Walking to Cure diabetes
Rob Gibson - Jun 15 - Get Involved

Image: Contributed

This year the Sun Life Walk to Cure Diabetes benefiting JDRF raised almost $90,000 in the fight against diabetes.

The money will be used to fund life-changing T1D research through the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and its Canadian Clinical Trial Network.

“We are consistently, steadily making progress in pursuit of a cure for type one diabetes. We are fundraising so that we can continue to push these advances forward,” says Shannon Jolley, manager of fundraising and development, at the JDRF in the Okanagan and Kootenays.

“Thanks to events such as the Sun Life Walk, JDRF is currently funding more than 50 human clinical trials, several of which are in the advanced stages of clinical testing.”


Making one million meals
Darren Handschuh - Jun 13 - Get Involved

Image: Contributed
The North Okanagan Valley Gleaners are making one million meals for Guatamala.

When the call for help came in, the North Okanagan Valley Gleaners were quick to respond.

In an average month, the Gleaners make 500,000 meals in their Lavington facility. After part of Guatemala was hit by an erupting volcano, the group of volunteers stepped in to make an additional one million meals.

The Gleaners process and dry vegetables that are packaged and sent around the world where they provide meals in some of the poorest regions on the planet.

Brad Egerton, with the Gleaners, said they are in need of more produce and more volunteers to produce the one million meals by June 26 when a shipping container will be loaded with 10,000 bags of dried vegetables and shipped to Guatemala.

“We are short on vegetables, but we are getting what we can,” said Egerton. “We need more soup.”

Egerton said they are calling out to area farmers who might be able to donate.

The Gleaners are also receiving requests for supplies like toiletries, hygiene products and other basic needs. These items can be dropped off at the Gleaner’s thrift store at 4405 29th Street.

The local Gleaners are working with Seeds to Harvest Ministries, which is based close to where they volcano erupted earlier this month.

Anyone wanting to volunteer or donate food items can call 250-558-5872, or stop by the Lavington plant at 973 Whitevale Rd. from 8 a.m. to noon Monday to Friday.

Event raises thousands
Chantelle Deacon - Jun 12 - Get Involved

Image: Contributed

The 8th annual ‘Rock for Care’ fundraiser in Vernon raised thousands for Women’s and Children’s Health Services at Vernon Jubilee Hospital.

The event held in April at The Longhorn Pub raised $5,040.

“We would like to thank all our patrons and sponsors for their support of Rock for Care,” said The Longhorn Pub proprietor, Aftaab Dhillon.  “Our vendors generously provided auction items that helped make the event a great success.”

“Molson Breweries, Sleeman Breweries, The Rise Golf Course, Spallumcheen Golf and Country Club and Vernon Golf and Country Club were some of the many vendors who took part in the auction.”

The event featured local bands donating their time and talents in a 12-hour non-stop entertainment from noon to midnight.  Twelve B.C. bands took the stage.

“We are so grateful to the owners, employees, sponsors, and patrons of The Longhorn Pub for eight years of celebrating and supporting healthcare through the 12 hour Rock for Care,” said Lisa Westermark, VJH Foundation executive director. “It is through the generosity and caring of community leaders like The Longhorn Pub that we have excellent healthcare in Vernon.”

“I also wish to thank the musicians who have given so generously of their time for without them this wouldn’t happen.  A lot of work goes into this event, and many benefits to health care are the result.”

Funds are raised from admission to the event and through proceeds from auction items donated by local businesses.

Since 2009, ‘Rock for Care’ has raised $36,839.17 towards medical equipment for the hospital.

20 years of hospice help
Chelsea Powrie - Jun 11 - Get Involved

Image: Chelsea Powrie
Current and former board members of the Moog & Friends Hospice House board celebrate 20 years.

Moog and Friends Hospice House celebrated a milestone Sunday, after 20 years of care for the terminally ill in Penticton.

The society held an event at the Martin Street Art Gallery, featuring appetizers and beverages, in order to mark the occasion.

The chair of the society, Bill Everden, said that members of the staff suggested a celebration to mark two decades of work.

“It was such a dream for so long, the society,” Everden said. “In 1998 the doors opened with a large donation from the Andy Moog foundation and other people. It’s been wonderful and now 20 years later the society is still supporting the hospice house.”

