BeadTrails helps fire victims
Contributed - 9:58 am - Get Involved

Image: Contributed

Karen Griggs, the owner of Summerland’s BeadTrails Experience Store, recently presented a cheque for $1,395 to the BC Red Cross to help provide assistance to people affected by this summer’s wildfires.

For a minimum donation of $15, the public received a fire department shield bead-charm, which was chosen to show appreciation for the dedication of the B.C. firefighters and emergency crews.

BeadTrails received donations from across Canada, and as far afield as Great Britain.

The BeadTrails experience is a cross-marketing enterprise designed to stimulate business and tourism in the region. Tourists and locals take part in a modern-day scavenger hunt, which ends in a memory bracelet.

Each BeadTrails business member has a bead that tells their own unique story. The Trails include family
activities, historical sites, galleries, eclectic stores, wineries, cideries, distilleries and more.

With 190 business members in 20 communities, Karen and the BeadTrails team felt a strong connection with those affected by the wildfires and wanted to provide a meaningful way for people to donate.

Coats for the cold
Kate Bouey - Oct 19 - Get Involved

Image: Contributed
(L-R) Ryan Doherty, GM of Lake City Casinos Vernon and Nathan Mackintosh of Hyundai Vernon are asking for Coats for the Cold.

It’s getting colder and some people just can’t afford to get winter clothing.

For the third year running, Vernon Hyundai and Lake City Casino Vernon have banded together for ‘Coats for the Cold’.

Donations of coats, blankets, jackets and winter boots are being sought. As well, every donation receives a ballot to win a grand prize of over $500.

“The first year we did it, we received over 1,000 articles of clothing for people who were in need,” said Nathan Mackintosh, sales manager at Vernon Hyundai. “It was so great to see the community rally behind such a great cause.”

Mackintosh said the whole downstairs at the Upper Room Mission was filled with rack upon rack of clothing.

“It was wonderful to see the smiles on people’s faces as they waited to pick up some warm clothing.”

For those able to spare extra winter clothing, including winter boots, you are urged to drop off the items at Lake City Casino 4900 Vernon, Anderson Way or Vernon Hyundai, 4608 27th Street.

Coats for the Cold runs until Nov. 17.

Oom-Pah-Pah!
Okanagan Edge Staff - Oct 17 - Get Involved

Image: Stone Sisters

Grab your beer steins and squeeze into your lederhosen, because Munich’s favourite festival is coming to Kelowna.

This weekend, the Stone Sisters and the Brain Trust Canada will bring Oktoberfest to the lower Mission, packing the community hall with pretzels, beer, “shotskis,” an oom-pah-pah band, and more–and it’s all for a great cause.

“This event is going to be an absolute blast,” says the Stone Sisters’ Tamara Stone.

She and her sister’s first annual Oktoberfest celebration promises to be a party to make the jolliest of Germans jealous, and all the money raised will support a “very worth cause.”

Tickets to the event include dinner, a beer stein and access to the entire night’s festivities, and will only run you $45.

That money will be donated to the Kelowna-based Brain Trust Canada, which runs education campaigns on reducing preventable brain injury, and provides support services for those affected by brain injury.

Stone says the cause is “very close” to both her and her sister. Her sister, Shannon, has two boys who play hockey, and her husband has suffered from concussions in the past.

They two also have clients they’re particularly close to who have suffered severe brain trauma.

“Kelowna brain trust was very, very helpful to them both, so it’s a charity we really love to support,” she says.

She says she’s delighted to be able to support the charity as much as possible, raising it some much-needed cash, and hopefully its profile.

Stone says she is anticipating a sold-out event, and encouraged anyone interested to pick up their tickets as soon as possible.

Oktoberfest will take place Oct. 20, at the Okanagan Mission Community Hall. For more information,  or to purchase tickets, check out the event online.

Tolko gives back
Kate Bouey - Oct 17 - Get Involved

Image: Contribute
Tolko has donated $7,000 to the Boys and Girls Club

Tolko Industries has donated $7,000 to the Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs.

A cheque was handed over to Diane Entwistle, chief executive officer of the Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs, in Vernon last month.

The clubs have been running programs and services for youth in Vernon, Kelowna and West Kelowna for a number of years.

Tolko’s donation will help with upgrades to the Vernon facility as well as provide basic supplies and resources needed to support the youth in the local community.

A barrel of laughs, cash
Okanagan Edge Staff - Oct 12 - Get Involved

Image: Contributed

A trio of “world-class” comedians will take the stage in Penticton this weekend, when the Community Foundation of of the South Okanagan-Similkameen hosts its annual comedy festival.

The fundraiser is entering its 18th season, and once again promises to be full of great food, exceptional prizes and loads of laughs.

Taking place at the Barking Parrot Bar in Penticton, the show will feature sets by Herb Dixon, Julie Kim and  John Buehler.

There will also be both a silent and live auction, featuring a plethora of “amazing” prizes.

Thanks to support from the Investors Group and Friends of the Foundation, all the money raised at the event will go right back to the Community Foundation’s operating costs.

Tickets to the Oct. 14 show are $65, and can be purchased at the front desk of the Penticton lakeside Resort, or at the Community Foundation’s office at 390 Main St. The CFSO says that the event is a sold-out hit each year, and encourages anyone interested to get their tickets as soon as possible.

For more information, check out the event online.

