At Our Club on Jan. 13, 2022

Dr. Margo Greenwood of UNBC, an expert on Aboriginal health - Introduction by Sarah de Leeuw (re-scheduled presentation)


Friends refer to Dr. Officer Margo Greenwood as “OMG” because of her recent appointment to the Order of Canada.  She is a highly-credentialed, full professor with UNBC Department of First Nations studies.  She grew up in Pinoca, AB, and is also the owner of a ‘crushing and paving’ company.  Margo is a Cree Person from Treaty 6 territory (Alberta); in Colonial terms she is non-status according to the Indian Act even though she is closely related to many Cree relatives.  She considers herself to be an Indigenous person.

Margo related her talk to how she related to the land on which she grew up; she spoke about her ‘Wishing Tree’, discovered near the river, while she was roaming on the land.  The tree was important because of its uniqueness in looks and size – she felt encouraged to dream of what could be different. 

She developed the idea “Dream it into being”.  She never had an opportunity to graduate high-school (3 credits short) and university seemed out of reach.  Years later, she has accomplished so much, and recently received the Order of Canada.  Her dreams had unfolded.

While following her dreams, she accomplished many academic standards including her Doctorate, while being driven to work for the ‘good of all’.  She ‘walked in multiple worlds’:  there are multiple systems of knowledge in the world, different ways that people think.  She is able to walk in these different worlds.

“Can a non-indigenous person come to understand Indigenous knowledge?” This is a huge question; she does not know the answer.  While she was at UBC (which she referred to as a bastion of Colonial structures) she asked a colleague this question, and she responded that it was a ‘grey space’ question; the inference being that it needed to be let alone.  Margo did so for years, but kept coming back to this question and has provided much thought-leadership towards developing pieces of its answer.

Margo focused on getting the best information to health-care decision makers so that Public Health for Indigenous People could be improved.

She shared “A Grand Notion”:  Canada is a test case for a grand notion – the notion that dissimilar peoples can share lands, resources, power and dreams while respecting and sustaining their differences.  The story of Canada is the story of many such peoples trying and failing, and trying again, to live in peace and harmony. 

There can no peace without justice.(Words from the commissioners in Highlights of the Royal Commission on aboriginal Peoples, 1996)

Margo introduced Mary Thomas, one of her teachers, who is an Elder.  They taught together for Okanagan College for many years, with students from grade 3-12.  They had an old log house, which they shared with some mousey rodents.  A cat made short work of them, though.  Each person brought something from home to help support the school, including toilet paper! 

Mary shared many of her own stories with Margo.  Margo feels blessed to have had Mary and other Indigenous teachers in her life, and to have received their gifts of their stories.  She quoted Michelangelo at age 87, when he said: “I’m still learning”. She says she is not ‘done yet’, and still has much to do.  And we are so glad she does!

More on Dr. Margo Greenwood:

A book co-written by Dr. Greenwood: The elders speak, of the past, of children and families

Here is a link to a book co-edited by our club member Sarah de Leeuw and Dr. Greenwood which is being used by students in both undergraduate and graduate studies.

In her presentation, Dr. Greenwood shared some colourful, meaningful images by Lisa Boivin More information on Lisa’s work can be found at these links:

*************BITS & PIECES********************

Happy & Sads 
Question – rogue calls from Vernon Sheriff all using different numbers – you need to block each number; good skiing days, happy about snow disappearing, ‘free’ money from Compushare, ‘aftercrawl’ ‘tail-gate’ party the day after the crawl (Feb 25) to have dinner for club somewhere together with Travis making appetizers – send an email to Judy if interested; PETS Seattle training now virtual; grand-kids snow-shovelling, golf draft 217 participants for $2170 for Rotary Club
Gary Baird currently in 1st place!
Sunshine: Jim T – Nathan with an upcoming b-day, no anniversaries for a while – no sunshine outside! 
Sheriff:  Nancy Adams – Theme is Saskatchewan:  Official flag adopted in 1969; colours = gold  for grain, and green for forests; most popular game bird is a grouse, 2001 – official grass grows 4’ with leaves that are 12” long;  Official sport – curling; 3 canadian womens’ championship winner – Sandra Schmirler; most popular food = Saskatoon berry pie followed by Regina-style pizza (try Houston’s pizza); the coin born in Church Bridge, Saskatchewan; longest bridge over smallest body of water – Wascana Lake which is man-made; 12-18 tornados each year.  More Tim Hortins per capita than any other province.
Club Committee Reports:
  • Past President Sandy
    • Wine gift-certificate raffle in the Spring – get ready to sell tickets!
    • March 31st Club Social coming up at OK Hall
  • Secretary: Kathryn has been busy attending PrePETS courses on line. Seattle PETS will now be virtual
  • PR: Monika – Lobster Crawl Castanet advertising will run for rest of January; just over 1/3 sold. Please share the event on social media and email your contacts the links to our booking page which Monika emailed to members
  • Membership: Maria – showed pics of families we support for Christmas; has some prospective members in pipeline; urged us to keep inviting guests to meetings
  • Margaret – still looking at a club event for Foundation giving
  • Save On Cards:  Ken – things picking up again after post-Christmas slowdown.
Jan 20 – Norm Letnick – intro by Monika
Jan 27 – Gary Baird Classification talk
Feb 3 – Club Runner 101
Feb 10 – Isobel MacKenzie - Seniors’ Advocacy Office Part 1
Feb 17 – Isobel MacKenzie - Seniors’ Advocacy Office Part 2
Feb 25:  LOBSTER CRAWL!!!!
Mar 3 – Nancy Adams classification talk
Mar 10 – Rae Stewart Regional Waste Reduction Office, RDCO Part 1:  BC’s Model, and ‘What Happens to all that stuff?”
Mar 17 –
Mar 24 – Donna Bourget Classification talk
Mar 31 – 5th Thursday of the month - No morning meeting – CLUB EVENING SOCIAL at OK HALL
ROTARY FOUNDATION MOMENT - from Foundation Chair Margaret Brown
What Makes a Successful Global Grant Application?
Consult with local experts early in the planning process to build a strong program plan and global grant application. The district resource network (see below) can help.
To be approved, your application must clearly describe how your project, scholarship, or vocational training team:
  • Is sustainable — include plans for long-term success after the global grant funds have been spent
  • Includes measurable goals
  • Aligns with one or more of Rotary's areas of focus
  • Responds to real community needs
  • Actively involves Rotarians and community members
  • Meets the eligibility requirements in the grant application terms and conditions
The Rotary Foundation’s grant model empowers Rotarians to continue advancing world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the implement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty.
At Our Club on Jan. 13, 2022 Maria Hudolin 2022-01-13 08:00:00Z 0

