Club Information

Welcome to our Club!

Lake Country

Service Above Self

We meet In Person
Thursdays at 7:15 AM
Holiday Park Resort
415 Commonwealth Road, Okanagan Room
Kelowna (north end, by Lake Country), BC V4V 1P4
We are meeting via Zoom for the foreseeable future. Contact Sandy Wightman and to join us.
Club Executives & Directors
Immediate Past President
President Elect
Community Service
Community Service - Youth
Community Service - Youth
The Rotary Foundation
Club Public Relations
Home Page Stories
Guests at our meeting today included: Carol French, Tom Roth, Sarah de Leeuw and our guest speaker Barbara Everdene
Lots of “Lobster Talk” today as our first annual Lobster Crawl was a huge crackling success! Members stepped up to volunteer and our event crawled along smoothly resulting in $5000 being raised for local Lake Country and International projects. Congrats to all those involved!
Our club’s 25th Anniversary is March 29 and we will begin our year of celebrations at our meeting on Thursday March 25th celebrating our members – current and past – and our many local community projects in Lake Country. There’s so much to celebrate! Guests and past presidents/members are all welcome to attend our meetings via zoom. Contact President Sandy at and he will send you our weekly zoom meeting link.
Today’s speaker was Barbara Everdene who has found her way back to the Okanagan, most recently from Vancouver. Barbara is a community planner with a Masters in Community and Regional Planning from the University of British Columbia. She is a registered member of the Canadian Institute of Planners.
Barbara manages the Access to Environmental Justice program, including the Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund (EDRF), at West Coast Environmental Law. The EDRF provides grants to individuals, community groups and First Nations who need legal support to address environmental challenges. She is inspired by the many community organizers who have used great research, creative activism and a wide
range of skills to mobilize their communities to protect what they love.

For 30 years, the EDRF has given a voice to people and communities who otherwise would not have been heard. The EDRF works with dedicated clients who step up to defend land, air, water and the health of BC communities. Funding for the EDRF comes from the Law Society of BC. Lawyers and other professionals are asked to work on a partially pro bono basis.
Clients include the Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club in Merritt where they were impacted by Douglas Lake Cattle blocking off public road access to a public lake used by locals. The legal counsel on this case worked for fishing lessons! Another case involves ongoing efforts to protect a peregrine falcon nest at a gravel site. Barbara also shared that the EDRF is supporting the Heiltsuk Nation on the coast of BC, which
is attempting to recover from a fuel spill and to set best practices for emergency response to coastal oil spills.
Barbara cited some current Okanagan concerns related to forestry, nitrates in some water, and managing ecological concerns as local development increases rapidly.
Outside her work with EDRF, Barbara is actively involved with the Vernon Climate Action Plan and the Okanagan Climate Hub which now extends from Osoyoos to Vernon to Salmon Arm. The latter discusses best practices for environmental protection.
The club thanked Barbara for taking time to share her work with our members who showed their interest with a variety of questions. She can be reached at and
A successful partnership between Rotary International and Shelter Box, an international disaster relief charity, is providing emergency shelter and other aid items to families around the world who have lost their homes to disaster or conflict.

Dani Bristow, Program Coordinator for Shelter Box Canada, joined us this week to provide insight on the work that the agency is undertaking to help people affected by disaster and conflict rebuild their lives.

During the current global pandemic, ‘home’ has become a place and safety and comfort.  It is a sobering fact however, that more than 100 million people are currently homeless because of disasters and conflict and that fewer than one in five people have access to basic shelter and other items needed to rebuild their lives.

Most of the people driven from their homes by natural disasters and conflict live in the least developed countries in the world, where support is already limited. Government-run displacement centers are overcrowded and under-resourced. Many do not have the capacity to support families, particularly during a global pandemic.

