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
The proposed Rotary Peace Pole Park in Kelowna will be a Beacon of Light for all – a place to retreat and reflect, take time from our daily challenges and life’s struggles, meditate alone or experience time with a friend or loved one. There will be four to six languages on the pole with the message “May Peace Prevail On Earth”.
A group of Kelowna area Rotarians, led by Lockie Bracken and Jack DeGruchy, applied to build a Peace Park with a Peace Pole in March 2020. City Parks recommended Knowles Park on Bernard Ave. rather than the proposed Bluebird Park on Lakeshore Drive. City Parks also requested a substantial beacon with lights as an attraction and prepared a plan for Knowles Park with the final location still under discussion. The RC Kelowna Capri formed a Peace Park Committee which meets every Wednesday to discuss the progress of the project with City Parks and is now looking for support on this project from all Rotary clubs in the Central Okanagan.
The total cost of this project is expected to exceed $200,000 and funding sources include: Rotary grants, corporate and club donations, possible sponsorships, the sale of 12” wooden peace poles ($20 each) available from the committee. Other ways clubs can help with this project and promoting world peace: install a peace pole in a school or community yard; join RAGfp Rotary Action Group for Peace; become a peace builder club; teach POSITIVE PEACE in our club and in our schools; form a Zone Peace committee; check out Mediators Beyond Borders World Peace
A big thank you to Lockie and Jack for taking this project on and promoting peace and positive relations within the Central Okanagan.
It’s Tax Day in the USA – some amazing US TAX TRIVIA by Monika
  • Tax services in the USA amount to $11 billion which is the same amount spent on toilet paper in 2020 by US households! Is there a connection???
  • The state of Delaware seems to be the top state for US tax loopholes. 63% of all Fortune 500 companies are incorporated here which results in 9.5B in lost tax revenues for the other 49 states. It takes less than an hour to incorporate a company!
  • The USA is rated as #2 (behind Cayman Islands) as a tax haven.
PDG Peter Schultz attended our meeting this morning and brought us news from our district D5060:
D5060 SPRING TRAINING EVENT – sharing our best practices for all that’s Rotary! Plan to attend whether you are a longtime or newer club member. To register and view the various breakout sessions for SAT. MAY 1ST (9am – noon) Visit:
Tickets are $110 usd and you will receive a $100 usd tax receipt from TRF. Lots of fabulous entertainment and Rotary celebrities! The need has never been greater - the number of requests for Rotary Foundation grants has doubled.  Visit
Get out there and enjoy our lovely spring weather and sunshine and remember to smile behind that mask!
At a 25th anniversary re-union, the stories flow and the laughter grows. 😊
That was certainly the case at the Rotary Club of Lake Country’s 25 anniversary, on Thursday March 25.
The club’s first president, John Marsden, came home from Saskatoon, if only virtually. He found the speech he had delivered at the end of his term, recounting how much the fledgling club had achieved in its first year, and read it again.  John recalled his youngest son sitting in his chair at work and saying “when I grow up I want to be a Rotarian,” so John knew he had to set a good example!
District Governor, Richard DeRock, brought greetings from Rotary International and District 5060, as well as inducting the club’s newest member, Carol French, a retired teacher who has already pitched in with a project at the Food bank!
Kathy Butler, Assistant Governor of area 5, also attended and gave us greetings.
For most of the meeting, though, the guests took over: Debbie Robinson, Sarah de Leeuw, Elaine Gibbons, Ursula Rymarchuk, along with charter and past Rotarians John Madsen, Dr. Deb Zokol, Deb Harding, Robert Adria, Diana Cabot Nimsick, Gerry Morton, Holly McNeil, Derek Hinchliffe, Jeff Oland, Jim Crockett, Bob White, and Tom Roth.
Almost everybody had a story to share.
The District Conference in Salmon Arm held on houseboats provided the story of Ken Guido leaning out over the water stringing lights with only a handhold on his belt as a safety harness!
And there was the prohibited (fundraiser) sale of shooters to other district Rotarians off the back of the boat…
Deb Harding remembered how ideas got going for the Ladies Night Out Fundraisers. These funds raised money for our student exchange and International projects as well as locally.
Holly McNeill remembered what a creative force the 3 Debs were. These fundraisers bonded the club and sealed our place in the community. The live auctions were amazing and we could really get the crowd fired up.
At a District conference in Kelowna, our Club volunteered to do some different entertainment. Shani McNeill, local dance teacher, had everyone on their feet for YMCA and the conga line!
Elaine Gibbons remembered hosting Ladies Night Out in 2005 with Derek Hinchliffe, arriving home late and exhausted to hear she had become a Gramma!  And her husband Rich remembered working with Bill Fennell (fondly known as “Father Goose” for suggesting our club symbol) to get our club started, and then eventually changing over to our club in his home community.