At our club Jan. 6, 2022

President Kayla and Incoming President Kathryn welcomed our club members and their guests to 2022 at Lake Country Rotary!
Our Guest Speaker: Lorne Ternes on ‘Indigenous Land Claims’ (Part 1 of 2)
Lorne Ternes is a visionary leader providing counsel to industry, diverse senior elected and appointed government and Aboriginal leaders. He has a reputation for delivering successful outcomes to complicated conflict situations through collaboration and innovation.
Working as a land agent gave Lorne insight regarding the necessity for effective management of the changing resource industry and community expectations. He appreciates his early work experience for providing a solid foundation of understanding regarding the intricacies of resource development in Canada. Lorne served as an Alberta cabinet appointed Part-time Hearing Commissioner for the Alberta Energy Regulator from 2013 to 2018. He continues to be actively engaged in natural resource development and Indigenous matters.
Lorne, who is now building a home in Okanagan Centre, spoke about The Origin and Constitutionalization of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights in Canadian Law covering the following areas in great detail and the scribe apologizes for any incorrect notes. 
  • Aboriginal rights as historical rights
  • Treaty rights flowing from royal proclamation
  • Metis scrip as historic rights
  • Aboriginal and treaty rights as recognized at common law and recognized as affirmed constitutional rights
  • 1523 Sublimis Dei – the theme that ‘aboriginal people have rights that are recognized and enforced by the state’ was adopted by the British Crown and applied in the Royal Proclamation of 1763
  • The objective of the Royal Proclamation of 1763 was to have peaceful relations with the “several Nations or Tribes of Indians with whom we are connected” – this proclamation is the reason Indigenous peoples see their relationship as being with The Crown, as opposed to with the government of Canada
  • Aboriginal rights can be modified into Treaty rights – Aboriginal rights are those that some Aboriginal peoples hold as a result of their ancestors’ long-standing use and occupancy of the land.  Treaty Rights are special rights to lands and entitlements that Indian people legally have as a result of treaties; ‘definition of Undefined rights’ is through litigation and negotiation.
  • Metis Rights as Historic rights – concept is that the Crown acknowledged that Metis had rights, but were not considered to be Indians, (they were ‘mixed race) but they had ‘scrip’ documents with coupons.  The concept was that these would be issued to Metis people, who had the option to trade them for land.  Unfortunately, most of the scrip docs were bought up by speculators at a discounted rate, and many Metis lost the land entitlement represented by the scrip document. These speculators then sold this land to settlers moving into the area. The change of Aboriginal and Treaty rights into legally recognized rights was a long journey.
  • What have been drivers of change?

    1982 – constitutional talks led to Constitution Act

    S35 recognized existing aboriginal and treaty rights and defined A people to include Indian, Inuit and Metis

    S52 said that the constitution of Canada is the supreme law, and no other law has force or effect against it; this is the ‘sword’ to protect existing Aboriginal treaty rights against any laws or practices which are inconsistent with the Constitution Act EXCEPT there is no definition of Aboriginal or Treaty rights – which are therefore litigated, negotiated and then legislated

    There have been over 70 Supreme Court of Canada decisions on S35 since 1982

    There has been development of Justification and Calibration tests, definition of Metis Aboriginal Rights; duty to consult in treaty areas, taking up land, aboriginal title and more.

Our club welcomed Lorne back for PART 2 - there is so much to know and learn. And welcome to Lake Country Lorne! 
At our club Jan. 6, 2022 Maria Hudolin 2022-01-13 08:00:00Z 0

Lake Country Rotary Nov. 25

PAUL HARRIS FELLOW AWARDS PRESENTED as we continue to celebrate 25 years of Lake Country Rotary!
Three Lake Country Community Members were presented with Paul Harris Awards in recognition of their outstanding service to our community. November is Rotary Foundation month and this award, named after the founder of Rotary International, acknowledges individuals who contribute, or who have contributions made in their name, of $1,000 usd to our Rotary Foundation.
The Rotary Foundation spends its contributions on multiple projects and programs (locally and internationally) from the eradication of polio, to vocational training teams, Rotary Peace centres and humanitarian community projects. The Foundation is the heart of Rotary, of our love for all humanity as it supports programs that Rotarians are passionate about and are sustainable. It is what connects all Rotarians worldwide and transforms our collective passions into projects that change lives here and abroad.
Heather Irvine: Service begins in our own communities which you, Heather, epitomize! Our community is a cleaner, nicer place to live because of you. You demonstrate daily our Rotary motto of ‘Service above self’. Your tireless work of cleaning our roadsides is appreciated and motivating as we have noticed many others are inspired and doing their part too. The colourful and seasonal decorating of your fence adds to community enjoyment and reflection; a real meeting place that gets people thinking and talking about what’s happening locally. We are grateful and thank you for all you do to make the community a better place.
Heather said: “I just started picking up because I didn’t like the clutter and litter. I always wear my bear bell! I go all the way to The Jammery and do a semi-annual picking in Oyama”
Joy Haxton: Lake Country Food Bank got its start locally in 1988 beginning with Christmas hampers. Fast forward to December 2015 when keys were handed over to the new facility and the first hampers distributed March 2016! You were at the helm from the beginning organizing, promoting improvements, looking for and finding ways to include more communities as the Food Bank grew. We admire your quiet dedication and leadership as you steer the volunteers and partners to eliminate hunger in the Okanagan and surrounding areas! Thank you for your ‘service above self’

Duncan Hardiner : The Rotary Club of Lake Country appreciates all your support and contributions to the community - especially supporting the Rotary/Save-On-Foods cards program; supporting Canada Day and various Rotary run Community events and Rotary tickets sales to name a few!! You are a credit to our community. We look forward to continuing our community service with you. Many thanks!
Watch the promotional video of our SAVE ON FOODS CARD program by clicking on this link:
On SATURDAY DEC. 4TH members of our club will be at SAVE ON FOODS in Winfield promoting and selling our Rotary SAVE ON cards in conjunction with the Lake Country Fire Dept. Contact Ken Guido if you are interested in helping out.
DONNA BOURGET was introduced by her Rotary sponsor Margaret Brown and inducted into our club by President Kayla. She has been a longtime friend and supporter of our Rotary club and we are so happy to now have her as a full member. Welcome Donna!
File:Rotary Youth Exchange logo.png - Wikimedia Commons
ROTARY YOUTH EXCHANGE is back and thanks to Judy we already have three Rotary families who have stepped up to be host families for our incoming student in 2022/23! Thanks also to Patty for her involvement with RYE at district level. She has helped with the vetting of outgoing exchange students who will now be interviewed by the D5060 RYE team. Our club has selected to sponsor one student for an outbound exchange next year. Exciting news!
2022 ROTARY GOLF DRAFT Dan gave a friendly reminder of the upcoming golf draft for both Rotarians and non-Rotarians. Everyone is welcomed to join. Even if you are not an avid golfer, it’s fun to follow along each week to see how your drafted team of players is doing in the various golf events during the 2022 golf season. For more information or to register email Dan
Lake Country Rotarians are thinking of the many individuals and families who have been affected by the recent extreme weather and flooding in various parts of our province. There are many ways to help with donations. Here is a recent message from DG Richard DeRock:
Over the past week, I have had a number of requests from around our district and from other Rotarians that would like to help the flood victims in our District. After working with a number our District's Rotarians, we have identified the following avenues that Rotarians can use to contribute to the relief effort. 
Last summer, Rotarians from our District worked with District 5040 to provide relief to fire victims. We established a joint committee to coordinate relief. After the floods, we have agreed that this committee will also provide relief to flood victims. Donations can be made to either the Kamloops Aurora Rotary Club or or to the Stevenson-Richmond Rotary club. Assistant Governor Devon O'Toole can provide contact information. Additionally, the Merritt Rotary Club is collecting and coordinating relief efforts in Merritt. You can contact President Leslee Lucy at
Thanks all of you that have asked how they can help. Our Rotarians are amazing and incredibly generous, and I am sure we will make a difference to many that can really use the assistance.  
Lake Country Rotary Nov. 25 2021-11-25 08:00:00Z 0