Valley First donates
Contributed - Oct 11 - Get Involved

Image: Contributed

The Valley First Community Endowment fund recently infused $10,900 into the YMCA’s Young Parent Program, providing food, baby supplies and training opportunities for up to 10 at-risk young parents who are attending Kelowna Senior Secondary School while raising their babies.

“These teenage mothers are facing housing, mental health, life management and educational barriers,” says Danielle Miranda, senior manager of the Y’s child care programs. “The funds provided by Valley First will help to cover the cost of healthy meals and snacks for these young families in need, baby basics such as diapers and blankets, plus the necessary training and certifications to help young parents achieve their future goals.”

Each year the YMCA of Okanagan is able to provide financial assistance to low-income families so they have access to Y child care and other programs that support their health, development and positively impact their lives. The Y depends on generous donations from the community to provide the necessary support that so many local families rely on.

Women on a mission
Chantelle Deacon - Oct 10 - Get Involved

Image: Contributed
Left to right: Shadae Kishor, 21, Madeleine Swordy, 22, Kaitlyn Dickie, 23, Lauren Mercier, 24.

Four local servers have started a fundraiser that connects philanthropy and the restaurant industry.

Throughout the month of November participating servers will ‘tip out’ a local charity. Servers will commit to donating a portion of their sales each day for one month, to benefit this year’s chosen charity.

The idea stemmed from a local server, Madeleine Swordy, 22, about two years ago when she thought about a way she could give back to her community.

“It kind of just clicked with me,” said Swordy, founder of The Industry Project. “I’m a server and we tip out a portion of our daily sales to our kitchen and support staff and I thought what if I added an extra one per cent to that tip out pool and gave the money to charity.”

Her idea quickly progressed when she met her coworker Kaitlyn Dickie, 23, who was passionate about Swordy’s idea and about 20 servers agreed to be a part of the project.

Last year their idea raised just about $3,000 to give to a local charity. This year two more women have joined their team and they are looking to have about 10 restaurants on board and hope to raise $10,000 to give to the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation.

“We’re supporting their campaign with JoeAnna’s House, which was just launched a few days ago,” Swordy said. “Essentially it is for families who are seeking treatment at the general hospital like a home away from home.”

It’s a concept that allows servers to donate within their means giving every restaurant the opportunity to get on board.

The group of women spearheading this charity are searching for other driven service industry staff to help put TIP in their own restaurants.

At the end of November, all of the proceeds will go directly to The KGH Foundation. Kaitlyn Dickie, the restaurant liaison says “Having the staff at KGHF supporting and mentoring us is an amazing learning opportunity and is helping our fundraiser grow immensely.”

For more information on how restaurants can get involved contact their team at [email protected] or like their Facebook page.

$100K in grants handed out
Colton Davies - Oct 05 - Get Involved

Image: KCR
Kelowna Community Resources Society, one of the grant recipients from Valley First community endowment.

A total of $108,260 in grants is being passed on to 13 charities in the region from the Valley First community endowment, the First West Foundation announced on Wednesday.

“Funds will directly support programs or initiatives that contribute to building resilient and resourceful communities,” a news release from Valley First said.

The largest sum being given is $20,000 to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation in Penticton.

Grants of $10,000 or more will also be provided to the Penticton and District Community Resources Centre, the YMCA in Kelowna, the KCR Community Resources Centre in Kelowna and the Kindale Developmental Association in Vernon and Armstrong.

“We are so excited… This financial boost will greatly assist us in expanding services from one region of Kelowna to new areas,” Sherry Gelinas said, famiy manager of the KCR Community Resources Centre.

Eight other non-profit groups will receive funding as part of the initiative, including groups in rural locations like Lumby, Princeton and Cawston.

“These organizations are making B.C. a better place to live, and we’re proud to support their efforts,” Susan Byrom said, executive director of the foundation.

Making a difference, together
Trevor Nichols - Oct 03 - Get Involved

Image: Contributed

The Craftsman Collision Team was busy this Saturday at Save-On-Foods stores in Kelowna and West Kelowna, as they hosted the 9th annual “Together We’re Making A Dent in Hunger” event.

“We rely on the generosity of the community to keep our food bank shelves full,” states Sonia Withers, the community ministries coordinator of the Salvation Army. “We received much-needed foods like chunky soup, crackers, cereal, peanut butter, tinned meat, pasta, rice and pasta sauce. We are grateful for Craftsman Collision’s continued support of us year after year.”

“Absolutely blown away by the community and everyone that helped with this drive,” added communications coordinator Patty Lou Bryant. “We received over 1,000 items of food and cash donations of $980.”

Craftsman Collision donated $1 per food item for a total of $1,000. The funds will be used to purchase special diet items like no-salt, no-sugar peanut butter.

“We are coming into the Thanksgiving season and truly grateful for the abundance we received,” Bryant added.

Home Depot gives $50,000
Madison Erhardt - Oct 02 - Get Involved

The grant is part of The Orange Door Project grant program, which supports repairs, renovations and modifications to accommodations or other support facilities for homeless youth. The money was used to construct the teaching kitchen and resource room at Foundry.

“This generous funding … has directly helped to create a safe and welcoming space designed by and for youth,” says Shelagh Turner, executive director of CMHA Kelowna.

“It provides access to programming, relationships, and supports that will help them to live their best life possible.”

“We are so proud to support CMHA Kelowna with their kitchen and resource rooms at Foundry Kelowna,” said Jeff Kinnaird of Home Depot Canada.

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