Fair changeup pays off
Okanagan Edge Staff - May 21 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

On its 65th anniversary the Blossom Time Fair was once again a success, bringing in $11,000 that the KGH Foundation’s four auxiliaries will use to buy new equipment at the hospital.

The decades-old fair looked a little different this year, changing up the look and feel of the festivities in an effort to focus more on young families.

Rather than typical Friday, the fair was moved to Saturday, and this year took place in a “playful” park setting.

According to Georgiann Kasdorf, the chair of the fair, the community “couldn’t have responded better.”

“It was so wonderful to see guests of all ages at this year’s Blossom Time Fair,” Kasdorf said. “Seeing a new generation involved in giving was very inspirational and I look forward to watching them grow up in this wonderful community.”

Mayor Colin Basran also took part in the festivities, and at the fair addressed the recent flood warnings and thanking the community for pulling together before officially opening the event.

Support for Covenant House
Okanagan Edge Staff - May 19 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

Haven Mattress Co. is proud to support Covenant House Vancouver.

For every ten mattresses that Haven Mattress sells they donate one new mattress to a shelter or charity through their SafeHaven Program. Covenant House is honoured that they have partnered with them to provide brand new twin mattresses on an ongoing basis to youth who are transitioning out of their services on to independent living.

Big thanks to Haven Mattress Co for helping our youth to achieve independence and get a good night’s sleep!

Searching for good citizen
Darren Handschuh - May 18 - Get Involved

Photo: Megan Bender
Armstrong Spallumcheen 2016 Citizen of the Year Carol Maxson cuts the Canada Day cake last year.

The Armstrong-Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce is looking for a good citizen.

The chamber is taking nominations for the 42nd Citizen of the Year.

Nominations can be made until June 15.

“This community award was introduced in 1975 to recognize selfless service to residents of the communities of Armstrong and Spallumcheen over an extended period of time,” said Fran Stecyk, chamber president.

“Past winners have earned the Citizen of the Year title for a variety of reasons ranging from their lifetime devotion to one organization to their contribution to a number of causes.”

The 2017 Citizen of the Year will attend the Citizen of the Year tea, hosted by the Armstrong Spallumcheen Museum and Art Gallery, June 22 where they will be honoured by previous winners and dignitaries.

An official community recognition ceremony will be held on Canada Day in Memorial Park.

The Citizen of the Year does have a few ‘official duties’ including honorary parade marshal for the Interior Provincial Exhibition parade Sept. 2.

A panel of judges will select a winner based on information provided on the nomination form and supporting documention, not based on the number of votes.

“Take the opportunity. Here is your chance to do something to reward that person whose community spirit you admire and who may be unrecognized for their contribution towards making Armstrong Spallumcheen a great place to call home,” said Patti Noonan, chamber executive director.

Nomination forms are available online, on the armstrong100 Facebook page or at the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce office at 3550 Bridge St.

YMCA Healthy Kids Day
Okanagan Edge Staff - May 17 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

The YMCA of Okanagan’s 12th annual Healthy Kids Day saw loads of sunshine and a record amount of smiles this past Sunday. This year the event hosted more families than ever before who came out for a day of engaging activities, interactive entertainment, and a healthy barbecue outside the Kelowna Family Y.

“We love hosting this event,” says YMCA marketing and communications manager, Erica Hudson. “It’s rewarding and promising to see so many kids enjoying new and exciting activities, and the weather could not have been better. We saw more guests than past years and we believe families left with new ideas for getting active together. We are truly thankful to our community partners for bringing such engaging activities and entertainment.”

Healthy Kids Day is a YMCA national event focused on the promotion of a healthier generation of children. With only nine per cent of Canadian kids aged five to 17 getting enough physical activity, Y’s are taking a stand to urge Canadians to act as healthy role models. Parents, siblings, community members, educational institutions, organizations and the government need to work together to combat this issue.

The YMCA of Okanagan would like to thank all guests, community partners, entertainment hosts and sponsors who took part in the fun and helped make the event a success. A special thanks to presenting sponsor Interior Savings and media sponsors Kelowna Capital News, 99.9 SUNFM and Kelowna Now.

As a local charity devoted to strengthening the foundations of community, the YMCA of Okanagan offers a variety of programs to support children’s health including summer camps, child care, swim lessons, fitness and more. The YMCA is able to offer financial assistance, thanks to generous donors, to ensure everyone has the opportunity to participate.

Learn more about programs that can support your family’s health and wellness at ymcaokanagan.ca.

A walk for a ‘lonely disease’
Colin Dacre - May 16 - Get Involved

Photo: COntributed

A Penticton mother is organizing the Okanagan Valley’s only walk for cystic fibrosis this year.

Jodie Lynn’s son, Lucas, was diagnosed with the disease about two years ago. Since then, Lynn’s parents have participated in the annual walks, spurring her to get interested in attending one herself.

But with Kelowna’s event on hiatus, Lynn could not find one nearby, “so we decided we wanted to host something here.”

“We connected with a couple other families that have children with cystic fibrosis and they also really wanted to help out,” she said.