ShelterBox began as a pilot project in 2000 by a small Rotary Club in Helston, Cornwall, UK.   The success of the pilot project led to calls to expand the program to meet the growing need for disaster assistance.  Incremental expansions occurred and in 2012, Rotary International agreed to a formal partnership with Shelter Box.  This has enabled Shelter Box to expand and provide offices in 18 countries.

The extensive network of international Rotary Clubs enables Shelter Box to cross boundaries and to reach even the most remote communities.   Shelter Box workers consult with local governments to provide the right support to enable people to lead in their own recovery – to make sure that their work has a lasting impact.
The aid provided by Shelter Box comes in the form of Shelter Boxes and Shelter Kits.  Shelter Boxes contain family-sized tents specially designed to withstand the elements and provide people with temporary shelter until they can start the process of rebuilding a home.

Shelter Kits contain essential tools people need to start repairing and rebuilding homes such as shovels, cooking sets, solar lights and activity sets for children.

Rotarians and Rotary groups across the world support Shelter Box in variety of ways, from raising funds to providing support on the ground during their response to a disaster. 
Since Shelter Box began in 2000, more than 1 million people have been helped to rebuild their lives after disasters strike.  The Rotary Club of Lake Country has joined forces with other Rotary Clubs to support this cause by purchasing at least one shelter box each year for deployment where there is the greatest need.
Development Officer, Julia Nyberg and second year engineering student, Trevor Malyk, from the University of BC - Okanagan Campus, joined our Zoom meeting this week to discuss campus expansion plans and the benefits of Rotary bursaries.
Julia described UBCO as a close-knit community where students can easily get to know one another and connect with campus faculty.  She highlighted several innovative support programs that are offered to help students prepare for and adapt to campus life: 
  • The Aboriginal Access studies includes workshops to help indigenous people qualify for university-level study.
  • Community Service Learning Program (CSL) offers students opportunities to connect in classroom learning with real life experiences in the community.  This is done through both curricular (course based) and co-curricular (open to all students) programs and projects with community partners.
  • Financial programs help students access external awards and bursaries.  Our Rotary Club has contributed 3 bursaries to date, one of which was awarded to a George Elliot High School Grad.
  • A student learning hub providing free tutoring in math, sciences, languages, and writing, as well as help with study skills and learning strategies.
  • To the delight of the dog-lovers in our Club, a program known as BARK (Building Academic Retention K9’s) which pairs students with lovable K-9 pets to help reduce the stress of campus life 😊.
The Okanagan campus of UBC has grown from 3,000 students to over 11,000 today, with plans to reach a population of over 20,000 by 2040.  UBCO has strong connections with the main UBC Vancouver campus and Okanagan College and currently offers 64 undergraduate programs and 19 graduate programs.  The Campus has bolstered the strength of UBC as one of the top 40 universities in the world.
Current plans call for a significant new university presence in downtown Kelowna, incorporating community-facing academic space, office space and university rental housing on the former Kelowna Daily Courier location.  The complex will consist of three towers, one of which will be occupied by the university. That building features 80,000 square feet specifically for the university, with another 15,000 for university partners. The other two towers will be operated by the project’s developer Mission Group, with one set to be a commercial tower and the other set to be residential.
University focused housing will also be available on the top floors of the UBCO building.  The expansion would ease the density in the main campus, allowing other programs to move into vacated buildings.
The new campus will also include space for an art gallery to display the university’s more than 700 pieces of art in its collection.  A wine tasting program and a “maker space,” where students will have access to several technologies and tools to bring their projects to life, will also be provided.
Construction will begin in 2022 with completion anticipated by the fall 2024 semester.
Trevor Malyk spoke about the recent transition from in-class lectures to online learning at UBCO.  He said that online learning is a unique experience, and the quality of courses is as good or better than the traditional class format.  Extra emphasis which has been placed on class participation in the online format, so it is still possible to build friendships and relationships.
Trevor told us that receiving a bursary or scholarship is huge benefit for students.  Bursaries help students focus on their education and relieve the stress of working to pay for tuition, which can cost over $7 thousand annually for an engineering student at UBCO!
He also highlighted the importance of bursaries as a reward for a student’s hard work to access to university and a motivator to ‘pay it back’ by engaging in community service activities while at university or after graduation.
Bits and Pieces
