Local luxury up for grabs
Kirk Penton - Nov 27 - Get Involved

Two spectacular Central Okanagan homes are featured in this year’s Vancouver-based Millionaire Lottery.

There are eight grand prizes up for grabs in this year’s lottery, which benefits Vancouver General Hospital and UBC Hospital Foundation. Seven of those grand prize options are luxury homes, and two of them are located in the Okanagan. The eighth grand prize is $2.7 million in tax-free cash.

One of the local homes is located in West Kelowna’s Paradise Estates. Located at 3745 West Bay Rd., the house covers 3,800 square feet, and features an elevator and a rooftop deck. It also comes with a $75,000 furniture credit, a 2019 Range Rover Sport 4WD and $100,000 cash. Overall, the West Kelowna grand prize is worth $3.1 million.

The downtown Kelowna home isn’t yet built, because it is located on the 33rd floor of the ONE Water Street east tower that is currently under construction on Sunset Drive. It is a 3,609-square-foot sub-penthouse with three bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms. The prize package also includes a 2019 BMW 230i xDrive Cabriolet and $25,000 cash. The total package is worth $3.2 million.

The Millionaire Lottery raises money for innovative research, advancing specialized adult health care and purchasing critical medical equipment at Vancouver General Hospital, UBC Hospital, GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre, Vancouver Community Health Services and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute.

Tickets are on sale until Friday, Jan. 11.

Final funding push begins
Colin Dacre - Nov 26 - Get Involved

Photo: Colin Dacre

The South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation is kicking off its 13th annual Tree of Dreams campaign, looking for a push over the finish line on its drive to raise $20M for medical equipment for the new tower being constructed at the Penticton hospital.

The foundation has just over $2M to go on its fundraising campaign and Tree of Dreams brochures have been mailed to households throughout the region.

“Because the final stage of any charity fundraising effort is always the toughest, our Tree of Dreams campaign takes on special significance this year,” Carey Bornn said. “We can’t thank our donors enough for their support.”

Since the campaign’s launch in 2015, donors throughout the South Okanagan Similkameen have contributed more than $17.8M.

Construction of the David E. Kampe Tower will be substantially completed by mid-December and will open to patients on April 29, 2019.  The six-storey building will include 84 new single-bed patient rooms, a permanent MRI, five operating-surgical rooms, ambulatory care clinics, nuclear medicine suites, expanded space for the UBC Faculty of Medicine and a 480-stall parkade.

Phase two of the $312M project begins next summer, which includes a major upgrade to the emergency room.

Tree of Dreams donations can be made by returning the postage-paid brochure form by mail or by donating online.

Big fundraiser tonight
Okanagan Edge Staff - Nov 23 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

Raymond James’ corporate Kelowna branch has raised more than $200,000 in four years for various charities, and it will be back at it tonight for its fifth annual “Christmas in November” fundraiser.

This year the financial services firm is teaming up with Kelowna Olympic skier Kelsey Serwa to raise money for her KSER Scholarship Fund, which provides bursaries for Grade 12 student-athletes graduating from Kelowna high schools.

Tonight’s event will feature some of Serwa’s Olympic memorabilia up for auction, Start Fresh Kitchen food and Kinshira Performance Troupe entertainment.

There are no tickets remaining for tonight’s event, but donations are still being accepted for Serwa’s scholarship fund through the Raymond James website.

Joe Rich gives back
Okanagan Edge Staff - Nov 20 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

The Joe Rich Fire Service set records this year during its 14th annual food drive.

The fire department members went door to door on Sunday, collecting $1,730 in donations and more than 2,430 pounds of food for the Central Okanagan Community Food Bank.

Both totals are records for the one-day community canvas.

Big JoeAnna’s House donation
Okanagan Edge Staff - Nov 19 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

The team at RBC Dominion Securities in Kelowna has come together for JoeAnna’s House.

The company has committed support of $100,000 over a five-year period. The gift rounds out a decade of giving from RBC Dominion Securities totalling $200,000 for health care in the Southern Interior.

Company vice-president and branch manager Mark Kinnear says his team is “deeply committed to supporting health-care initiatives that provide children and youth with access to the best health care possible in our community.”

JoeAnna’s House, when complete, will provide accommodations for families outside Kelowna who travel with a patient who needs specialized care at KGH.

“At any given time, one in four beds at Kelowna General Hospital is occupied by a patient from outside the Central Okanagan,” Kinnear said.

“But, in the Adolescent Psychiatric Unit (APU) at KGH, over 60% of patients are from out of town. They require an acute level of care and arrive in an incredibly vulnerable state. It is a terrible time to be separated from family.”

Team Depot pitches in
Okanagan Edge Staff - Nov 07 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

Team Depot, which is a group of Home Depot employees from Kelowna, West Kelowna and Vernon, recently headed to Penticton to do some good.

Team Depot has completed 12 projects in the last six years, and last week they travelled to the South Okanagan to spruce up the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club facility in Penticton. They spent $1,400 and needed just six hours to apply two coats of paint in the coat room, Lego room, school-aged child care room, the club entrance and the hallway.

“The impact of The Home Depot support for our facilities has been enormous, and at this point I would not know what to do without Home Depot,” OBGC facilities and transportation director Jarrod Stocker said in a press release. “From every young person or family that walks through an OBGC door, we thank you.”

Team Depot has already made plans to return to Penticton for another project next year.

Yard Angels to the rescue
Jon Manchester - Nov 02 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

The Yard Angels are at it again.

A call for nominations to receive a free yard cleanup resulted in 42 suggestions of people unable to do the work themselves, who could use a helping hand.