Lynn says there are several children in Penticton who suffer from cystic fibrosis, but the disease doesn’t allow them to meet. Specific and possibly deadly germs can be passed between two people with cystic fibrosis.

“So it’s quite a lonely disease,” she said.

The hereditary condition usually impacts the lungs, creating difficulty breathing and frequent lung infections.

On Sunday May 28 the public is invited out to Okanagan Lake Park, where participants will walk to the SS Sicamous and back with balloons to raise awareness for the disease. Afterwards, there will be photos, balloon twisting, carnival games and a hot dog lunch. Registration is at 9 a.m., the walk starts at 10 a.m.

Attendees are encouraged to register online ahead of time.

Fundraising teams can also sign up, and Lynn says many have been raising money for the disease through things like raffles and paint nights over the last several weeks.

Walks will also be held in Kamloops, Creston, the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island.

Smiling bigger and brighter
Madison Erhardt - May 11 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

This year, more families in need will be smiling a little brighter thanks to funding provided by the Thompson Okanagan Dental Society.

Each year, in effort to support the oral health of low-income families and individuals, the Central Okanagan Community Food Bank partners with the Interior Health Authority to distribute oral health goodie bags. The bags include toothbrushes, dental floss, fluoridated toothpaste and important oral health information.

This year TODS donated funds to the initiative, making it possible for thirteen Food Banks across the Thompson Okanagan to participate in Oral Health month for the first time.

Gayle Faigan, Fundraising Chair with TODS, understands how important it is for low income families to access oral health products.  “Many low-income families are unable to afford basic oral hygiene products necessary for optimal health” says Faigan “that is why funding this initiative was an easy decision for us.”

Shawna Gibb, a Registered Dental Hygienist with IHA knows this initiative helps teach the importance of oral hygiene.  “Dental disease is painful, expensive to treat, can lead to life threatening complications and is often preventable” says Gibb.

Throughout the month of May, clients of the Central Okanagan Food Bank will have an opportunity to speak directly to dental health professionals on site.

“We believe our role in the community is more than the distribution of food” says Executive Director Lenetta Parry

“Maintaining dental health is so important to the overall health of children and adults. With that in mind, if basic dental supplies can be provided to our clients and we can raise awareness on the importance of oral health, then it’s a really good thing.”

$8k raised at Easter egg hunt
Dustin Godfrey - May 10 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

The 7th annual Easter Egg Hunt in Support of OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre at LocoLanding recorded a banner year, with over $8,000 raised.

More than 70 teenagers volunteered their time to make the hunt happen on Easter Monday. Proceeds from the event will be going toward enhancing programming and services for the Child and Youth Development Centre.

Sponsors of the event presented a check of $8,012 to OSNS for the event.

Over 1,300 children use the services of OSNS each year, according to the non-profit, which says the money will be going directly toward benefiting the children.

Gorman a top donator
Okanagan Edge Staff - May 09 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

The United Way Central and South Okanagan/Similkameen team recently visited Gorman Bros. Lumber to thank them for the incredible workplace campaign donation for 2016.

The company donated $61,008, making it the top workplace donor in West Kelowna, and one of the top three workplace campaigns for 2016.

Money raised through the 2016 United Way campaign will be given to more than 30 charities that support kids, youth, families and seniors programs in the Central Okanagan.

For more information on United Way investments, visit the United Way’s website

Rockets need homes
Okanagan Edge Staff - May 09 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

The 2016-201 season just came to a close, but the Kelowna Rockets are already looking ahead to 2017-2018 – just not in the way you might think.

The team is seeking out “a few good homes” where players can stay next season.

With the team in need of more billet families, the Rockets billet coordinator Kris Mallette is starting the search early, looking for a family willing to take in a young hockey player for a few months.

“Being a billet family for the Kelowna Rockets is a great experience and it’s rewarding,” said Mallette. “You play a big role in the lives of these young men, and in turn play a big role for the Rockets organization.”

If you live in the Kelowna Secondary School catchment (Glenmore and North Glenmore, South East Kelowna, Crawford Estates or Casorso Road), or in the Black Mountain School catchment and are interested in opening your home to a Rockets player, you can become a Rockets billet family.

For an information package drop by the Kelowna Rockets office or contact Mallette at [email protected] or call 250-979-0860.

UBCO Earth Day Revolution
Okanagan Edge Staff - May 08 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

Earth Day took place April 22, and The Salvation Army of Central Okanagan celebrated throughout the month of April with the University of British Columbia Okanagan.

As students were leaving the campus after exams, they were encouraged to donate their leftover items. Bins were set up in the dorms throughout the campus.

April 30, The Salvation Army Central Okanagan collected the donations and filled two trucks with household goods, clothing, small refrigerators, shoes and storage items.

“We are blown away by the amount of bags and boxes we picked up on Sunday,” said Communications Coordinator Patty Lou Bryant. “UBCO had all the items boxed and bagged. The Resident Assistants helped us load our truck. However, we had to drop off one very full truck and return with a second truck to collect all the donations.”

It’s likely more than 5,000 pounds of donations avoided the landfill. These donations will be sorted and distributed to Salvation Army stores.

Clothing is our number the group’s highest selling department and they are “so grateful for these donations.”

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