Volunteer, win a free e-bike
Anita Sthankiya - Aug 24, 2019 - Community

Photo Credit: 55+ BC Games

The 55+ BC Games are right around the corner and organizers are hoping residents from the community will volunteer to help make them a success.

More than 1,500 volunteers are needed to run the event, taking place from September 10 – 14, 2019. Volunteers are needed for various positions including medal presentations, hosts, environment, ceremonies, photographers, and more.

Volunteers who work a minimum 4-hour shift will be entered to win a fully loaded Pedego Boomerang Plus Electric Bike, valued at $4,795.

More than 4,000 BC residents over the age of 55 will gather in Kelowna for the five day event, including 1,000 residents from the Central Okanagan.

To learn more information or to sign up, visit the 55+ BC Games website.

Olympic medalist rides in Kelowna
Anita Sthankiya - Aug 22, 2019 - Community

Photo Credit: Red Devils Cycling Academy

The second annual Red Devils Cycling Academy Sportif will take place in Kelowna next month and feature an Olympic medal winner.

The Sportif bike ride and BBQ will raise funds supporting non-profit youth cycling programs in the Okanagan. Taking place on Sept. 8 at 9 a.m. from Kinsmen Beach Park, the ride will feature Axel Merckx, a retired professional cyclist who partook in 10 tour de France, and won a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics in the road race.

There are 4 distances for riders of all ages and abilities including 18km, 40km, 65km and a gravel ride of 26km. Following the ride there is a BBQ and beer garden sponsored by Kelowna’s Red Bird Brewing. The entry fees go to cover expenses of the event and proceeds to fund the Red Devils Cycling Academy.

The registered non profit society, Axel Merckx Youth Development Foundation (AMYDF) formed in 2011 has been providing skills camps, youth cycling clubs based in the Okanagan. In 2014 the Red Devils Cycling Academy was launched and is now the largest youth club in the province by enrolment with 70 youth ages 10-17 and 18 coaches.

Doctor raising funds for water
Anita Sthankiya - Aug 22, 2019 - Community

Photo Credit: Dr. Claire Young
The water filtration system that will clean the water for kids in Nicaragua.

For weeks a Kelowna doctor has been working as a medical volunteer at a clinic in rural Nicaragua and has been inspired to help the community with their desperate need for water.

Dr. Claire Young is a family physician who has been volunteering her time at the Roberto Clemente Clinic in Santa Ana, Nicaragua. The rural clinic provides consultations to the surrounding communities, but also runs a number of programs to support the resource-poor area. According to Young, the clinic offers a nutrition program where they donate rice, beans, cornflour, and sugar to the poorest people on a monthly basis.

“Often this is the only food they have and it doesn’t last them the month. I have no idea what they do when it’s all gone,” said Young. “That’s the food. But what about the water? Most people here drink water from heavily contaminated wells and I witnessed the adverse consequences of this on a daily basis. People are getting sick, purely from contaminated well water, but they have zero other water options.”

According to Young, the clinic in the community has set up a program to distribute clean water to schools and health centres, but in order help more of the schools in the community, they need to purchase new water filters and employ a dedicated staff member to run the labour intensive water program full-time. In order for the project to take shape, the clinic needs $1,000 for filters and $330 per month for the wages of the person to run the water program. This is a considerable sum for such an impoverished, rural area.

Touched by the work she witnessed, Young is trying to raise enough water to cover the cost for replacement water filters and cover a salary for someone to run the program for an entire year.

As a gesture of kindness, Young launched the campaign just over two weeks ago and has raised just over $3,500 of her $5,000 goal thanks to a trending campaign on Go Fund Me. Once the fund has hit its target, the money will be forwarded to the clinic in Nicaragua so they can get started right away.

Young says she is hoping to keep the project going for longer than a year, but that will require ongoing funding. She is hoping someone from the Okanagan will reach out to her to discuss ways they can work together to ensure the community in Santa Ana has access to clean drinking water.

The filter system used for the project will remove sediment, foreign objects, impurities, cysts and more while bringing the water up to potable standards. It will take and look like normal tap water, minus the chlorine and fluoride that we have in western tap water.

For more information or to donate, please visit the Go Fund Me page.

OK Food Bank needs your help
Anita Sthankiya - Aug 21, 2019 - Community

Photo Credit: Central Okanagan Food Bank

The Central Okanagan Food Bank (COFB) is hoping that residents will take advantage of their fundraising raffle and help raise much needed funds for the upcoming holiday season.