Everden said the work is ongoing, and that they are always improving the support they give to patients. They are also very grateful fo any support they are given.

“We’re very pleased at the support we get from the community and we hope it keeps up,” Everden said.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the work Moog & Friends does can visit their website or donate in person at 1701 Government Street.

New money for trades students
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jun 08 - Get Involved

Image: Contributed

The New Car Dealers Foundation of British Columbia has pledged $10,000 a year in new awards for trades and business students at Okanagan College.

The annual awards, ranging from $1,000 to $2,000, will each support students in the Automotive Service Technician apprenticeship and foundation programs and the Business Administration program.

“The demand for skilled automotive service technicians and business professionals is increasing throughout the automotive sector,” says Blair Qualey, the president and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of B.C.

“We see partnerships with training institutions like Okanagan College as integral to service delivery and the prosperity of our member dealerships.”

There are 29 new car dealer members in the Okanagan, including six dealerships operated by Sentes Automotive.

Adam Rich, Sentes Automotive group general manager, says he hopes the awards will encourage more young people to enter the automotive industry and stay local after graduation.

“We’re always looking for more technicians. We know the value of the Okanagan College program, we’ve hired grads in the past, and we’re thrilled to support it,” he says.

The New Car Dealers Foundation presented its first set of awards in Kelowna in April. Among the recipients was Paul Whitlock, a student in the Automotive Service Technician program.

Whitlock says he plans to complete his red seal endorsement and then go on to business school.

“This award will make it easier for me to progress through my apprenticeship with less stress about being able to afford it all,” says Whitlock. “I can’t thank the donors enough for this very generous gift. It will help me achieve my dream.”

Projects receive funding
Contributed - Jun 08 - Get Involved

Image: Contributed

This spring, the Central Okanagan Foundation for Youth (COFFY) and United Way’s GenNext contributed $9,055 to support seven youth-led projects based in the Central and South Okanagan.

These grants are available to young people up to age 25 who are partnering with an organization to create positive change in their local community. A committee comprising of COFFY and GenNext Kelowna representatives met in late March to review the applications and make funding decisions. The awards ranged from $250 to $2,000.

The Youth Initiative Grant recipients for 2018 are:
–        Call Home, Enactus Okanagan College (Kelowna)
–        More LGBTQ+ Friends, Etcetera – The Bridge Youth and Family Services (Kelowna)
–        Hyphen Project Gardening Initiative, SD53 (Oliver)
–        Take Two, Interact Club as part of the Rotary Club of Kelowna Ogopogo (Kelowna)
–        Intergenerational Computer Literacy, Peachland Wellness Centre (Peachland)
–        Silver Surfers, Enactus Okanagan College (Kelowna)
–        Women’s Shelter Clothing Drive, Aberdeen Hall (Kelowna)

“These grants encourage initiatives led by community members who are 25 and under. It’s really exciting to see the projects that they can undertake with modest financial support,” says Joanne Carey, Coordinator of Grants & Community Initiatives at the Central Okanagan Foundation.

An example is the Etcetera Project – which offers a safe space for youth 11 to 18 years who meet weekly with the support of a staff member from The Bridge Youth and Family Services. “It’s hard for kids who are LGBTQ+ to have a safe place sometimes and to tell people they need help, and Etcetera can help them. We want marketing about Etcetera so people will come check it out,” says Adrian Perez Ara, coordinator of the Etcetera Program.

“We are amazed by the creativity and community spirit demonstrated by these young people. We can’t wait to watch the projects as they develop. Future community leaders in our midst!” says Helen Jackman, Executive Director of the United Way Central and South Okanagan/Similkameen.

Youth Initiative Grant funding will be available again in the winter of 2019. For more information, visit: http://www.centralokanaganfoundation.org/grants/youth-initiative-grants/

About COFFY:  The Central Okanagan Foundation for Youth (COFFY) committee is made up of young adults age 15 – 25. Since its establishment in 2002, COFFY has been building an endowment fund with the Central Okanagan Foundation. The income generated is used to support youth projects and programs in the Central Okanagan (Lake Country to Peachland). Specifically, COFFY wishes to support projects that are youth-driven, collaborative and have a direct beneficial impact on young people living in the Central Okanagan. More info at: http://www.centralokanaganfoundation.org/

About GenNext: GenNext is an affinity group of United Way CSO consisting of young, emerging leaders who are looking to support our community in a meaningful way. GenNext’s Board of Directors is made up of professionals who are passionate about volunteerism and furthering the United Way’s mission. For more information about GenNext Kelowna, visit:http://unitedwaycso.com/get-involved/gennext/ 

Biking valley for paramedics
Colton Davies - Jun 07 - Get Involved

Image: paramedicride.ca

About 45 paramedics will begin a four-day bike ride scaling the Southern Interior on Thursday morning, which is meant to honour paramedics who have died on the line of duty.