To date, $322,000 in sales have been generated by the Club from the sale of Save-On Foods Shopping Cards!  With the 8 percent benefit provided by Save-On and 8 percent from matching donor, over $51 thousand has been raised to benefit the Lake Country Food Bank. 😊  Well done, everyone!
Margaret Brown is a proud charter member of our club and served as our club president in 2012/13. She was born and raised in Peace River Alberta and lived on her paternal grandparents’ homestead before moving into town at the age of six.
Life in a small town was great until, just before her 16th birthday, she lost her father in a work accident.  The blow to her family was catastrophic and long lasting. She married her husband Richard right after graduating high school and left for Edmonton the next day for Richard’s work in an oilfield service company. It was here where their two daughters were born. They transferred to Calgary for Richard’s work in 1973 where their third daughter was born. Margaret was very involved with a local daycare, attended Mount Royal College taking ECS courses and was involved in her school community.
In 1977 Richard was offered an international position in Dubai, UAE where they were plunged into a whole new life full of friends and amazing experiences. The culture shock made it a tough beginning however Margaret says the experience totally changed their lives! They gained an appreciation for travel and are still in touch with friends they met.
Upon returning to Calgary, they did a family adoption of Richard's 10 yr. old nephew who had spent a lot of time and summers with their family and was a big part of their lives.
In 1983-84 they were again transferred with Richard's work to Dartmouth, NS. They loved Nova Scotia and were able to explore some of Richard's mom's roots - what a place to get a new understanding of Canadian history where it all started!!!
After a year, they returned to Calgary where Margaret continued in the school kindergarten system for a few years before switching gears in when she started work as a merchandiser for a company out of Toronto which led to her getting a job with Nestle Canada in Calgary. She worked her way up to the position of account and territory manager. After a few downturns in the oil industry, Richard decided to exit the industry and try something new. Together with his brother, they purchased a family restaurant in Fort Macleod, AB and eventually made the move to Lake Country in 1994 where they owned and operated a dry cleaning service. In 1997 Margaret took the opportunity to go back to work for Nestle Canada here in Lake Country with the BC southern interior as her area until her retirement in 2014. 
Their realtor, Joy Winterlik, approached them about joining a new Rotary Club that was forming in LC. Margaret had been introduced to Rotary in Calgary where, at a lunch meeting, she experienced an impactful presentation by a returning exchange student which she had never forgotten! Being new to the LC community she decided to join the new club as a way to meet people and get involved. She became a charter member March 29, 1996.
Margaret says: “In the last 25 years I have met my best friends at Rotary, been involved in my community's growth and made a difference in the world community! In our early years we did many hands-on local projects and hosted large community fundraisers and had tons of fun doing so.”
 In 2001 they hosted their first exchange student, Akiko, from Japan. She calls this her first Rotary “aha moment”. They both were hooked and have hosted 13 students so far with many of these students staying in touch, returning to visit, hosting and meeting Margaret and Richard in other countries. Having the students around all those years led to one of their granddaughters going to Germany on exchange! Another life altering experience! 
Margaret’s second Rotary “aha moment” happened at a district training event where she met Ramesh Ferris, the Canadian polio survivor from India who is now a Rotarian in Whitehorse. “That's when it really registered about the eradication of polio and what it meant and Rotary's role in that and the world. The camaraderie and friendships keep me at Rotary. The satisfaction of giving back to the local and world community and making a difference makes me want to stay”.  
Rotary Bursary Program
Rotary is committed to serving youth and helping to develop future community leaders.  Each year, the Rotary Club of Lake Country provides bursaries to graduating high school students from Lake Country to help continue their post-secondary education. 
Bursary decisions are based on the students' academic achievement, record of community service, and financial need.
A bursary was awarded in July, 2020 to Erin Courtney, who graduated from the Okanagan College Residential Construction Program.  Erin will be using the funds 'to purchase some tools and clothing required for work and to help offset the cost of child care for two young children.'
The 2020 recipients of Rotary Bursaries from George Elliot High School are Madeline Muir, Ben Bannister and Leonie Steigenberger.
Congratulations to all our Bursary recipients.
What is Rotary?
It's a leadership organization!
We're made up of individuals from all walks of life.
We meet regularly, get to know each other, form friendships, and through that, we're able to get things done in the community.
Our Vision:
Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change - across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.
Welcome to our Club