Thanks to the generosity of Nicholson Exteriors and Sun FM Kelowna, the Food Bank is able to raffle off a dream vacation voucher worth $3,000 to be used at any Flight Centre in the province. The winner of the voucher will be able to use the gift voucher to fly anywhere in the world to enjoy a destination of their choice.

Tickets for the raffle close on August 25, 2019 and can be purchased for $20 for one or $50 for 3, with 100% of proceeds going back into the community.

“As fall and winter approaches those big meal events also approach like Thanksgiving and Christmas,” explained Tamie Williams, communications officer with the COFB. “If the raffle does really well, we hope to raise $20,000 to be able to purchase food. We would love to sell out.”

Anyone who is unable to purchase a raffle ticket can support the COFB in another way, by participating in the Sun FM Largest Attended Hill Hike. Radio announcers B Mack and Karly will host the event on Sunday, August 25.

Participants can register for the hike at Knox Mountain beginning at 11 a.m. under the Sun FM tent. Orange Theory Fitness will lead a warm-up at 11:45 a.m. with the hike slated for noon sharp.

There will be music, prizes, and a cash BBQ by donation and the COFB will be accepting both non-perishable food items and cash donations.

Those interested in purchasing a ticket can do so by going online here. The winner will be drawn on August 26 at 8 a.m. and after they are contacted, announced on the COFB Facebook page.

Take part in A&W MS Day
Anita Sthankiya - Aug 21, 2019 - Community

Photo Credit: A&W Canada

A&W Canada will celebrate the 11th annual Burgers to Beat MS Campaign on Thursday, in hopes of raisin awareness and funds for those living with multiple sclerosis (MS).

For every Teen Burger sold across Canada on August 22, A&W Canada will donate $2 to the MS Society of Canada. Those who participate in the day are encouraged to share their experience online using the hashtag #BurgersToBeatMS and tagging @AWCanada and @MSSocietyCanada.

To date, Burgers to Beat MS has raised more than $13 million through the campaign. This year, A&W is aiming to raise more than $2 million.

Canada has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world. MS is a chronic, often disabling disease of the central nervous system comprising the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerve.

RibFest needs volunteers
Anita Sthankiya - Aug 20, 2019 - Community

Photo Credit: RibFest Kelowna

The call has gone out for more volunteers for this weekend’s RibFest taking place in Kelowna’s City Park.

August 23, 24, and 25, downtown Kelowna will be buzzing with entertainment as the Rotary Club of Kelowna Sunrise hosts the event filled with live music, entertainment, food, and beverages. The event is 100% volunteer driven, with all proceeds going back into the community.

Last year, Kelowna RibFest gave $27,780 to JoeAnna’s House and this year, they hope to raise even more funds. But, unless more volunteers step forward, organizers fear they won’t hit their fundraising goals.

According to Rotary Club of Kelowna Sunrise president, Susan McIntyre, they need volunteers for everything from hospitality servers, event greeters, raffle ticket sellers, setup/teardown, beverage gardens, and the Hot Diggity Dog stand.

Volunteer times vary throughout the weekend and can run anywhere from a couple of hours to all day, depending on your level of commitment. All volunteers will have access to the volunteer tent and will be provided with water, snacks and juice generously donated by Save-on-Foods and coffee by Van Houtte.

Signing up to help out is easy and can be done online at 2019 Kelowna RibFest.

Joe Rich Rescue BBQ
Anita Sthankiya - Aug 17, 2019 - Community

Photo Credit: Joe Rich Fire

Residents are encouraged to attend the Joe Rich Fire Rescue community appreciation BBQ on Sunday, Aug 18.

The family friendly event is an annual fundraiser for the fire department and will take place from noon until 3 p.m. at the Joe Rich Fire Community Hall on Highway 33.

Included in the day is the BBQ by donation, fire-fit course for kids, a skills demonstration, hose bowling competitions, and a photo booth.

The Joe Rich Fire Rescue services approximately 550 homes with an estimated 1,200 residents. Last year, more than $1,600 was raised to support the fire department.

Share your pet grief
Okanagan Edge Staff - Aug 09, 2019 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

Okanagan Pet Cremation later this month will be holding its first support group session for those grieving the loss of a pet.

The Kelowna business will host the free Pet Loss Grief Forum on Wednesday, Aug. 21, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Malachite Midwives Clinic, which is located at 1955 Bowes St.

