Posted by Jim Robertson & Jean-Marc Lacasse on Feb 26, 2020
Our breakfast meetings on February 13 and 20 featured discussions on Club finances, fundraising, Rotary youth exchange program and international and local service projects. We also received ‘classification talks’ from two of our newest Club members, as part of our ‘getting to know you’ speaker series.
Service Projects
On February 13, the membership agreed to commit $1,000 to partner with other Rotary Clubs to support a Honduras Global Grant to improve education, health and economic opportunities for impoverished Honduran families.
Phone it Forward: CNIB has an initiative to receive smart phones for re-use with visually impaired individuals. Deliver phones to CNIB directly or bring to Marsel at the next meeting.
Rotary Youth Exchange
Judy, Kim and Aisha, our outgoing international exchange student, attended a Rotary student event in Revelstoke. It was announced one Rotary club family has come forward to host our incoming international student, and one more host family is needed. Our student will be arriving in the middle of August and attending George Elliott High School, here in Lake Country.
Financial Review
On February 20, a verbal report was given by Sandy Wightman on the financial review he carried out on behalf of the club.  A written report was also distributed. All finances were in good order and a motion was taken, seconded and approved to accept Sandy’s report.
Training and Fundraising
Reminders were given about the Rotary training day in Summerland on May 23, 2020, and the Day Trippers, Beatles tribute band concert fund raising event April 4, 2020 at Creekside Theatre. Tickets are available online at Kelowna tickets.  Club members are asked to forward to family and friends. Castanet is committing a $2,000 value for marketing.
‘Getting to Know You’
Kim Caruso was born in Timmins Ontario and then moved to Sault-Ste-Marie in her early teens. She completed a degree in Geography and Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism at Lakehead University. Kim has an insatiable passion for the outdoors and helping our youth. She is the proud mother of two boys, now young men, Mackenzie and Elliot.
Kim spoke personally of her Y experience, in being raised in a single parent home and finding a place to belong for her and her siblings through the help of subsidized memberships which started her ongoing Y journey and has carried through her life to see her as the current local YMCA manager.
The YMCA of the Okanagan is a charity dedicated to strengthening the foundations of our community.  To accomplish this goal, the Y provides programs like swimming, fitness, childcare, day camps, youth leadership, employment and educational events to help build a healthy and inclusive community for families and people of all ages.
The Kelowna Y currently serves 16,000 members from three locations located in downtown Kelowna, Rutland and the H2O Centre.  Income is not a barrier to participation in Y programs as approximately 5,500 low income individuals, children and families receive a subsidized membership.  One in five children enrolled in Y fitness programs and one in six children enrolled in after school child services receive a subsidy.
Travis Ashley, a soon-to-be new member, was born on the Lower Mainland of BC. He moved with his family to Lake Country and attended George Elliott High School, where he graduated Valedictorian of his class. He told us: “I always wanted to be a chef,” inspired by the example of his father who loved cooking.
He completed his training, earning his Red Seal designation in record time, and was involved with the start up of several area restaurants. Although he still loves to cook, a desire to spend more quality time led him to a major career change.
He and his brother began a landscaping company. He finds the design and construction of garden and outdoor leisure spaces very creative and fulfilling. He still operates a custom food catering service and is passionate about local food sourcing and issues concerning sustainability and the environment.
He was the local federal candidate for the Green Party of Canada.