Club Information

Welcome to our Club!

Lake Country

Service Above Self

We meet Thursdays at 7:15 AM
Holiday Park Resort
415 Commonwealth Road, Okanagan Room
Kelowna (north end, by Lake Country), BC  V4V 1P4
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Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Community Service
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Home Page Stories
Along with a great turnout of our Club members this morning, we also had a visiting Rotarian, from the Kelowna Sunrise club, visiting Lake Country Lion’s Club Member, Rod Dirksen, and guest speakers, Lorraine Richmond and Neil Smith, from Habitat for Humanity.
Congratulations and many thanks to our April - Rotarians of the month, Margaret Brown, Monika Speitelsbach and Brenda Dewonck, for their excellent work on our Ladies Movie Night fundraiser.
The sun also shone on Dan and Felena Sigal, and Brenda and Bernard Dewonck, celebrating over 30 years of marriage.
Ribfest Kelowna- 2018
From the Kelowna Sunrise Rotary Club came news of the 3rd Annual RibFest, which will once again be held in Kelowna City Park, from August 24 - 26.  This popular event, co-sponsored by Interior Savings and Sunrise Rotary, will feature five award-wining ‘ribbers’ from across Canada, top notch music and other stage entertainment, increased raffle prizes, a new charity of choice (JoeAnna’s House in Kelowna) and the Kelowna Dragon Boat Festival, with 30 teams competing at City Park during the RibFest weekend.
And yes, entrance will continue to be free for everyone.
To get involved or volunteer at this event, contact the sponsorship committee at (250) 469-3959; by email at, or visit the website at
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity Okanagan is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity Canada, a non-profit housing organization. Habitat for Humanity’s model empowers families to invest in home ownership, believing every family should have safe, decent, affordable housing. 
Through volunteer labour, efficient management and tax-deductible donations of money and materials, Habitat for Humanity builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses with the help of homeowner (partner) families.
Habitat for Humanity homes are sold to partner families with no cash down payment required and are financed with affordable, no-interest mortgages.  Partner families are required to invest a minimum of 500 hours of personal labour time to assist in the construction of their new home.  Mortgage payments go into a revolving fund, which is used by affiliates to build more homes for families in need.
Habitat for Humanity Okanagan has been active in the Okanagan valley for over 20 years.  They have built and sold 22 homes and currently have 17 partner families.   They serve the Kelowna region, from Lake Country to Peachland, and sponsor a Chapter in Vernon, which serves the North Okanagan area.  A third Chapter in Penticton serves the South Okanagan.
Habitat have recently received approval to build twelve family units, consisting of one 4-plex, two du-plexes, two tri-plexes, and a small community garden, in the Powley Court area.  Site preparation is expected to begin in the fall of 2018.  Construction of the new units will likely occur over the next two years.
Lorraine and Neil advised that opportunities exist for our Club to actively participate in this project by providing volunteer labour or providing funds to purchase specific construction elements for the new units (e.g., doors, windows etc.). The Club Executive will discuss this request further in the coming months.
To volunteer at this organization, contact Volunteer Services directly at (778) 401-4804, extension 207, or by email, at 
To donate, follow this link:  Or visit the website
  • Our Rotary Club is an official sponsor for the upcoming Volunteer Fair, to be held on Saturday May 26, from 10am to 2pm, at George Elliot Secondary School.  Volunteers are needed to work at our ‘Rotary table’.
  • The LC Chamber of Commerce, `Business After Hours`social event is being hosted by Lakeside Hearing, on May 30th, at 210 - 3121 Hill Road.  Wine, appetizers and great networking opportunities for $5.  Come out and support our newest Rotary member, Nicole Sorensen, Owner/Manager, of Lakeside Hearing!

Blood Donor Clinic earns kudos

The Blood Donor Clinic May 9th was a huge success. Thanks at least in part to Rotary’s promotion efforts, 86 potential donors attended, which is higher than many of the major clinics in the Lower Mainland; 68 of those actually gave blood, giving the Canadian Blood 86% of their goal for the day.
Gayle Voyer, territory manager for Canadian Blood Services, wrote, “I used the Lake Country’s support of our clinic as an example to the Daybreak West Kelowna Group in hope that they too will join us and adopt a clinic in their area.”
Gayle was so impressed that she has now scheduled two more clinics for Lake Country: Wednesday, September 26th and Wednesday, December 19th .
Rotary provided eight volunteers for the May 9 Clinic, plus one spouse and three friends – total of 12 volunteers.