At Our Club - November 4

Posted by Judy Guido on Nov 05, 2021
Danielle Smith from Habitat for Humanity delivered an interesting and informative talk on Habitat for Humanity Project at this morning’s meeting.
Some History
1976 Habitat for Humanity International was founded in the state of Georgia in the USA. Habitat for Humanity Canada was subsequently established in 1985 and in 1992, a local chapter in the Okanagan opened.
Habitat for Humanity is a world leader in addressing the lack of affordable house and eliminating some of the poorest housing conditions throughout the world.
There is a deep connection between Rotary and Habitat for Humanity. Jonathan T.M. Reckford is the CEO of Humanity International and a member of the Rotary Club of Atlanta. In his words, “Our values are so closely aligned, and the desire to help others runs deep in both organizations.”
How Habitat works
BUILD: Families selected for Habitat homeownership help build their homes assisted by volunteers and community support
BUY: Habitat homeowners pay a mortgage geared to their income.
REINVEST: Mortgage payments are invested into a revolving fund, referred to as the Fund for Humanity which is used by each local Habitat affiliate to build more homes for families in the community.
Lake Country Build
The first phase of the project in Lake Country will include eight homes — two triplexes and a duplex that are three-bed, two-bath and 1,400 square feet with predicted completion date of April 2022. Check out Powley Court in Winfield to see how things are shaping up.
Restores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, appliances, home décor, building materials and more to the public at a fraction of the retail price. There are four stores located in Kelowna, West Kelowna, Vernon, and Penticton.
Where can the Rotary Help?
  • Volunteering at a ReStore
  • Volunteering on a build site
  • Administrative opportunities
  • Joining a committee
We have earmarked $500 USD to support latrines in Ghana project—keeping girls in school in Ghana.
We discussed some possible venues for the club so we can meet again in person. If anyone has ideas for caterers or someone to provide coffee and a continental breakfast send your ideas along to The President.
Ken is putting in an order. He has had requests for $50 cards and if anyone wants specific cards for Christmas gifts etc., please contact Ken.
The gaming application is due at end of month. If anyone knows of an organization that fits the gaming criteria, please send Ken the contact. Ken is sending out criteria with a checklist.
Shaun talked to Ryan Donn to get some ideas on how to move forward. Shaun is prepared to step up to chair. Committee will form and decide on format.
Meeting Dates:
No meeting on Remembrance Day, Thursday, November 11.
AGM will be held at our December 16 meeting
Secret Santa present opening is Thursday, Dec 23.
At Our Club - November 4 Judy Guido 2021-11-05 07:00:00Z 0

At Our Club October 21st 

OUR GUEST SPEAKERS Barb Penner & Stuart Lang - Barb has been a Rotarian for several years.    She works in the ‘world of disabilities’.  Stuart is applying for Med school and operates a local Special Event Cycling Tour business. They are both active Rotarians with Kelowna Sunrise Club.
First a plug for a new Kelowna Sunrise Club fundraiser:  Season of Giving’ calendar which will be on sale at Save-on Foods.  $60K worth of prizes behind ‘doors’ in calendars.  Each door has a number, so you open it, and then go to Kelowna Sunrise website to see whether or not you are eligible for one of the prizes behind the door. Ongoing during the month of December.
Club Presentation: “Honoring Indigenous Peoples – A Path to Reconciliation – Understanding the Past, moving forward together”
Acknowledged discovery of unmarked graves as a powerful and painful reminder of our history.  Over 140 years of operation, more than 300 children acknowledged to have died at this point. 
Sunrise club joined HIP to increase awareness and understanding of Indigenous peoples, their culture and history.  Barbara has become a spokesperson; they are always looking for other clubs to participate.
The Story of HIP was presented – it was founded in Ontario in 2014; in 2016 it reported results from a lengthy discovery and assessment phase.  In 2019 the HIP Board expanded to be from coast-to-coast and hosted the first in-person strategic planning session.  In 2020 they revised their Mission, Vision and Shared Values.  The Board is 50-50 men and women, and comprised of Ind., non-Ind, Metis and Inuit representatives.
3 steps to Moving Forward Together:
Consider forming a club HIP focus team to:
1.  Build relationships – Create bonds and support one another; employ key elements needed to walk the path together; visit with and participate with Indigenous peoples and their events
2.  Learn and share – break down harmful stereotypes, acknowledge contributions of both Ind. And non-Ind. Peoples; host events with Ind. Speaker; join the HIP FB page and share it; participate in discussions about reconciliation.; start a book club; attend a blanket exercise
3.  Walk together:  work on shared challenges; build a better world for future generations
Start meetings with land acknowledgement; volunteer at a local indigenous event;
Calls to action as a club or individually:
Since 2013, the Gates Foundation has matched every $1 Rotary commits to polio eradication 2-to-1. In January 2020, the Gates Foundation announced that they will continue to match 2:1 every new dollar Rotary commits to polio eradication up to $50 million per year through 2023!
Rotary has contributed more than $2 billion to fight polio, including matching funds from the Gates Foundation, and countless volunteer hours since launching its polio eradication program, PolioPlus, in 1985.  Thank you for supporting Rotary and leveraging your generosity! If you need assistance with making a donation, please contact our Foundation Chair Margaret Brown at
Bits & Pieces:
  • Sunshine master JIM recognized quite a few members celebrating birthdays this month including remembering our dear past member Bernard who's birthday was in October 
  • Very interesting Golf trivia by Sheriff Kathryn!
  • Announcement by Dan regarding our 2022 Golf Draft - many have already registered! Contact
  • Judy announced that we have two local students interested in our Rotary Youth Exchange Program for 2022!
  • Monika reported on International Service Projects in Ethiopia, Ghana, Mexico
  • Maria reported that mentors are needed for our three new members - she will send out our new Mentorship Guide to all club members
At Our Club October 21st Maria Hudolin 2021-10-21 07:00:00Z 0

