Stober helps women’s shelter
Miriam Halpenny - 6:50 am - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

The Kelowna Women’s Shelter has been gifted $100,000 from the Stober Foundation to support essential workers in the community.

The donation will help provide critical services to victims of domestic abuse by allowing the hire of additional frontline workers at the shelter.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Kelowna Women’s Shelter. Over those 40 years, it has provided ample support to women and children including housing, supplies, programs and support services.

As the COVID-19 pandemic stretches on, it continues to put a strain on the efforts to end violence against women as access to services is more difficult.

“Requests for shelter services increases each year already as is. Although COVID-19 doesn’t create domestic violence, there is a marked increase in severity and number of instances because of it and we are seeing this reflected in our daily work at the shelter,” Kelowna Women’s Shelter resource development co-ordinator Ester Pike said.

In Canada, 3,491 women and their 2,724 children seek out safety at shelters such as the Kelowna Women’s Shelter. Due to full capacities, approximately 300 of these women and children are turned away.

This issue is also reflected at the Kelowna Women’s Shelter. A total of 280 women and children sought housing at the shelter in 2019, compared to 240 the year before, despite having the same 16 core beds.

In addition to this, front-line staff at the shelter answered 670 crisis and counselling calls and managed more than 1,100 counselling sessions, both individual and group.

These numbers are anticipated to grow again this year, making funding such as the donation from Stober Foundation crucial.

“Our support workers are the primary contact for anyone who is experiencing intimate partner violence. COVID-19 only added to our support workers task lists and we were worried that burnout would increase because of this,” Pike said.

“With the funding provided by the Stober Foundation, we can ensure that enough staff are available at all times to respond to the needs of our residents and the general community while continuing to care for our staff.”

The shelter operates 24/7, 365 days a year to ensure everyone can get the help they need.

Arrow hits donation target
Brendan Kergin - Aug 11, 2020 - Get Involved

Photo: Brendan Kergin

A long-time local company is helping Royal Inland Hospital set up its new patient tower with a $250,000 donation.

The Charles family, which founded the Arrow Transportation Systems, is making the donation on behalf of the Arrow group and its employees, according to a press release from the Royal Inland Hospital Foundation.

“More than 350 Arrow employees are based in the central Interior region and many, like me, grew up here,” Arrow vice-president of trucking Tim Bell said.

“Arrow’s yellow trucks were part of the fabric of our childhoods, and I can guarantee every one of us has been touched by RIH at some point, too. Therefore, it’s our collective responsibility now, as members of this community, to step up and help the foundation reach its fundraising goals.”

The money is specifically earmarked for one of the new operating theatres in the patient care tower currently under construction. A total of 11 theatres will be built.

“We support a population of more than 225,000 people who need healthcare, in good times and bad,” RIHF CEO Heidi Coleman said. “The foundation is very grateful to the Charles family, and all Arrow employees, for their donation to our campaign.”

Chicks With Sticks bag bucks
Sarita Patel - Jul 31, 2020 - Get Involved

The fourth annual Chicks With Sticks golf tournament may have switched up its model, but the fundraising efforts hit a record-breaking number, despite the pandemic.

The fundraiser donated $36,000 to Foundry Kelowna in support to youth mental health.

“We broke our record of last year of $26,100 and even surpassed our goal of $30,000, which was set before COVID,” Carla Lundman said in a press release.

The 172 female golfers played the tournament at Black Mountain Golf Club on July 20.

Lundman credits the record-breaking year to the help of their title sponsor, Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union and Urban Systems Foundation.

Foundry is an integrated youth and family centre that provides services that address the primary care, mental health, substance use, counselling and social service needs of youth aged 12 to 24 and their families.

Event will support shelter
Sarita Patel - Jul 31, 2020 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

Two local women have launched an event to benefit not only local businesses, but also provide for the women’s shelter in Kelowna.

Carly Malchuk, founder of Daily Digital Social Culture, has partnered with local influencer Alana Denham to launch ChiChi Marche. The event allows women to buy primarily local products in a grab bag worth over $150 for $50 during the pre-sale.

The contents are clothing and accessories donated by top social media influencers, such as Jillian Harris, as well as new items donated by local boutiques.

This opportunity was meant to be a stuff-a-bag event, but the organizers have had to pivot to support social distancing measures at this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Participants can buy a ticket online, choose their preferred clothing size (XS-3X) and indicate a preferred time slot for pick up on Aug. 9.

There are 500 bags with all proceeds supporting the Kelowna Women’s Shelter, an organization that is in need, especially in a time of a global crisis.

Save-On-Foods donates big
Kirk Penton - Jul 30, 2020 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed
Save-On-Foods president Darrell Jones with grandsons A.J. (holding cheque) and Adrian.

Save-On-Foods has raised nearly $2 million for the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation over the last 12 months.

Company president Darrell Jones recently signed a cheque worth more than $1.9 million for the foundation instead of presenting it during the Miracle Weekend telethon, which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The money was raised through hot dog sales, barbecues, the Round Up for Kids campaign, Spin the Wheel, Jeans Day and various local events.

“Although things are different this year, we still have a lot to celebrate when it comes to making a difference in the lives of British Columbians,” Jones said in a press release. “Together, with our generous customers and supplier partners, our team members went the extra mile over the past year to raise $1.9 million for BC Children’s Hospital.

“I am so proud of their inspiring commitment to the health of the youngest members of our communities.”

Save-On-Foods has more than a dozen locations in the Thompson Okanagan.