A painting project at the Boys and Girls Club left many Rotarians “wearing it” in an eventual paint war!
Marcel Amedzadegan’s slide presentation presented mementos and photos from our Charter night and early days when we met at Aspen Grove Golf Course – hard to recognize some of those “young” people! He ended with a memorial to club founder, Bill Fennell, who passed away February 15, 2021 and Bob Rymarchuk who passed Feb 2, 2020, and was a charter member and dedicated volunteer in our club and community.
But those were the only sadder notes in almost two hours of stories, memories, and laughter. Many were reluctant to leave!
Patty Garrett spoke to us today about how Rotary has changed her life over the past 17 years and the many, many connections formed.
A little background. Patty was born in Oakville, ON. Her family then moved North and eventually to Sudbury where she lived for 14 years. She talked about her great upbringing on Ramsey Lake where she enjoyed summers sailing, canoeing, and picking blueberries.
She went to university in Sudbury where she obtained her nursing degree and then decided to move to Victoria, BC where she started her nursing career at the Royal Jubilee.
Her and her husband then just up and left for Winnipeg, where after two days, Parry secured a job as an intensive care nurse at The Victoria General Hospital in Winnipeg. But, then after 14 years of mosquitoes and cold, they decided to move back to BC.
Patty’s first Rotary Club was the Vernon Silver star. Her first opportunity at the club was as YEO.  After two years in that role, she was invited to join the district committee. It was in the role of Country Coordinator that Patty started to make connections. Patty attended the NAYEN (North America Youth Exchange Network) conference in Cancun declaring it the best Rotary convention she has ever been to. After attending it the then District Chair Richard Roche invited Patty to become his vice chair. Patty then shares at the annual Revelstoke Youth Weekend she came late for a meeting and found herself as District Chair.
Patty talked about her experiences with and connections with Youth Exchange Students around the world. She shares about being invited to sail on the Adriatic Sea with a former Youth Exchange Student from Germany and his family. She talked about her experiences in Finland with Eva Hemming a former student hosted by the club, where she was invited to the family summer home to experience a true Finnish Sauna and a guided tour. The experiences continue…
Patty also shared with us the possibility of a one-way Youth Exchange called The Power of One – African Exchanges. The mission of The Power of One is to grow the number of participants from African countries in the Rotary Your Exchange program. She has connected another former Youth Exchange student Thomas Scheuba who currently has a project of helping the local communities build cisterns. Thomas is connected with a Rotary Club in Ethiopia and is soliciting interest in youth in Ethiopia to do a one-way exchange.
Bits and Pieces
Mary Lou Wightman celebrated her birthday on Thursday by roasting hotdogs around bonfire with the grand kids.
Elaine and Rich Gibbons celebrated their 53-year anniversary with a wonderful meal at L’Isola Bella restaurant.
We were brought up to speed with trivia from our sheriff, Jim Robertson.  Did you know?:
  • The only food that does not spoil is honey.
  • There are more collect calls on Father’s Day than any other day of the year.
  • Good night—Sleep Tight--In the 1800s and early 1900s, mattresses were held on bed frames using a woven rope design. These ropes needed frequent tightening to ensure a taut, firm mattress for a good night's sleep. Hence, the phrase “sleep tight” was born.
  • The word Honeymoon came from an accepted practice in Babylon where the new son in law would be supplied with mead for a month after marriage.
Sandy received a message that we would have to move our supplies from the Sea can on Beaver Lake Road as the land is being developed. The Gibbons came to the rescue by letting us know that the Lake Country Museum is able to reorganize the space in their Sea can at Seaton park to make room for our supplies. Only in Rotary are solutions found so fast!
Margaret doing a bang-up job on 25th anniversary—collecting pictures from the early days or anything from the past. ¾ of charter members have been contacted and will be visiting and speaking with us. Send any archives Margaret’s way.
Sandy is collecting information about the club for a timeline. Send any information to Sandy.
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.🦞🥰
$15.5 million gift will fund new Rotary Peace Center in Middle East or North Africa

The Otto and Fran Walter Foundation has pledged $15.5 million to The Rotary Foundation to start a Rotary Peace Center in the Middle East or North Africa.

11 eco-friendly service projects around the world

Through the years, Rotary has carried out thousands of projects to protect the environment.

Rotary and the U.S. Government support Italy's fight against COVID-19

Rotary and the U.S. Government support Italy’s fight against COVID-19 US$5

Sri Lanka Rotary uses ingenuity, invention to protect communities against COVID-19

Rotarians, Rotaractors, and Interactors worked together in a nationwide project that promoted behavior change and initiated safety standards for businesses.