Building Rotary's Public Image

Posted on Oct 15, 2021
Past District Governor, Sherry Chamberlain, joined us this week via zoom to speak about Rotary’s initiative to strengthen our public image and brand. Sherry is the Public Image Lead for our District (5060) and does a lot of Rotary Foundation work as well.
Why is it important to improve Rotary’s public image? Because just knowing about Rotary often isn’t enough to spark people’s interest and spur them to get involved.
When people understand what Rotary does to make the world a better place, they may be motivated to support our efforts and get involved. Strengthening Rotary’s public image can help us attract members, volunteers, partners, and donors.
People's perception of Rotary comes from their experiences with our clubs and programs, along with the stories we tell and the images we share. It’s every member’s responsibility to help strengthen Rotary's brand.
Several key messages for improving Rotary’s public image emerged from Sherry’s presentation:
  • market our Rotary Clubs the same way as we would a product or service.
    • Publicize our projects and activities to influence how our club is perceived.
    • Share stories about how our Club’s projects affect the lives of people in our community.
    • Present our club as vibrant and our members as people of action.
  • Use consistent visual branding and communication strategies developed by Rotary International.
  • Members should be encouraged to talk about the benefits of being a Rotarian: friendship, personal gratification associated with participating in community service projects, professional networking, public speaking, leadership development, worldwide connections.
  • There are excellent training courses on marketing, social media skills, and public image available on the Rotary International website,
  • The new District 5060 marketing campaign – tag line is ‘connecting people with purpose’. is the public landing page. Additional member resources are available here. The site also has ‘join and find club’ buttons.
  • Grants for public image enhancements are also available.  Funding applications for specific projects can be submitted to
Sherry noted that our Club is doing better than most with respect to social media. She suggested joining Facebook groups – Lake Country Events, Lake Country BC, Lake Country Calendar to broaden our reach and community connections.
Bits n Pieces
  • Winfield Cemetery clean-up will go ahead on October 16 unless we experience a heavy rainfall. 11 Rotarians have volunteered. Meet at 9:00 at Winfield Cemetery. Take gardening gloves, a rake, clippers. Weed whackers and garbage bags will be provided.
  • Kathryn has requested that anyone interested in being involved in our 2022-23 Rotary executive please let her know. 😊
Building Rotary's Public Image 2021-10-15 07:00:00Z 0

At Our Club Oct. 7th 

Shaun was born/raised in Cherryville on a cattle ranch.  He had an old town site called ‘Hilton’ which included a boardwalk and storefronts!  In the last 1800s the original owner had tied apples to poplar trees and sent the pics back to England to entice buyers to buy land there for agriculture.
Shaun got into horticulture at age 18; studies at Kwantlen Poly. and then worked at Golf & Country Club, moving on to building golf courses.  Joined local government, met his wife; and got opportunity to build parks department here.  Continues his education on an ongoing basis.
A strong community background led him to Rotary, and he joined our club as a way to help give back to the community.  He is an outdoors person, including fishing, golfing and watersports. 
His son is finishing up university, and Shaun hopes to have more family time with him once he has graduated.  Shaun loves to cook and make meals for the family.  His wife works for Century Lane Kitchens (34 years) as office manager/controller.  She works out, plays volleyball; they have 2 dogs, and believes the dogs out-rank both Shaun and his son.
Shaun fishes whenever he can using his new boat (birthday present from his wife 3 years ago).  He had a pickerel fishing trip in the summer and caught some of the best fish he had ever eaten, at Robson, near Castlegar.  (There is sturgeon there as well).
Maria asked about when arena will open again; curling is open; arena is open but currently there are no washrooms or office space available.  Public programming should open up within the next few weeks.
He thinks the proudest moments of his life involve being part of his community – and he added, in case they read this summary on the Rotary Web Site, that he is also very proud of his wife and his son! 
Rich said we are very fortunate to have Shaun in our community and in our club!  We all agree. 
Short intro of Gary by Rich (REALLY short – Rich almost at a loss for words! But he recovered quickly😊) Gary transferred from Kelowna Now club, where he was a member last year. Gary is very interested in serving his Lake Country community.
Intro of Nancy by Maria; Nancy originally from Saskatchewan and now living in LC. 4 children for Nancy and her partner Wayne; career mostly in higher-ed; currently at UBCO as mgr. of Admissions and Awards.  Currently volunteers for CO Hospice Assoc. and Elder Dog Canada.  She is also interested in community service.
Kayla shared the Induction script inviting both Gary and Nancy to join us, which invitation was accepted by both.
Kayla reported that Sunday’s Yoga event at Predator Ridge was a successful, fun event and raised over $1000 for our Rotary Club!
Rotary Foundation Announcements by Margaret
Oct 24th World Polio Day – What can we do to raise some funds?  Send ideas to Margaret
Oct 16 – partnering with Lions club to clean up Winfield Cemetery behind B&G club, 9:00 a.m.  bring own gloves and gardening tools
Sad reflections on rear-enders to Jim’s vintage Jaguar (no one hurt except the beloved car); good reflections on how helpful the passers-by were; on travel to Ucluelet and Tofino; sad reflections by Monika on eye-health needs for senior dogs; happier reflections on cool eye-patches crafted for Scout by Brenda Dewonck; on surviving a Vancouver Island University reunion and family trip, but cutting the trip short for family crisis back home (which ended well); announcement of Fri. Feb. 25 at Beasley Park for next Lobster Crawl (send email to Judy if want to be part of the team); on having to miss the Yoga event on Sunday because of a face cyst.
Sheriff Monika:  Theme - Colonization and weird food – i.e.England! 
  • Named patron saints of England, Ireland and Scotland and Wales:  George, Patrick, Andrew, David;
  • 2 major English naval ports:  Portsmouth, Plymouth
  • The year that Walter Arnold of Kent received the first speeding ticket (invented in England) – 1896  - going 4x posted speed limit of 8 miles/hour
  • 1896 Zanzibar war lasted 38 minutes – shortest war in history
  • How many cups of tea do British drink per year – 100M/day, 60B/year
  • Most popular drink in Britain – gin
  • Shakespeare – words accredited to him as having been added to English vocabulary – 40K; words like gossip, rant, zany, alligator
  • British accent changes every 25 miles as you move across the county
  • Cockney rhyming slang – dog’n’bone = phone; trouble’n’strife = wife; adam’n’eve = believe; apples’n’pears = stairs
At Our Club Oct. 7th Maria Hudolin 2021-10-07 07:00:00Z 0