“Sharing stories of grief and mourning together in a supportive atmosphere with others who have experienced similar losses lets people know they are not alone,” Okanagan Pet Cremation’s Cammie Ouellette said in a press release. “When we lose a beloved pet, it helps to acknowledge our loss and express our grief to work through our pain.

“These informal get-togethers will allow people to mourn the loss of their pet with others in a comfortable, understanding atmosphere.”

Anyone who is having difficulty with the loss of their pet is welcome to attend and share as much or as little as they want. Participants are welcome to share photos or other memorabilia to enhance their stories and to honour the unique relationship they had with their pet.

Even though the event is free, participants are asked to RSVP at [email protected] or by calling or texting 250-863-8163.

Okanagan Pet Cremation’s plan is to have a pet loss grief forum each month.

Bursary funds nearly double
Colin Dacre - Aug 09, 2019 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

The Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen has announced the recipients of $46,000 in student bursaries this year.

“This year ten different endowment funds granted bursaries to local students of all ages,” Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen’s Sarah Trudeau said in a press release. “These endowment funds have been created by donors who believe in the value of education and its power to improve quality of life for an individual and their family.

“This year we had ten bursary funds available, which was an increase from six the previous year. We had an overwhelming amount of applicants to our bursary program this year.”

Thirteen students received the Dr. John & Kathy Scarfo Fund bursaries, which granted each student over $2,500. These bursaries were awarded to students who live an active and healthy lifestyle, and are pursuing education in an effort to improve life for themselves and their families.

The recipients were Rylee Holt, Makeena Hartmann, Petra Holler, Mary Nightingale, Hector Carlos, Joseph Wiebe, Jonathan Hesla, Palwinder Toor, Catey Lewis, Danielle Rudyk, Jennifer Butler and Autumn Cork-Evans.

The Sharon Amos Legacy Fund for the Arts was established after the death of community leader, Sharon Amos.  The fund awards four students who are pursuing education in the arts. This year they were Martha Pace, Jessica O’Gorman, Jenna Mercer and Tianna Ferlizza.

Three local students received just more than $600 from the South Okanagan Aboriginal Bursary Fund supporting local aboriginal students: Sheila Wilson, Alexandria Johnstone, Kalezafar Lawrence.

The Culver Family Bursary Fund was established to support students entering their second year of humanities. Jeannelle Clements is the recipient and was awarded $1,400.

Lynn & Brian Jackson Endowment for Fine Arts was established with a $500 bursary to support students who are pursuing an education in the fine arts. The recipient of this award was Shivanya Albas.

The Okanagan Chito-Ryo Society Bursary Fund supports current or past members of the Okanagan Chito-Ryu Society. The recipient of this award is Akira Wong.

Stewart and Heather Glynes established The Bench Market Bursary Fund to support students entering the Culinary Art programs. The recipient of this award is Jenayah Lefebvre.

The Thea Haubrich Bursary Fund was created in memoriam of Haubrich, an accomplished artist.  The recipient of this year’s award was Mindy Rollins.

Two new bursary funds were established this year. The Charles & Irene Armstrong Bursary that supports students pursuing post-secondary educations was won by Jarret Nickel. The L&R Supplementary Bursary was established to support students pursuing education to upgrade for employment qualification, and the first recipient was Eric Kroeker.

Buy a Blizzard, help kids
Okanagan Edge Staff - Aug 06, 2019 - Get Involved

Image: Contributed

Consider this your 48-hour Blizzard warning.

Dairy Queen’s annual Miracle Treat Day, which goes this Thursday, raises money for the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation through net proceeds from Blizzard sales.

“Over 93,000 kids in B.C. receive care from BC Children’s Hospital each year, and the community donations we receive are critical to helping provide the best health care imaginable for these children,” BC Children’s Hospital Foundation philanthropy vice-president Maria Faccio said in a press release. “We are immensely grateful for the generous support we receive from Dairy Queen and the British Columbians who make Miracle Treat Day possible.”

Miracle Treat Day is a collaboration between Dairy Queen and Children’s Miracle Network to raise funds for sick and injured kids across Canada. Last year Dairy Queen stores in B.C. raised more than $460,000.

“At Dairy Queen Canada we see our role as serving communities, whether that’s providing families a place to make memories and enjoy a treat in the summer or through our partnership with Children’s Miracle Network,” Dairy Queen Canada senior marketing director Candida Ness said.

“We are so proud of our ability to support Miracle Treat Day, and we’re grateful for the tireless work that our franchisees do year-round to make this happen.”

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