The second annual Tour Paramedic Ride begins at Gyro Beach in Osoyoos, where the cyclists will be stationed from 7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m.

They will then stop at “The Peach” in Penticton from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. before reaching the Water Street Marina in downtown Kelowna, where they will be stationed from 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

On Friday, the tour will begin at City Park in Kelowna with stops in Lake Country and Vernon. They will stop in Salmon Arm on Saturday and in end in Kamloops on Sunday, where a closing ceremony will take place.

Co-organizer Paul MacLeod said the riders are fundraising to have a monument built in Ottawa which would commemorate paramedics who died on duty.

“This important monument will be a place where family, friends and colleagues can remember their loved ones and honour the dedication and sacrifice of all Canadian paramedics who have lost their lives,” MacLeod said.

Similar rides will take place in five other regions across Canada later this year.

The Paramedic Ride is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to strengthening the paramedic community.”

MacLeod encouraged public support in any capacity, saying apart from donations, people can cheer riders along their route or interact with them at any of their stops.

Details on how to donate and information on the tour’s route can be found here.

Win a home, support charity
Madison Erhardt - Jun 06 - Get Involved

Image: Contributed

It’s never been easier to help burn victims across British Columbia.

Tickets in the Hometown Heroes Lottery support health care at Vancouver General Hospital, UBC Hospital and the B.C. Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund.

“The money raised … is a significant source of revenue for VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation, and it ensures the best care is available for our patients,” says hospital foundation CEO Barbara Grantham.

“Sixty per cent of the province’s adult trauma cases are seen in our hospitals. Lottery funds help us to continue to provide specialized adult care and equipment for those suffering from severe burn trauma,” she added.

The winner of the lottery can choose one of seven grand prize packages, including a choice of home located in  South Surrey, Vancouver, Lake Country, Vancouver Island, or Penticton – or $2.1 million.

“The success of the Burn Fund depends on the extreme generosity of individuals, and our sponsor partnerships with companies and foundations, along with the hard work and dedication of our professional firefighters across BC,” said executive director Lisa Lacamell.

Ticket sales are on sale until July 12, and there are more than 3,000 prizes worth over $3.2 million, including vacations and cars.

Buy tickets at www.heroeslottery.com, by phone, 604-648-4376, or 1-866-597-4376, or in-person at any London Drugs, Vancouver General Hospital, or at grand prize show homes in Crescent Heights and Ocean Park.

Putting ‘fun’ into fundraising
Contributed - Jun 05 - Get Involved

Image: Contributed

Vernon is notorious for being a last-minute town, so Cindy Masters isn’t too worried about filling the last few spots for the fourth annual Kindale Developmental Association Vernon Golf Spectacular.

However, she knows that she’d better get the word out before this weekend.

“Step on up and don’t be last minute any longer,” says Masters. “We only need a few more teams to help Kindale and Special Olympics Vernon put the ‘fun’ into fundraising and empower ability for people in our community.”

All money raised will be shared between Kindale and the Special Olympics.

The tournament will be held June 9 at the Vernon Golf and Country Club.

“A team of four is only $500, which includes lunch dinner and the most fun ever,” says Masters.

Register online or call Cindy Masters (250) 546-3005.

MEC boosts rail trail
Alanna Kelly - Jun 04 - Get Involved

Image: okrailtrail

The Okanagan Rail Trail just received a boost from Mountain Equipment Co-op.

A donation of $45,000 has been donated by MEC towards the development of the popular trail to help reach the goal of $7.8 million.

“MEC exists to get people active outdoors, it’s what we do,” said Wade Janzen, Regional Sustainability and Community Investor Coordinator at MEC.

“We’re hoping this funding encourages others to donate and help finish the trail.”

Construction on the 48 kilometre long trail started in October 2017 and only $150,000 more is needed to reach the goal amount to complete the project.

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