Lake Country Rotary Sep. 23

Sarah & Rotary "Andy" Jack with Zoot
Sarah de Leeuw – Classification Talk
Sarah joined our club earlier this year after she was referred by another prospective member from Vernon. She knew about Rotary - in Gr. 11 she won a Rotary Youth Exchange opportunity when living in Terrace. Since she wasn’t living at home, she wasn’t able to get the legal forms signed off and unfortunately missed the opportunity to attend school in Switzerland.  Sandy mentioned the Bob Winter fund which provides support for students in difficult circumstances to travel for exchange assignments. 
Sarah is a writer in medical/health humanities.  She asks us to remember that medicine is an art as well as a science.  While evidence in science is a good way to make decisions, we need replicatable evidence to support scientific guidance.  A focus on bioscientific, replicatable evidence has developed as an important foundation of medicine.  However, we have forgotten that just removing a tumour doesn’t address other factors:  family, overall health, spirituality, heart, mind, humanity etc.   Growing # of people around the world think we need to account for history, art, other humanities focus areas, to complement medical treatment.
Sarah spoke about her writing:  Poetry and Medicine, (A life Towards Social Justice) and read a poem from it.  She takes seriously the idea bringing about social justice through poetry and literary non-fiction. 
Her background is partly because of where she lived and how she grew up:  Vancouver Island, Haida Gwaii, Terrace, Prince George, Kingston ON, Tucson, AZ, Prince George again, Lake Country.
Sarah shared with us that Queen Charlotte, of the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii) was the original black monarch. 
Sarah began to interact with Rotary in Gr. 11; completed university studies in Terrace, spent time abroad, then moved back to PG for graduate work.  Then studied in Kingston ON, did grad work in PG, where she made a ‘disastrous decision’ to divide her time between PG and Lake Country because she met her partner in LC -he was a Prof at UBC-O.
Her current research question is:  Why do some people lead healthier lives than others? (Have better health outcomes than others?)  What role does coloniality play in this? 
Sarah writes about Truth and reconciliation, poetics and new geo-graphing in colonial Canada. Her activities pertain to the art, not the science, of healing and medicine.  She tries to identify all the ‘isms’ that permeate healthy lives, and tries to change ‘hearts’ in ‘changing hearts and minds’.  She tries to help build resiliency.  Arts can alleviate moral distress (eg. disequilibrium of triage in medical emergencies).  Funded directly through research grants.  Also tries to clarify questions between race and colonialism.
What each of us can do:
  • Realize there’s room for improvement
  • Open our hearts and minds to the possibility of something different
  • Search out what we don’t understand
  • Extend the limits of what we engage with
  • Listen to learn, not to respond
  • Immerse ourselves in other worldviews (the arts are a great way of doing this)
  • Stand up against injustice
Sarah finished by reading one of her poems.
Happy & Sad – Reflections:  on family coming home with grandchildren for Thanksgiving and Christmas; on 75th birthday parties; on returning to state of normalcy after non-stop company and construction; on comparisons between COVID and smallpox with no recognition that smallpox was eradicated through the use of vaccines; on family members breaking free of wheelchairs; on completing the soccer season and contemplation of not repeating the experience next year; on running instead of soccer…perhaps with a martini in hand…; on getting a head-start on ‘Movember’.
Rich’s Trivia - Reminder of Berry Rd. formerly being known as the gulley; reminder of purchase price in 1930s (?) of Kelowna airport when City of Kelowna bought it, $24,000 (approx.).  Initial amount of property was 300 acres; 345 votes supported the purchase and 340 did not.  Original airport which had been the Kelowna Airport was on HWY33, near Rutland Road; reminder of first enclosed shopping mall outside of lower mainland – Capri Mall – created by Caposi family (Capri name came from combining names of two families involved – Caposi and Pridham)
Margaret’s Foundation Moment
What is The Rotary Foundation’s Endowment Fund?
Gifts to Rotary's Endowment ensure that future Rotarians will have the resources they need to design and implement sustainable projects year after year. Donations to the Endowment Fund can be made as an outright gift or a planned gift, such as a bequest in your estate. As of the 2019-20 Rotary year, Rotary’s Endowment net assets totaled US$500.5 million and commitments totaled US$838.3 million, for a combined total of more than $1.3 billion.
NO Thursday morning meeting on Sep. 30th National Truth & Reconciliation Day but we do have a member social in the evening starting at 6pm at Upside Cidery. All members and guests are welcome!
Lake Country Rotary Sep. 23 Maria Hudolin 2021-09-30 07:00:00Z 0

At Our Club Sep. 9th 

Induction of New Member Don Kawano
Introduced by Maria, Don was formerly in Rotary in Cranbrook and was the club president in 2013/14. He attended GESS from 1959-1965 and went to law school at UBC beginning his legal career in Dawson Creek. In 1985, He took a short sabbatical from law (referring to it as his MBA program) when he established Lake Country Orchards with a partner. He and his wife Linda now reside in Cadence at The Lakes in a house which is only a mile away from the farm where he grew up. Wendy Caban is his Rotary club sponsor. President Kayla made a short induction speech inviting Don to rejoin Rotary through our club.  Don accepted his club pin virtually and received virtual handshakes all around as he became our newest member!
Club 2021/22 Budget and Club Financial Statements for 2020/21 reviewed by our club Treasurer Jean=Marc. JM moved to approve financial statements for 2021-22 as presented; seconded by Sandy. Some discussion followed. JM offered access to the books to members interested. Kayla called for votes – both carried. A HUGE thank you to JM for all he does for our club! Go Habs!!!
Happy & Sad
  • Sandy – one of first 600K that got vax cert on line; Maria and Kathryn too
  • Maria happy with new member induction today
  • Don Happy because of granddaughter’s 8th b-day
  • Margaret bec. ArtWalk going ahead in different format
  • Ken because apples are now available for sale, good variety available
  • Dan with $480 happy dollars because all winners who have won so far have donated prizes back to Rotary
  • Jim, happy because his friend Stella is back from hiking Haida Gwai but sad because he didn’t go on the trip
  • JM put in $8.00 for missing 4 meetings
  • Sarah because Haida Gwai is where she grew up and she just returned from vacationing on the Island
  • Rich because fall has started out so nicely
  • Margaret sad bec. Oct. 16 concert cancelled due to Covid restrictions
  • Marsel happy to be celebrating 27th anniversary in Lake Country.
Sunshine by  Jim Taylor
Daphne C. b-day next week
Richard Brown on Sep. 22
Guido’s anniversary coming up in a couple of weeks
Margaret’s Foundation Moment
What is a Rotary Direct?
Support Rotary’s Foundation year-round by making an automatic recurring gift with Rotary Direct. You choose how much and how often to give. It’s a simple and secure way to make a big impact.   
Online credit card contributions can be made monthly, quarterly, or annually, with a US$10 transaction minimum. Donors can also enroll using the Rotary Direct enrollment form, The Rotary Foundation Contribution Form, by calling the Support Center at +1-866-9ROTARY, or by going online at
Donors can change or cancel their recurring giving online at any time through My Rotary. After you sign in, go to Account Settings by following the link in the upper right. Then choose the Donor Self Service tab.  
Rotary Direct is safe, secure, and easy… Sign up today.  Thank you for your support!
Future Speaker Dates
September 16: Kari Alex. Sockeye salmon return to Okanagan Lake
Sept 23: Sarah de Leeuw Classification
Sept 30: no morning meeting; evening social 6:00 Upside Cidery
Oct 7: Shaun Lesowski
Oct 14: Club 25th series
Oct 21 Barb Penner & Stuart Lang. HIP Honouring Indigenous People
Nov 18- Professor Cormack
At Our Club Sep. 9th Maria Hudolin 2021-09-09 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club Reflective Walk along Pelmewash August 2nd

Reflective Walk along Pelmewash on Monday August 2nd
Rotarians from Lake Country and Kelowna Sunrise Clubs joined together on the civic holiday to reflect on and honour our local traditional indigenous history and culture. The group came together at the south end of the Pelmewash at the Four Foods Chief indigenous sculpture, one of three sculptures erected in late 2020 along this popular local pathway. These pieces, which were designed by Clint George of the Penticton Indian Band and Les Louis of the Similkameen Indian Band, tell traditional stories of the Okanagan people.  Here's a link to a local article with more details on the sculptures.
The Rotarians took turns reading all 94 Calls To Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
Engaging, meaningful conversation was shared at each location. Many of the Sunrise Rotary members are members of HIP – Honouring Indigenous People – a Rotary initiative started by fellow Rotarians from Ontario. Many Rotary clubs have joined HIP to better educate their members on Indigenous traditions, history and culture. On Thursday Oct. 21st our club will enjoy a presentation on HIP so be sure to attend!
Here is a link to Rotary International’s DIVERSITY EQUITY INCLUSION statement which our club stands by.
The event was organized by Lake Country Rotarian Sarah de Leeuw and her committee. Thank you Sarah, for bringing us together to honour and reflect at a time when there is much division, pain and confusion in our vast country. 
Rotary Club Reflective Walk along Pelmewash August 2nd Maria Hudolin 2021-09-02 07:00:00Z 0

