a comeback this year.
“It reminded me of a high school reunion,” Big White senior vice-president Michael J. Ballingall said in a press release. “All these old friends getting together to raise money for Ken Mitchell and the BC Cancer Foundation, but we did it doing an event that we all loved to participate in when Ken was one of the fastest and most generous.
“It looks like it’s going to become an annual event. It was a great way to honour Ken and to raise money for a great cause.”
More than 130 people registered for the post-race festivities in Happy Valley, which included dinner, an awards ceremony and a silent auction.
A local luxury home builder has donated a whopping $192,000 to five charities.
K West Homes announced the results of its Share the Dream project, during which $1,000 from each home sale in the Cambridge House development was donated. Each buyer chose from one of five charities.
The KGH Foundation received $57,000, the BCSPCA collected $46,500, BC Children’s Hospital brought in $43,000, the Canadian Cancer Society was on the receiving end of $35,500, and Diabetes Canada pocketed $10,000 through the fundraising drive.
A Lake Country RV company is trying to raise $100,000 by the end of the year for local charities.
Voyager RV Centre started its fundraising drive in December and will donate proceeds from every RV sale to seven non-profit organizations throughout the Central Okanagan.
“Coming into our 35th year, I was reflecting on how special it was for the company and our family. We are extremely grateful for the continued support of our community, and we wanted to find a way to say thank you in a meaningful way,” Voyager vice-president Jason Friesen said in a press release.
“This initiative reaches far beyond profits and the bottom line. For us it’s about more than business. It’s a commitment from our family and staff as a way to say thank you and support the community that has supported us for so many years.”
Voyager RV Centre donated $11,970 to the Central Okanagan Community Food Bank last week to get the ball rolling.
“Food security is a large issue in the Okanagan but one that we strive to advocate for every day,” Central Okanagan Community Food Bank revenue development officer Tammie Watson said. “We can’t do it without community support, so donations, especially as large as this, go so far.
“We actually have a buying power of three to one with our retail partners, which means for every one dollar donated it’s worth three dollars of food on our shelves, so you can basically triple this donation for the community.”
The one-month countdown to the Penticton Regional Hospital’s new tower opening is on.
On April 29, the new David E. Kampe Tower will open to patients. The South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation still has $1.2 million to raise of their goal of $20 million for medical equipment to furbish the expansion.
“We’ve received incredible support from throughout the community, now we just need a bit more so we can fund the equipment going into the soon-to-be renovated and expanded Emergency Department,” executive director Carey Bornn said.
After the tower opens, Phase Two will begin, which involves an Emergency Department upgrade.
“When that’s complete, Penticton will have one of most up-to-date hospitals in the province,” Bornn said. “What better way to celebrate this historical moment for our region’s healthcare than with a direct donation to PRH.”
A few room-naming opportunities in the new tower still remain for major donors, but no donation is too small to make a difference.
The six-storey tower has been under construction since 2016 and includes 84 new single-bed rooms, five new surgical operating rooms and new ambulatory care clinics.
Penticton businessman David Kampe has donated an additional $4.4 million for a permanent MRI and SPECT-CT nuclear medicine equipment, which were not part of the original project.
For more information on donating, click here.
The City of Kelowna and Central Okanagan Foundation will continue a program designed to strengthen neighbourhoods.
The Neighbourhood Grant program started in 2015 as part of the city’s Strong Neighbourhoods Program.
Under the agreement with the COF, the foundation will continue to provide up to $15,000 annually for projects “planned, implemented and managed by, and for the neighbourhood.”
Community development co-ordinator Tanya Sletten told council the program has been successful in bringing neighbours together. She says since its inception, 44 grant projects have connected about 4,600 residents.
She added 93 per cent of residents surveyed indicated they got to know their neighbours better as a result of the program.
The program provides matching funds to support locally driven projects.
“Thirty-six thousand dollars has been funded toward neighbourhood enhancement projects, and $56,000 worth of in-kind goods, services and cash has been contributed by the residents,” said Sletten.
“Previously, we awarded up to $1,000 in matching grant funds to support resident groups, however, as some projects require permits and insurance, this is limited to the amount of dollars needed to develop the project. We are proposing an increase of up to $1,500 per project to make projects more feasible.”
