Business Urides benefit charities
Okanagan Edge Staff - 3:38 pm - Get Involved

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Every time a business books a trip with Uride in July, a local charity or non-profit will benefit.

The ride sharing company, which recently launched in Kamloops, Kelowna and West Kelowna, will donate 50% of its profit from all corporate rides during July. The company recently launched Uride for Business, which focuses on providing reliable transportation for businesses and organizations.

“We’re huge fans of good deeds and giving back to the community,” Uride founder Cody Ruberto said in a press release. “There’s a lot of incredible charities and not-for-profit organizations doing great work. We’re excited to bring an easy way for businesses to give back, and we hope it inspires others to find ways to get involved in their community. 

“Just by booking rides, businesses will be making a difference.”

Uride is now operating in 10 Canadian cities. Businesses looking to use Uride for Business can send an email to [email protected].

Chamber needs board members
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jun 24, 2022 - Get Involved

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Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce is on the lookout for new board members.

The organization’s board development committee is seeking candidates with “established business, leadership and advocacy expertise” to join its 2022-23 board of directors for a one-year term.

Those terms start on Sept. 15. The deadline to nominate yourself or someone else is next Thursday, June 30, at 4 p.m.

There are several “desirable qualities” the board would like candidates to possess:
• Awareness and understanding of the role of the chamber and a desire to support it.
• Awareness of the business and economic climate in Greater Vernon, B.C. and Canada.
• Previous board experience serving in an advocacy, leadership or executive position.
• Sound entrepreneurial skills.
• Understanding of financial statements, management reports, and risk management.
• High ethical standards and integrity in professional and personal dealings.
• Ability to work as a team member.
• Past history of community involvement.

The nomination form can be found here.

Blueberry plant sales aid pups
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jun 24, 2022 - Get Involved

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Blueberries are delicious, and dogs are the best.

One Kelowna dog rescue certainly believes that, as proven by its latest fundraiser.

Paws It Forward, a volunteer-run organization that rescues dogs from all over the world, is selling blueberry plants to helps save as many dogs as it can. The organization received a donation of 500 plants.

Plants are $12 each or two for $20, and buyers will receive a free plant for every five purchased. There are three varieties available: Elliot, Chandler and Duke.

Purchase and delivery arrangements can be made by visiting the Paws It Forward Facebook page.

Financial whiz creates bursary
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jun 22, 2022 - Get Involved

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Financial literacy has never been more important than it is in these days of high inflation.

One Okanagan College grad is doing her part to help—in more ways than one.

Erum Ahmad graduated only last year from the college, but she helped to create a bursary that she presented to Clarence Fulton Secondary School student Taia Buffie during graduation ceremonies in Vernon last weekend.

Ahmad, who graduated from OC with a bachelor of business administration in accounting, has also been teaching students at Clarence Fulton about managing money. It all comes from her experiences as a high school student.

“When I was in Grade 10, I realized there were no classes to help me learn about finances,” Ahmad said in a press release. “I needed more than an introduction to budgeting, so I decided to take a course in basic accounting.”

She had to take that course remotely, but it set her on a path to understanding financial literacy.

“Students need to have money in order to be smart with their funds,” she said. “There are many transitions taking place as you move from high school to living on your own, balancing work and college life. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to teach that to students and allow them to manage their own money. I wanted to give them the education as well as the funds to apply what they have learned.”

Ahmad will attempt to attain her Chartered Professional Accounting certification in September while continuing to educate today’s youth about managing their money.

Butterfly Vigil stirs emotions
Cindy White - Jun 21, 2022 - Get Involved

The sky cleared and the sun came out for the Central Okanagan Hospice Association’s Butterfly Vigil at Rhapsody Plaza Monday.

It was the first time in three years that people have been able to remember their loved ones in this unique and colourful way.

“We are thrilled to be back here again, to be supporting our community in this time of healing,” COHA executive director Natasha Girard said.

The experience is different for everyone.

“So, as people are opening up the little boxes that the butterflies are in, sometimes they may stay on the hand, sometimes they may stay in the box, or sometimes they just might actually fly out of the box right away. And I think it’s so individualized of what meaning that brings to you in this special time,” Girard said.

Among those in attendance was Kelowna city councillor Loyal Wooldridge.

“I actually danced in Swinging With the Stars back in 2014 for the Central Okanagan Hospice Association with my partner. And at the time it was a fun event and it was about fundraising for the community, but I didn’t actually need any of the hospice services.

“Then a couple of years later, I lost my mom unexpectedly and tragically, and that’s when I really leaned into those services that COHA provides,” he explained.

It was his first time taking part in the vigil, and he wasn’t the only newcomer.

Sisters Cornelia Lewis and Marilyn Tietz were there with their brother-in-law Eric Andreasen to remember their sister, Klaudia Ursula Tietz, who passed away at the age of 69 on Jan. 8. They released six butterflies in her memory, and it seemed to lighten their spirits.

A new memory wall was unveiled at the event for people to sign the names of lost loved ones. It will now be displayed at the Rotary Centre for the Arts and Kelowna Innovation Centre until the end of the month. Anyone who wants to remember a lost loved one can stop by, make a donation and add their message to the wall.

This is the 40th anniversary of COHA. Donations help fund quality hospice palliative care programs and services in the Central Okanagan.

Dentists issued food challenge
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jun 20, 2022 - Get Involved

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Members of a Central Okanagan orthodontic group read on Castanet about Central Okanagan Community Food Bank’s desperate need for food donations, so they decided to do something about it.