Lake Country Rotary Sep 2nd 

Special guest presenter PDG Peter Shultz “Innovative Club Advocate”
Peter was welcomed to our meeting to speak to us on ‘Innovation and Attraction’
The objective is to help clubs attract and retain new members.  Membership in Rotary has been declining for several years.  Our club’s attraction rate is about 31%, which is higher than the District, but our attrition rate is about 27%, when the District attrition rate is about 16%.
The point to take away today – we need to be intentional about our club and our meetings; can’t just think about how it worked in the past without an honest reflection about the future.
Value is the entire story in a Rotary club – if a person sees value, they will join the club and they will stay.  The cost of being a Rotarian is about $1200 / year; if there is value seen in that for a new member, then the club is in good shape.  If there is value, then what remains is marketing, and we in Rotary need to get better at Marketing – Peter is trying to help Rotarians Grow Rotary. 
Seniors are key additions to the club, but millennials are the future – so what do they want?  They want to spend time with their friends, to be active, to learn new things, to be outside, to travel, and to do something philanthropic.  What do we have in our meetings to offer them?  Do they want to sing the anthem, share a meal, donate money?  We don’t know – we should ask.
Peter has been involved in starting new clubs and encourages ‘Chapter 1’ club – chapter 1 of Rotary Manual of Procedures – “Guiding Principles” – motto, 4-way test, object of Rotary and underlying values which make us who we are. – Diversity, service, leadership, integrity, and fellowship.  He spoke about how his latest club, “Rotary Now” worked – it was quite different from our own. 
Peter asked us to think about whether our meetings were fun or not.  ‘ICB’s are Increased Cognition Breaks’ – ways to break-up meetings that are too ‘fixed’. 
He encouraged us to engage members by allowing them to bring up their ‘passion’ projects, using service as an opportunity for social, being hands-on every month, being social every month, and having regular meetings.
He reminded us that there is nothing in Rotary that says we have to do more each year than we did the year before. 
He suggested that the world of Rotary will never be the same after Covid – 7 lessons learned:
1. It isn’t the meal that makes the Rotary meeting
2. Your club’s digital image is no longer an option! (good graphics, sense of fun, fellowship, service) Consider paying a monthly stipend to an Interact student to keep us up-to-date
3. Rotary must be proactive!  We can no longer expect members to find us.
4. Members, guests and speakers can join your meeting from all over the world; rethink membership requirements – members leaving community may not need to leave the club – these directives come from the club bylaws, not the District;
5. We never know who will be dropping into our meetings.  Diversity, equity and inclusion have NEVER been more important;
6. Technology can affect the delivery;  consider ‘fun factor’; consider investing in equipment to make hybrid meetings effective;
7. Get creative with your Speaker Series in ways you could not before!
With above values and product, let’s sell the membership idea!  We did not need a pandemic to tell us we needed to tune-up our digital presence.  Get a committee to focus on digital image. Check out the many new Public Image resources on our D5060 website: Host Business Mixer After-Hours – perhaps with Chamber of Commerce.  Have an interesting speaker with short message.  Get sponsors for door prizes, food/drinks.  These are Hallmarks of innovative clubs. 
View Peter's entire presentation on Vimeo here:
Dan our “Golfather” presented us with some "hot off the press" results from his 2021 Golf Draft:
185 teams, $1800 raised for our club and $3850 in prize money handed out!!!
19 Rotarian teams: Patty’s team came in 8th and earned $180, Kayla’s team earned $155, Margaret’s team won BEST TEAM NAME for “Weapons of Grass Destruction”, Kathryn’s team won a Starbuck’s gift certificate.
Get your team together for our 2022 draft – just $30 per team!
Sheriff Kathryn, with her Nautical Trivia, had a hard time stumping Rich and Sandy! Did you know…
1 nautical mile = 1.5 miles
Cigarette boats run at 1000 hp or higher!
White running light on a boat is placed at the stern.
Harmsworth is known as the original speedboat trophy race – started at 19.5 mph and ended at 116 mph
Lake Country Rotary Sep 2nd Maria Hudolin 2021-08-28 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Reflective Walk/Bike/Drive on Monday August 2nd 

3 new sculptures created by Indigenous Okanagan artists now on the Pelmewash  Parkway
On MONDAY AUGUST 2nd starting at 8 AM our club members will be gathering at the southern most indigenous sculpture on Pelmewash Parkway for a special Reflective Walk/Bike/Drive along Pelmewash Walkway. 
Members of Lake Country Rotary, in harmony with other Rotary members, will undertake a Reflective Walk along Pelmewash Parkway. The walk will include a reciting of and reflection upon the TRC’s 94 Calls to Action: Readings of the 94 Calls to Action will occur adjacently to three sculptures made by Okanagan Artists Clint George (of the Penticton First Nation) and Les Louis (of the Similkameen First Nation).
Note: Approximately 45 minutes will be spent at each of the three sculpture sites so there will not be enough time to walk from one to another during the event. Rotarians and friends can always join in at any point along the way. We will end with a social gathering at OKF Grill or Gatzke's in Oyama. Bike riding and car-pooling are encouraged.
Planned agenda starting from the south:
8:00am-8:40am  The “Four Food Chiefs”Sculpture
Reading of and reflection upon TRC’s Calls to Action #1-32 followed by brief discussion about Pelmewash Parkway sculptures
8:45am-9:25am. The “Canoe” Sculpture
Reading of and reflection upon TRC’s Calls to Action #33-64 followed by brief discussion about ways to expand our understandings about colonial Canada
9:30am-10:15am. The “Feather” Sculpture
Reading of and reflection upon TRC’s Calls to Action #65-94 followed by brief discussion -shar how to commit to at least one Call to Action
10:15 am–onwards Oyama OKF Grill or Gatzke’s Market for social and coffee
For information videos on these Pelmewash sculptures visit this link:  
Please share this event with family, friends and other Rotarians! 
Rotary Reflective Walk/Bike/Drive on Monday August 2nd Maria Hudolin 2021-07-29 07:00:00Z 0