Make Friends Through Rotary

Have you got enough friends already?  If not, consider joining Rotary. 
Rotary members are friendly, co-operative and committed to making a difference.  Weekly breakfast meetings provide opportunities for members to socialize and discuss actions to put our principles of "service above self" into practice in the community.   Social events are also scheduled throughout the year to enable members to relax and have fun!
Rotarians are the kind of people you want to have as friends!

Rotary Gets Things Done!

In 2016, the Rotary Club of Lake Country handed over a new building as a permanent home for the Lake Country Food Bank.  It was a five-year, million dollar project, with three-quarters of the total value achieved through donations of skills, land and money.
Our Club continues to help the Food Bank provide food assistance to vulnerable people in our community.  We've helped fund the construction of a new regional food recovery centre in the newly renovated basement and have partnered with other local Rotary Clubs to purchase a pallet stacker to improve the processing of food donations.
We've also collaborated with Save-On Foods to introduce a new shopping card sales program to benefit the Food Bank.  When people purchase a Rotary/Save-On Foods shopping card, 8 percent of the value of each gift card currently goes to our local food bank with no cost to you!   The 8 percent sponsorship, provided by Save-On Foods, is currently being matched by a private donor for a limited time.   
We would like to continue the benefit from Save-On Foods gift card sales at current levels, and invite local businesses and individuals to become a 1 percent sponsor.  Sponsors will be recognized in the program ads and be eligible for a charitable tax receipt.
Purchase your Rotary Save-On Foods Card at any of the approved vendors listed below or Email: or contact your favourite Rotarian 🥰 
The cards can be used at any Save-On Foods Store.
Our newest project is focussed on raising funds to help construct a new fishing pier and accessible kayak launch on the Pelmawash Parkway, in partnership with the District of Lake Country.
The Club is also helping to build hiking trails locally, and internationally helping to wipe out polio, to educate street kids in Honduras, and to supply pure water to villages in Ethiopia.
Contact Us
Please consider joining the Rotary Club of Lake Country today. Together with your fellow members, you’ll be an integral part of building a stronger community. Your impact will be visible to all, and will provide a feeling of gratification that can’t be matched.
To obtain further information about Rotary membership or attending one of our upcoming meetings or social events, please  email
Club Fundraisers
Our 1st Lobster Crawl Thru was a success!
Thank you to our sponsors,  and 
Lake Country Liquor Store and of course to everyone that purchased a dinner! We hope to do it again soon.🦞🥰
Catherine Coleman Flowers reveals Americas dirty secret

Flowers discusses the inadequate management of wastewater in rural communities, bridging partisan divides, the ways those two topics intersect — and how Rotarians can be part of the solution

Water for Peace

The Supurunda Water Supply Project in Papua New Guinea has been a successful example of how Rotary is advancing peace and providing clean water and sanitation.

Club innovation: The expat experience

For the Rotary Club of Chiang Mai International, Thailand, virtual meetings were a lifeline.

Former soccer star leaves it all on the field to improve education in Tanzania

Here’s how joining a Rotary club helped enhance Ashley Holmer’s work

How we got there: WHO African region is certified free of wild poliovirus

In a challenging time, Rotary members and partners have shown drive in overcoming challenges.