Wineries pour out relief cash
Rob Gibson - Jul 29, 2020 - Get Involved

Photos: Contributed
Top left: United Way events and special projects manager Jude Brunt with 50th Parallel Estate owners Curtis and Sheri-Lee Krouzel; Top right: Brunt with Vibrant Vine owners Wyn and Marion Lewis, and GM Valeria Verholen; Bottom right: Brunt with Oliver Twist Winery assistant GM Sheila Whittaker; Bottom right: River Stone Estate Winery GM Julie Planedin with Brunt.

Okanagan wineries teamed up to raise $10,000 for COVID relief.

Frequent Pour Fine Wine Merchants and four of its generous community-spirited winery partners managed to raise $10,000 for United Way’s COVID Relief Fund last week. The promotion ran for three months in local liquor stores with $1 from every wine purchase going towards the program.

One Lake Country winery, 50th Parallel Estate, contributed over half the total raised. 50th Parallel owners Curtis and Sheri-Lee Krouzel say they are thrilled to help.

“We love to invest in our people, and that means supporting those in need in the communities in which we live, work and play too,” Curtis Krouzel said. “We are thrilled to have been a part of this collaborative initiative where there is even more impact if we work in partnership with others, too.”

BC mining makes big donation
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jul 29, 2020 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

The Association for Mineral Exploration has donated $100,000 to Food Banks BC in an effort to help those facing troubles due to COVID-19.

More than 50 donations, both from individuals and corporations, were received after the initiative was launched in early June. Participants were asked to share their favourite mining meal memory on social media and make a donation.

Wheaton Precious Metals donated $50,000 of the final tally, and its president and CEO, Randy Smallwood, made a donation as well.

“It is especially important during these challenging times that businesses come together to help those most in need,” Smallwood said in a press release. “As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, more families and individuals are facing financial hardship resulting in an even greater demand for basic needs such as food security.

“We are proud to do our part by accepting the #MiningFeedsBC Food Bank challenge and grateful for the overwhelming support for this cause by the mining and exploration industry. We also greatly commend the volunteers and employees at Food Banks BC for their dedication to supporting our communities.”

TRU offering COVID bursaries
Amandalina Letterio - Jul 29, 2020 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed
Airini, who is TRU’s Faculty of Education and Social Work dean, is donating $10,000 herself.

Thompson Rivers University is offering new bursaries and awards for first-year students pursuing their post-secondary studies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The university plans to raise $50,000 to provide up to 100 first-year students with added tuition through the First-Year Student Resiliency Fund, according to a news release.

The TRU Foundation is matching the $25,000 donated to the fund, and the dean of the Faculty of Education and Social Work, Dr. Airini, who goes by one name, is contributing an additional $10,000.

“One thing I’ve learned from living in Kamloops is that we give however we can and together, our help adds up to something big,” Airini said in a press release. “COVID-19 has affected so many in our communities. TRU offers one way forward, preparing students to be active community members and genuine leaders. If there was ever a time to recognize the potential and resilience of our future students, it is now. We don’t want their pace to slow.”

Anyone is welcome to contribute to the fund by clicking here.

Donations must be made by Aug. 31 for the fall term intake.

Theatre puts out call
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jul 23, 2020 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

Spallumcheen’s Caravan Farm Theatre is starting a fundraising campaign in an effort to make up for lost money due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The professional theatre has had to postpone its summer production of Blackhorse as well as its winter sleigh ride performance that was going to be based on It’s a Wonderful Life.

“We had a cast and crew of more than 50 people who were supposed to come from all over the country to start work on the show,” Caravan artistic director Estelle Shook said in a press release. “It was a huge ship to sail, and everything was in motion. However, when the COVID-19 safety regulations were put into place, we had to cancel all theatre activity here at Caravan,

“We are paying a steep price for this. We have lost over $200,000 in revenues from our summer show.”

The theatre, which is located on an 80-acre farm northeast of Armstrong, is asking regular theatre-goers to continue to support the organization.

“If you love coming to the Caravan and are missing us, consider donating the money you might have spent on tickets,” Shook said. “Any amount will help us support our artists, care for our venue, and maintain our momentum, so that we can be ready to go when we re-open.”

More information about Caravan’s fundraising campaign can be found here.

Chicks with Sticks returns
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jul 07, 2020 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

The fourth annual Chicks with Sticks women’s golf tournament is returning to Kelowna’s Black Mountain Golf Club later this month, with proceeds supporting youth mental health.

This year’s event, which will be held Monday, July 20, will have a bit of a different feel due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This year we’ll respect social distancing with staggered tee times, a virtual silent auction, food and drink stations on the course, and a gift certificate instead of dinner,” tournament organizer Carla Lundman said in a press release. “We are so thankful for the support that businesses and individuals have shown once again this year through their generous donations.”

Two-member teams use the Stableford scoring system during the event, whose $150 entry fee includes 18 holes of golf, a shared power cart, tee gift and food. There will also be a chance to win prizes, and an online silent auction will close the night of the event.

Proceeds will go to Foundry Kelowna, a wellness centre for young people, and its mobile unit. This year’s celebrity supporter is Serinda Swan, who is the star of CBC’s Coroner.

“Our youth is our future, and our future is now,” Swan said. “We all have to do our part in supporting our youth who are struggling with mental health issues. The Foundry is creating a mobile unit so that all young people in the Kelowna area are able to access the resources the centre provides.

“It’s a wonderful endeavour and will make a big difference in the lives of our youth.”

In an effort to raise more money for Foundry’s mobile unit, tournament organizers this year are conducting the online auction through Trellis, with the goal of raising $30,000.

Registration for the event can take place here, and charitable donations can be made here.

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