Lake Country Rotary Summer News July 2021

Our club’s very first Rotary Exchange Student (1996/97) Mario Torrano visited our club in July and gave us an update on his life in Mexico. Mario certainly has done well in his career after graduating in 2003 with a degree in biology with a specialty in Terrestrial Ecology. He worked in various environmental positions for companies on the gulf side of Mexico and in 2018, with his partner Monica, he started their own environmental business Alya Natura – Environmental Consulting “Hand in hand with nature”. Mario and Monica enjoy many outdoor activities including the beach and ocean (of course), cycling, soccer, daytripping, socializing with family and friends. Our club let Mario know that he is welcomed in Lake Country anytime!
Rotarian and past club president Dave Colquhoun presented our members with another classification talk letting us know of his journey from the Kingston area of Ontario to Calgary where he worked as a planning mangager for Calgary Transit while their LRT sysem was being developed and built, to his most recent move to Lake Country. Dave and Daphne enjoy travelling back to Calgary to visit their son Brian, his wife and grandson Lochlann. What brought Dave to LC Rotary was the opportunity for SERVICE to his new community and meeting new friends and this is still what keeps Dave in Rotary today. We are so glad to have you in our club Dave!
Bursaries & Scholarships
RCLC awards bursaries and scholarships to students at GESS, OK College and UBCO. 2021 cheque presentations were made recently at all three by our club Scholarships/Bursaries Chair Jim Robertson.
Bursaries fall under the umbrella of Rotary's Youth Services objectives and are meant to reward students who have achieved good academic grades and have a record of community service.   The objectives of the program are to support the development of future community leaders, raise awareness of Rotary among graduating students and hopefully attract new Rotary members.  
OK College bursaries were established in 2016 to recognize the valuable contribution of students who were enrolled in the Residential Trades program in building the LC Food Bank.  A crew of trades students, supervised by their instructor and Tom Roth, undertook the construction of the foundation and framing for the Food Bank. 
The UBCO bursary was established in recent years in order to build a connection and relationship with our local university and the students working, studying and living in our community.
Plan to attend: RCLC Reconciliation Walk along Pelmewash on MON. AUG. 2ND starting at 8AM. More details to come next week! Rotarians and guests are welcome to attend.
Rotary Trivia by Sandy & Monika
It was in 1858 that two colonies – Vancouver Island and British Columbia – were formed. The two colonies merged in 1866 and in 1871 the province of BC was formed. At that time only Caucasian men with property could vote!
Statistically there is a small window where females earn more than their male counterparts. What criteria must be met?  She cannot be married, have children or be over 40
What’s the official phone number for Canada? 1-800-0-CANADA
The most common last name in Canada? Smith
Lobster Trivia! 
Lobsters are cannibalistic
To find and taste food, lobsters use chemosensory leg and foot hairs
How many pounds per square inch can a lobster exert pressure? 100 lbs
In an effort to keep money in the lobster industry, a university of Maine professor created a biodegradable sport equipment made of lobster shells – golf balls!
Drivers lining up to receive their lobster dinners receive a friendly welcome from Nathan Lovejoy. (Jim Taylor - Contributed)
READ Rotarian Jim Taylor's latest article on our successful Lobster Crawl in the Lake Country Calendar! 
Lake Country Rotary Summer News July 2021 2021-07-24 07:00:00Z 0

A New Rotary Year with President Kayla

A new Rotary year began on July 1st and our club welcomes Kayla Caruana as our newest president. It is sure to be an exciting and fun Rotary year with Kayla leading our club! 
Lobster Crawl is SOLD OUT and we are ready to serve 300 lobsters to the community on Friday July 9th at Beasley Park 5-7 pm. Proceeds will be directed towards our club's commitment to a new accessible pier on Pelmewash. 
Happy and Sad dollars today included honouring the memory of George Heiss founder of Gray Monk Wineries and Dave and Daphne celebrating 42 years of marriage this week. Our newest member Shaun Lesowski from DOLC was added to our Sunshine List with the celebration of his birthday on July 9th. Happy birthday and welcome to our club Shaun! 
Jean Marc was sad to see his Montreal Canadiens fall to Tampa Bay in the Stanley Cup final while a new sports rivalry is underway between Maria (Italy) and Nathan (England) in the EuroCup on Sunday. 
Guest Speaker at our Club Today
Dr Ben Wiese, Kelowna Skin Cancer Clinic
Ben is a primary care physician originally from South Africa; he has a Masters in Skin Cancer.  He has 2 sons (twins) and his wife is also a physician. His Clinic is in Kelowna; he showed a quick video which demonstrated how high-tech cancer diagnosis has become!
Ben touched on a number of areas in his talk:  what is the fuss over Skin cancer (SC), are there different types, who is at risk, how is it diagnosed? Will I die?  How can I Prevent?
He reported that one person dies from SC every hour, and 80K people are diagnosed every year in North America. 
There are variations – you can get more than one; melanoma is most dangerous type.  It is notorious for being on peoples backs, and therefore undiscovered.  It can hide under hair and be nodular or superficial.  Ben showed slides of a number of different types of SC tumours, basal cell carcinomas and nodular carcinomas.  Many of them looked quite obviously like something was wrong, but many looked just like a mole or small skin lesion or bump that many people have and that are harmless.
Actinic keratosis and squamous cell carcinomas are due to long-term UV exposures which has caused DNA damage; this damage may regress if you cover up and protect yourself, or it can persist with your own immune system trying to deal with it, or it may progress to squamous cell carcinoma. 
Patients need to know they have Actinic Keratosis so that they can keep it from progressing.  It may show up as redness and lesions may be pigmented. 
Squamous cell carcinoma is the 2nd most common type and is caused by cumulative sun or daylight exposure at a young age.  It can be well-differentiated, moderately- differentiated or invasive.  Organ transplant patients, specifically renal and cardiothoracic patients are particularly at risk and should be carefully observed for the development of Squamous cell carcinoma.
Squamous cell carcinoma can often be seen by keratin buildup and may need large skin grafts to repair after treatment. 
There are 8 different types of Melanomas. Melanomas can look like ‘something that is just not healing’.  Who is at risk?  Generally, people with:
  • Large number of moles (more than 100 total body)
  • A family history of it
  • Fair-pale skin that burns and does not tan
  • A tendency to freckle
  • Many large moles
  • Red hair or strawberry blonde personally or in their family history
  • Ginger redheads with more than 20 moles larger than 5 mm (head of a pencil)
Tanning beds are dangerous for melanoma and should be avoided.
How is melanoma diagnosed? 
  • 75% are detected by patients or someone close to them
  • Through dermoscopy in doctor’s office (which increases the accuracy of diagnosis by about 27% compared to naked eye)
  • Full-body photography – which maps out all spots and dots, important in finding cancer ‘earliest’ through AI – do it every 6 months
To help prevent melanoma: 
  • Avoid UV radiation when UV index above 3 (usually between 3-11 daily from April to Sept in Canada;)
  • Mind what you wear:  All t-shirts not equal – UPF 50+ shirt cuts out about 90% of rays wet or dry; the average t-shirt has a UPF rating of 5-7, and gets only a bit better when wet
  • Sunscreen is not a complete fix, and get one with UVA filters
  • Apply sunscreen liberally, apply 15-30 minutes before going outdoors, and reapply after swimming
  • Oral vitamin B3 and Polypodium leucotomos extract – (not niacin) – can help limit risk
A New Rotary Year with President Kayla Maria Hudolin 2021-07-08 07:00:00Z 0

