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

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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.

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.

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.

Authors give to food bank
Okanagan Edge Staff - Aug 04 - Get Involved

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The authors of Moving To Kelowna, BC: A No-Nonsense Guide are donating $2 from each of the books they sell to the Central Okanagan Food Bank.

The guide was penned by Tim Young and Hugh Philip, two “enthusiastic but realistic” Kelowna residents, who drew on their 25 years of experience raising families and operating their businesses in the city.

The 218-page, 40-chapter book contains more than 80 tables, maps and illustrations, and sells for $14.95.  

Tomorrow, Young and Philip will be at Kelowna London Drugs for a book signing.

Kelowna London Drugs store manager Jesse Clipperton says he tries to support local entrepreneurs, and when he heard that part of the proceeds from Young and Philip’s books were going to help the food bank, he agreed to host the event.

The signing will take place Aug. 5, from 10 am. Until 2 p.m. For more information on the book visit www.movingtokelowna.net.

$10K for Start Fresh Project
Contributed - Aug 03 - Get Involved

Image: Jon Adrian

On Saturday, July 22nd,  Quails’ Gate Winery hosted a special A Midsummer Night’s Dream Fundraising Dinner in collaboration with Vancouver’s renowned West Restaurant and Opera Kelowna, resulting in over $10,500 being raised for the Start Fresh Project.

Appropriately tailored to the Midsummer Night’s Dream theme, the group of 70 guests were treated to a private performance from Opera Kelowna prior to enjoying an exquisite 5-course farm-to-vineyard menu from Quails’ Gate Winery Chef Roger Sleiman and West Restaurant Executive Chef Quang Dang. Signature plates included a selection of produce from the Start Fresh teaching farm located in Kelowna’s Lower Mission.

“We were extremely honoured to host this very special evening,” remarks Quails’ Gate’s Communications & Marketing Manager Lindsay Kelm. “It was a truly amazing night that allowed us to bring together our passion for creating exceptional wine and culinary experiences with our love for art and our mission to give back to our local community. We are absolutely thrilled with the proceeds that we were able to raise for The Start Fresh Project and cannot thank our guests enough for their generosity.”

The auction, led by Quails’ Gate’s own Cynthia Walker and legendary media personality Jamie Maw, featured five items including two tickets to Opera Kelowna’s La Boheme performance in August, a special tasting menu for four at West Restaurant, two tickets to Quails’ Gate’s upcoming Araxi in the Okanagan dinner featuring Araxi Restaurant’sExecutive Chef James Walt in October, a catered dinner for ten people from the Okanagan Chefs Association and a dinner for eight prepared by Michael Buffett and The Start Fresh Project team.

“This beautiful valley was built on the backs of collaborations and partnerships,” said Maw. “And this critical needs project is no different — pulling together the Top Table Group and Quails’ Gate to align the stars for Start Fresh is what we’re all about. And as for the generosity of our dinner guests — well, we raised over $10,000 in a 20-minute mini-auction. Many thanks to all.”

The Start Fresh Project is a Kelowna grown non-profit organization, providing year-round training in Culinary Arts and Farming Education — the ‘CAFE Program’. Designed for individuals who are unemployed or underemployed right here in our community, the organization aims to increase access to education, employment, food security and housing, by providing folks with tuition-free skills training.

The teaching farm is centrally located on Benvoulin Road in Kelowna’s Lower Mission, where folks learn valuable farming skills and spend time in nature. The teaching kitchen is located in Landmark II, and gives participants the opportunity to learn cooking basics, and participate in a professional kitchen environment.

“We are over the moon,” says Michael Buffett, the founder and driving force behind Start Fresh. “It was as if an angel was suspended over the Quails’ Gate vineyard on Saturday night. We can now keep a critical employee on board and really focus on our programming. We cannot express strongly enough our gratitude to the chefs, West Restaurant and Quails’ Gate — this was pure magic.”

Operaton 200 a success
Contributed - Aug 01 - Get Involved

Image: Contributed
John Kot, Owner, Kelowna Hyundai and Buy Direct Truck Centre; Allison Ramchuck, Senior Development Officer, KGH Foundation; Sam Ghessesow, General Manager, Kelowna Hyundai

For the third consecutive year, Kelowna Hyundai and Buy Direct Truck dealers have made a sizeable donation to the Interior Heart & Surgical Centre at Kelowna General Hospital.

Operation 200 kicked off this past May and together, the two dealerships accomplished this year’s goal of selling 200 vehicles to raise $20,000.

The donation is part of an ongoing commitment to eventually raise $100,000 for KGH’s new Interior Heart and Surgical Centre (IHSC).

The cause is close to owner, John Kots’ heart, as his own daughter, now 21, has battled a heart condition since birth.  “Having the ability to help our hospital provide world-class care for families locally is really gratifying.” says Kot.

“Each year brings us closer to our overall goal. We are really proud of our team and our customers for getting behind such an important cause.”

The gift will go towards the purchase of life-saving equipment and patient care items for the IHSC, which provides advanced cardiac care and surgical services to patients who, in the past, would have had to travel outside the region.

“The IHSC at KGH is providing the highest level of medical care ever seen in the interior of British Columbia,” said KGH Foundation Senior Development Officer, Allison Ramchuk.  “We are incredibly grateful to Kelowna Hyundai and Buy Direct Truck Centre for their support as we navigate the needs of our growing region.”

The IHSC opened its doors in late 2015. The KGH Foundations ‘Be A Lifesaver’ campaign has successfully raised $12 million dollars to support world-class cardiac care right here in the Okanagan.

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