The Yard Angels will be back in action again this year.
The community support group, which was created by Kelowna’s Creative Roots landscaping company, volunteers its time to lighten the gardening burden for three residents suffering from debilitating illness or injury and are unable to care for their yards.
The group is now looking for people who need help with their yards. Nominations will open on Monday, and the Yard Angels will do the projects on the last Saturdays of April, July and October.
Applications can be filled out here beginning Monday.
The Big White Fire Department conducted its eighth annual rooftop campout over the weekend and raised $10,000 in the process.
This year’s money will go towards developing and installing two community pedestrian crosswalks. Each year Big White firefighters and members of its work experience program (WEP) set up on top of the Kids’ Centre.
“The weather was in our favour and the guys had a great time,” Big White fire chief Jamie Svendsen said in a press release. “It always amazes me how our department steps up every year, to raise money for charity and community needs. This year the 17 members of our WEP spearheaded the rooftop event, and the money will go towards building a safer community.”
Crosswalks are needed at Big White, where pedestrians are forced to share the road with vehicles along major road networks. The new crosswalks will be installed on Big White Road and be lit up.
Any remaining money will go towards purchasing and installing public access defibrillators.
BDO is hoping to raise even more money for Elevation Outdoors with its popular lawn bowling charity tournament this summer.
On the Lawn is being extended to four weeks instead of its usual three. The hope is more teams will participate and therefore raise more money for Elevation Outdoors, whose mission is to enhance the lives of underprivileged youth via participation in specially designed outdoor sports programs.
The tournament, which is held at the Kelowna Lawn Bowling Club, has raised more than $78,000 in its four years of existence.
This year there will two brackets, and both will play for two weeks instead of everybody playing for three. If a team wants to play all four weeks, they will be able to register at a discounted price. Twenty teams will be accepted in both brackets.
“We are thrilled that this change will allow 40 teams to now participate in the event, compared to the 26 we’ve had for the past few years,” On the Lawn event co-ordinator Katherine Bramall said in a press release. “The more teams we are able to accommodate, the more financial support we are able to provide to our extremely deserving charity.”
The registration window opens Friday, March 29, at 9 a.m., and teams are encouraged to get their entry in early since the event usually sells out within a day or two.
Sunterra Custom Homes will be the presenting sponsor of this year’s Bollywood Bang.
The event, which is a Bollywood-inspired night, has raised more than $250,000 for local charities. The $6,500 sponsorship from Sunterra will go towards the Vernon branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association.
“We are pleased to offer our support of this multi-cultural event that has made such a positive impact on so many lives in our community,” Sunterra owner Ranvir Nahal said in a press release.
This year’s event will feature a red carpet reception, henna painting, Bhangra dancers, a feast of more than a dozen authentic delectable South Asian dishes and desserts paired with fine Okanagan wines. There will also be a dance celebration with a live DJ, along with live and silent auctions featuring unique prize packages.
Tickets are $175 each or $1,750 for a table of 10. A limited number of tickets will be available to the public.
Kelowna’s Anisha Joubert has captured the Vernon Flying Club’s John Olsen Scholarship for spring 2019.
The award is given to students who excel in aircraft maintenance engineer training at Okanagan College. It is given biannually to students in both of the college’s graduating classes who exhibit dedication, attitude and potential leading toward a successful career in their chosen field of aviation maintenance.
“My dad has been an AME for 30 years, and he has been a role model and a big influence for me,” Joubert said in a press release. “I was in Kelowna’s Air Cadet Squadron 243 and made it to flight sergeant. I have also visited my dad at his hangar at Kelowna Flight Aerospace. I was able to see Lockheed C-130s, Boeing 737s, 747, 757, and the search and rescue Buffalo.
“My interest kept growing as I watched his crew come together and work as a team. I am also a baggage handler for WestJet through Ironman Holdings. I enjoy stacking the pit and watching the aircraft take off after I wing walk. Once I am done the course I want to work at KF Aerospace and extensively expand my knowledge of aircraft mechanics.”
Joubert will now attend Northern Lights College in Dawson Creek to start the next phase of her training.