Mission Creek Orthodontics, Kelowna Orthodontics and West Kelowna Orthodontics, which are all under the same ownership group, are conducting a summer food drive, and they are going to reward another dentist or orthodontic office that brings in the most food items before the end of the month.

“The office with the most food items donated will win a team lunch on us,” said Christina Allan, representing the three orthodontic offices.

The summer food drive will run until June 30. Dentist and orthodontics offices are asked to bring their collected food items to the Kelowna Orthodontics office, which is located at 102-110 Harvey Ave.

The most needed items are canned fish and meats, peanut butter and nut butters, soups and stews, breakfast cereals and bars, pasta and rice, granola bars, applesauce, pasta sauces, canned fruit and vegetables, and diapers and formula.

Questions about the summer food drive can be directed to Allan at [email protected].

Youth programs receive funding
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jun 17, 2022 - Get Involved

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Enactus Okanagan College benefited from the Youth Initiatves Grants program in 2020.

Four funders have stepped up in a big way to help 13 new grassroots initiatives designed and led by Okanagan youth.

The money was directed through the United Way B.C.’s Youth Initiative Grants program, and it will help the youth-led projects get off the ground. Central Okanagan Foundation, Community Foundation of the North Okanagan and Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen collaborated to create a funding pool that youth organizations can apply to, driven and supported by UWBC’s GenNext Kelowna chapter.

Some of the initiatives in the works include the Sqilx’w Apna Society’s N’sis’ooloxw Youth and Medicine Project in North Okanagan, Brain Trust’s Brain Injury Youth Crime Prevention Program in Central Okanagan and a disc golf course, butterfly garden, Legion youth space and a vegetable hydroponic system in the South Okanagan and Similkameen region.

United Way B.C. said youth in previous projects have found significant social skill development and learned about funding, budgeting, promoting activities and engaging community members to provide direction and feedback.

Bond, David Bond, new Y chair
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jun 14, 2022 - Get Involved

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The YMCA of Okanagan has promoted one of its directors to the head of the board.

David Bond, who has been on the YMCA’s board of directors for the last five years, has been named the new board chair. He is the office managing partner for KPMG Kelowna.

“We are excited to welcome David Bond as our board chair,” YMCA of Okanagan CEO Allyson Graf said in a press release. “His breadth of experience, insight, and knowledge will go a long way in helping us achieve our mission to strengthen the foundations of the communities we serve and continue to grow to serve more communities in our region.”

Booth has provided accounting, assurance and general business advisory services to clients in a wide variety of industries, including private and public companies, public sector organizations and First Nations. He has also kept involved in the community, serving as a past president and director of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, Kelowna Art Gallery and as a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors Okanagan chapter committees.

Scotiabank opening doors
Okanagan Edge Staff - May 31, 2022 - Get Involved

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(L to R): Okanagan College Foundation executive director Helen Jackman, OCF chair Gladys Fraser, Scotiabank district vice-president Larry Clements, Kelowna Secondary School student Kiana Nazembokaei, Okanagan College science and technology dean William Gillett, and Okanagan College program co-ordinator Helena Jordo.

Scotiabank and Okanagan College are giving high school students the opportunity to gain entrepreneurial experience before they reach the post-secondary level.

The bank got the ball rolling with a pilot project called Gateway to Tech, which high school students could take at Okanagan College to receive credits towards their graduation. Now the two organizations are teaming up to create Gateway to Business and Community, which is specifically for Indigenous students.

Scotiabank is donating $250,000 to enable both programs, which focus on opening up high school students’ eyes to hands-on learning opportunities, building fundamental skills and providing insights to meaningful careers here in the Okanagan and beyond.

The funding aims to support equitable and inclusive access to the programs, particularly for Indigenous learners and girls. The donation is part of ScotiaRISE, the bank’s 10-year, $500-million initiative to promote economic resilience among individuals who have faced barriers to education.

“Through ScotiaRISE, we are proud to partner with Okanagan College to remove barriers young people face that impede their access to education and employment opportunities,” Scotiabank district vice-president Larry Clements said in a press release.

“We hope both programs will support the arc of a young person’s life on to a positive and fulfilling future as a healthy and contributing member of their community.”

Garage sale on steroids
Okanagan Edge Staff - May 27, 2022 - Get Involved

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If you like garage sales, you are not going to want to miss this.

The Regional Waste Reduction Office will be bring back its “trunk sale” on Saturday morning from 8 o’clock until noon in the huge parking lot located on the west end of Kelowna’s Okanagan College campus.

There will be more than 150 vendors selling their wares out of the trunks of their cars, making it one-stop shopping heaven for those who love looking for that perfect item at garage sales.

“The trunk sale model is unique in these parts—a mega garage sale from the backs of vehicles, one convenient location, tons of bargains,” RWRO reduction facilitator Rae Stewart said in a press release. “It’s a family friendly way to spend a Saturday morning. And after a two-year hiatus due to all things COVID, we’re hoping for a great turnout this weekend.”

The trunk sale reached its maximum vendor limit quickly once again this year, as the event was cancelled the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization holds the event semi-annually to help keep items out of the landfill and to promote recycling.

In addition, the leftover items will be given to charities.

“After the sale is over, we invite charities to the site so those participating don’t have to lug their items home again,” Stewart said. “They can simply donate them if they choose. Once again, volunteers with the Kelowna and District SHARE Society and Canadian Diabetes Association will be on hand to accept donations.

“Plus, the Okanagan Mission Lions Club volunteers will be helping with traffic control, selling pancake breakfasts and lunch. We couldn’t host the event without this tremendous community support.”

More information about the trunk sale can be found here.

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