No fewer than four of those nominations were for Karen and Randy Lachmuth in East Kelowna.

Last year, during a trip to Australia for his daughter’s wedding, a rogue wave hit Randy and drove him head first to the ocean floor, breaking two vertebrae and rendering him a quadriplegic.

He was airlifted off the beach to Perth, where he was operated on and, after about six weeks in hospital a Canadian medical team flew over to bring him to Vancouver General Hospital, said Ken Murray, who nominated the Lachmuths.

“When he arrived there, he almost died from pneumonia. A month later, he died twice one night and they had to put a pacemaker in. A couple of months later, he got a blood infection which affected his liver and kidneys … Needless to say, he’s been through hell, and somehow he still has a great attitude,” Murray said.

Randy has been at KGH for about three weeks “and is hopefully going to get back to his home that he hasn’t seen since Dec. 31 once he’s a little more stable.”

Randy has worked at Home Hardware on Springfield Road since the early 1990s and has many loyal clients. One of those is Glen Worman of Worman Homes. Glen and a volunteer crew renovated the Lachmuths’ home to receive Randy with donated materials from Home Hardware.

Randy also worked for Murray at Gallagher’s Canyon Construction as a home estimator. And, about three weeks ago, a tournament was held at the golf course there, raising almost $15,000 for Randy and Karen.

The Angels will descend on the Lachmuth home this Saturday for a much-deserved cleanup, spokesperson Colette Kinderdyk said.

Matching program underway
Colin Dacre - Oct 31 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed
Philanthropist Barb MacDonald is congratulated by Youth Centre campaign chair Judy Lloyd (left) for being the first donor to have her donation matched by the new matching program.

An anonymous donor has stepped forward to provide a boost to the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan’s fundraising drive for the Youth Resource Centre.

All donations for the centre up to $200,000 will now be matched by the generous donor.

“This is a significant development in the ‘Futures Start Here’ fundraising campaign for the Youth Resource Centre,” said Aaron McRann, executive director of the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen. “We are currently over halfway to our $1.2 Million Dollar goal for this phase of the fundraising campaign. This matching donation is going to give the campaign a real boost.”

The group is raising money to renovate the main floor of the youth centre building at 501 Main St. in Penticton and open Foundry Penticton.

“Foundry Penticton is the anchor tenant for this building, providing youth (aged 12 to 24) and their families with one door to access youth services and resources in our community,” said Ian Gerbrandt with OneSky Community Resources, the agency that will be the lead organization operating Foundry Penticton. “This is a very exciting development that we hope will energize and inspire local donors and businesses to support this project.”

The $200,000 matching program runs until the end of the year, so those considering donating are urged to do so now so their money can be doubled.

“It’s been my experience that donors love to double their money, so I expect many of the folks we’ve been talking to will be ready to make their contribution,” said fundraising chair Judy Lloyd.

Naming opportunities for the many rooms inside Foundry Penticton are available, and a donor wall will recognize all gifts over $5,000.

To donate, please contact the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen at 250-493-9311 or www.cfso.net/penticton-youth-centre.

Food Dump coming up
Okanagan Edge Staff - Oct 26 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

A West Kelowna company is co-ordinating a massive food drive and is challenging others in the Central Okanagan to join in on the fun little competition.

Civil X Contractors is conducting its inaugural Food Dump to benefit the Central Okanagan Food Bank. Businesses are asked to collect as many non-perishable food items as they can between Nov. 1 and Dec. 8. Civil X will then swing by and pick up the load in one of its dump trucks. It will then take the truck to Kelowna Ready Mix and weigh all the food.

“We’re going to have the companies do the collecting, so we’re hoping they get their customers and their employees collecting at their businesses,” Civil X’s Sarah Kingsnorth said.

Any businesses interested in taking part in the inaugural Food Dump are asked to give Kingsnorth a call at 778-821-1399.

PRH needs volunteers
Kirk Penton - Oct 23 - Get Involved

Image: Contributed
Greyback Construction doing early construction on the new patient tower at the Penticton Regional Hospital.

If Interior Health paid minimum wage to all the volunteers who put in time at Penticton Regional Hospital, Launa Stocker believes it would surpass the $1 million mark annually.

That indicates just how important volunteers are to make the hospital run smoothly. They’re about to need even more of them with PRH’s expansion well underway.

Stocker, who is Interior Health’s volunteer co-ordinator, currently has approximately 300 people donating their time to PRH, and as soon as the hospital’s expansion is done in the spring she is going to need at least another 50.

“The training for all of that has to start in February and March,” Stocker said. “Everybody has to have a tour of the hospital, so I’ll be needing people to help me do the tours, wayfinding.”

Wayfinding is quite literally finding your way around a physical environment, which in the case of PRH will be a maze of new hallways. And everyone is going to need directions once the David E. Kampe Tower is up and operational.

“It’s not only for patients and visitors, but the staff as well,” Stocker said. “Some of the old building is going to be existing, so it’s finding your way back and forth between the two. There’s going to be consistent variables in locations for that first six months or so. So wayfinding’s going to be really big.”

The new tower will require more than only wayfinder volunteers. People are needed to deliver ice and meals on wheels, to guide patients through the medical imaging department, to help operate the pet therapy program, and to staff the new cafe and gift shop. Proceeds from the cafe and gift shop go back into the hospital’s coffers.

Stocker said volunteers are needed not only during the day, but on weekends and evenings as well. Anyone 16 years or older is eligible to volunteer after a criminal record check.

Anyone interested in volunteering at PRH can e-mail Stocker at [email protected].

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