Coffee and chocolate

For Thursday May 3, the club’s guest and speaker was George Willoner of Okanagan Centre. George and his wife Karen are typical of many small business run out of homes in Lake Country. Their specialty is Fair Trade coffee and chocolate.
It’s a non-profit business. They got into it when their church, St. Edwards Roman Catholic parish, was looking for someone to coordinate sales of Fair Trade coffee on behalf of the international organization, Development and Peace.
Much of George’s talk was about the concept of Fair Trade products. Overseas workers – missionaries and NGOs – realized that local farmers were the bottom of the food pile. The farmers provided the raw materials that international corporations needed, but they got next to nothing for their efforts.
Fair Trade attempts to right that imbalance. By cutting out a lot of the marketing machine, they pay farmers about ten times what they used to get. Beyond that, Fair Trade guarantees their famers a minimum price, regardless of fluctuations in international pricing.
George offered Nicaragua as an example. When that country was still reeling from the effects of the war between American-backed Contras and the Sandinistas, a lone American went to the country to sign up some farmers for Fair Trade. Understandably, most of the coffee growers were reluctant to expose themselves to any more risks, especially coming from an American. But ten farmers took the chance. And that year, instead of getting around ten cents a pound for their coffee, they got a dollar.
Next year, far fewers farmers were reluctant to sign on.
At the same time, the farmers make a commitment to be fair to their own workers. They accept certain requirements to pay their own workers fairly, and to provide support for education and medical needs.
So everyone benefits.
George and Karen Willoner live up to the Fair Trade ideals themselves – they turn over all their profits to Development and Peace, to use for justice and development work around the world.
You can order coffee (from a number of different countries) or chocolate (of varying kinds of darkness) by phoning the Willoners 250-766-5134 evenings or weekends.
Coming events
  • This Thursday, May 17, the speaker will be Lorraine Richmond of Habitat for Humanity. Habitat is currently planning to build a housing complex this year, on Powley Court, near the Tri-Lake Animal Hospital.
  • Saturday, May 26th the Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a Volunteer Day called Get Involved Lake Country - A Celebration of Volunteers and Community Spirit! at Lake Country Community Complex on Bottom Wood Lake Road. Rotary has booked a table at that event, and will need volunteers to staff it.
  • June 14, the speaker will be Chris Gardner, president of the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (and advocate for construction and responsible resource development).
  • June 21 will be the induction meeting for our new Rotary Executive, at Arrow Leaf Winery. This will be an evening meeting.
  • June 28 will be a Club Assembly to talk about Canada Day details.
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.  
The 2018 recipients of Rotary Bursaries are Anastasiya-Izabela Krahelskyay, Cass Hannay, Kailey Butler, Amber Nuyens and Kayt Meraw.
Bursaries will also be awarded  to two graduates of the Okanagan College Residential Construction Program.  
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 such as bowling, golf and games nights 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!

The Rotary Club of Lake Country recently 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 current community service activities are focussed on the following local projects:
  • helping the Food Bank to acquire equipment to expand their regional food sharing network which enables viable food to be shared between our Food Bank and other food service agencies in Cherryville, Lumby, Salmon Arm, Enderby, Vernon, UBCO, Salvation Army Kelowna and Peachland;  
  • raising funds to support the replacement of the original 100 year hardwood floor in the Okanagan Centre Community Hall;
  • working with the District of Lake Country to improve the design of the food concession at Swalwell Park, so that it can be better used by community groups.
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 contact Bernard DeWonck at
Upcoming Events

There's No Free Lunch!

But there is a free breakfast, If you want to find out if Rotary is something you might want to belong to. 
We meet every Thursday morning, at 7 a.m., in the Okanagan Room, at Holiday Park Resort for fellowship and to enjoy a delicious, hot breakfast.  Breakfast meetings are used  to plan community service activities and often feature an invited speaker. 
In addition to our regular breakfast meetings, we try to schedule at least one social event each month in the community to relax and have fun!  
Breakfast Meetings
Feb 15        Linda Kaplan - Tri-Lake Animal Hospital
Feb 22        Club Assembly
Mar 1          James Miller, Managing Editor, Kelowna Daily Courier
Mar 7          Jane Buttorff, UBCO Nursing Faculty
Mar 14       Gail Harrison, JoeAnna's House
Mar 22       Shannon Linden, Women's education in the Arab Emirates
Mar 29       Club Assembly - Ladies Movie Night planning
Apr. 5         Tom Roth - Adventures in International Home-sitting smiley
Apr. 12       Planning for Ladies Movie Night
Apr. 26       Presentation of Gaming Cheques to Service Organizations
May 3         Fair Trade: Karen and George Willoner
May 10       Club assembly: planning for Canada Day, Art Walk
May 17       Habitat for Humanity: Lorraine Richmond
Final Exam

After a grueling year of preparation, two Rotarians and a Rotaractor face one last challenge before they can join the elite ShelterBox Response

Creating a family

After fleeing conflict in their own countries, a group of young Rotaractors is healing wounds and bringing cultures together in a Ugandan refugee

Rotaract clubs honored for excellent service 2018

Top Rotaract honor goes to club that empowers women who have HIVRotaract clubs around the world earn awards for excellent

Rotary website wins Webby Award wins Webby People's Voice

Former First Lady Laura Bush to speak at Rotary convention

Former First Lady Laura Bush to speak at Rotary conventionFormer First Lady of the United States Laura Bush, an advocate for literacy, education, and women’s rights, will speak at the 2018 Rotary Convention in Toronto this