Celebrating 25 Years of Rotary Youth Exchange

Posted by Dave Colquhoun & Margaret Brown on Jun 27, 2021
Welcome to our Newest Rotary Member
This week, we welcomed Shaun Lesowski as our newest Lake Country Rotarian. 😊
Some of us know Shaun from his work as Parks Foreman with the District of Lake Country and his involvement with our annual Canada Day Celebration, the Lake Country Museum Annex Project, and Lobster Crawl fundraisers.   
Shaun was attracted to join Rotary because of our Club’s ongoing involvement in creating and enhancing parks and recreation spaces in Lake Country.
Welcome Shaun!
 Rotary Youth Exchange – Changing Lives
Without question, one of the highlights of our Club’s 25-year history has been our participation in the Rotary Youth Exchange Program.
Since 1996, our Club has sponsored 20 local students to study abroad for a full year as an international student, hosted by local Rotary clubs.  In turn, we have welcomed 18 inbound students from France, Japan, Argentina, Sweden, Ecuador, Germany, Austria, Sicily, Finland, Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia to experience life in Lake Country with local host families.
This week, seven former exchange students joined us via Zoom to help celebrate our 25th Anniversary and update us on what is happening in their personal lives.  And, what a reunion it was!
  • Mario Torrano (1996/1997) lives in Cancun, Mexico and is employed as an environmental consultant.  He has more than 15 years of experience in the public and private sector in the field of management, supervision, and environmental impact; comprehensive waste management; environmental education and training; sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Mario will be our guest speaker on July 15.
  • Bertrand Fulchiron (1999/2000) grew up in France and currently is transferring from Brazil to the USA (with a stopover to visit family in France) as a Marketing Manager for the Apple Corporation’s App Store.  He is married and has one son.
  • Maria Sorensen (2002/2003) lives in Aarhus, Denmark, is married with 2 young girls and is working as a medical doctor.  She has returned to visit Canada at least 8 times!
  • Benjamin Dieu (2005/2006) is working in Valencia, Spain as a marketing and communications consultant.  He described his Rotary exchange year as the best year of his life.
  • Emilio Lapetina (2006/2007) lives in Buenos Aires – Argentina and is employed by Nissan in Human Resources.  Emilio will be our guest speaker on August 19.
  • Catrin Bacher (2008/2009) lives in Ulm, Germany and was recently married.  She and her husband are orthodontists at ULM university.  They are planning a trip here after the pandemic.  Although Catrin does not compete in equestrian activities anymore, she continues her love of horses and still owns two.
  • Thomas Scheuba (2011/2012) from Vienna, Austria, is currently working toward a master’s degree and is currently working for a paper company.  Thomas is also leading an international non-profit group which raises funds to build water cisterns in rural villages in Ethiopia.
  • Brett Thompson (outbound 1997/98) went to the Philippines during his exchange year, where he not only learned the language but started his interest in foods.  Today, he is a chef and oversees most of the restaurants at Big White Resort.
The official goals of the Rotary Youth Exchange Program are to enable participants ‘to learn a new language, discover another culture, and truly become global citizens.’   it is apparent however, that the benefits of the program run much deeper, both for the student and their host families.
Several exchange students commented that their exchange year changed their lives!  One student commented that their values and future career path had been shaped by their exchange year.  Others commented that they had developed a thirst for travel to experience and understand other cultures.  Many had embraced the Rotary theme of ‘service above self’ and had returned to their home countries and become involved in service projects to create a better world.
A strong personal bond has also been developed between the students and their host families.  Several students have returned to Lake Country since their exchange year to reconnect with their host families.  Several of our Club members and host families have also visited and been hosted by students in their home countries, which has created lasting friendships and connections.
Thanks to Margaret for organizing this reunion with our exchange students and to Marsel for the beautiful video which captured memories from our 25 years of Rotary Youth Exchange. 😊
Celebrating 25 Years of Rotary Youth Exchange Dave Colquhoun & Margaret Brown 2021-06-27 07:00:00Z 0

At Our Club on June 10

Posted by Maria Hudolin on Jun 10, 2021

Orchard City II returns to Holiday Park - thanks Mary Lou! 

Our club welcomed four guests and prospective members today: Stacy Schaffer from RC Bismarck, ND, Shaun Lesowski from DOLC; Gary Baird, Nancy Adams.  
Jim and Judy and Sandy gave fitting tributes to our dear Rotarian Bernard who passed away this past week. We ask members to keep Brenda and family in their thoughts and prayers.
Last week, new member Sarah de Leeuw gave a short presentation on BC’s residential school system. She has visited all of the residential schools in our province. She shared a quote from local writer/poet Garry Gottfriedson’s book “Clinging To Bone” which speaks to cultural identity, residential schools, church abuse and environmental destruction.
New member Carol French paid a few happy dollars for the opportunity of visiting so many beautiful parts of Lake Country as she went around to members’ homes and businesses to collect loot for our LobsterCrawl bags.
LobsterCrawl (Friday July 9th at Beasley Park) ticket sales need a boost by our members! Judy has posters and Monika asks that we share our facebook page with friends and family.
Tickets available on Eventbrite:
“Passing of the Gavel” club event takes place on FRIDAY JUNE 25TH at OK Centre Hall. Details to come.
Guest Presentation: 
Stacy Schaffer, a Rotarian from Bismarck, ND in D5580 educated our members today on what Human Trafficking is and how we, as Rotarians, can do our part in preventing and reducing it. Rotary’s global network is so extensive thus allowing Rotarians to make a difference. Stacy is the founder and director of 31:8 Project “A Voice for the Voiceless” which educates, advocates and raises awareness in order to prevent human trafficking.
Stacy began her journey in anti-human-trafficking movement in 2006 at university when she learned that this is a new name for ‘slavery’. Her first experience was in Guatemala when she helped free a young 8 yr. old girl from being a sex slave. She became Stacy’s reason for establishing 31:8 which is taken from Proverbs 31:8-9 “Speak up for Those Who Cannot Speak for Themselves”.
There are two main types of human trafficking – Sex vs Labour. 3 out of 4 sex slave victims are trafficked online and 50% are trafficked by people they know (family or close friends). The average age is 11-14 years. Traffickers are drawn to small cities or rural communities where they probably won’t get caught – lots of ag farming, little law enforcement on patrol make for good breeding grounds.  Recruitment often takes place in the areas near major highways and sex slaves may be moved between cities using the nation’s trucking transportation system.
Labour trafficking is harder to identify. There are more than 100 different visa types in USA - people who are trafficked are visa holders or people who jump borders to get work; temporary agricultural workers, non-ag workers (restaurants, hospitality, construction); permitted individuals in a range of work areas and study exchange programs. People who apply for these visas are not always monitored and may not be treated well by the employer. Sometimes they are trafficked by the visa sponsor.
Who are the victims?  What does a victim look like? There are certain risk factors: childhood sexual abuse; family dysfunction; youth with cognitive disabilities; runaway and homeless children; young people who put their sadness online are cultivated and captured and sometimes blackmail is used. The average age for recruitment is 11-14 years and the life expectancy of victims is 7 years (often introduced to drugs to control them).  Recruitment locations include schools, malls, parks, bus/train stations, shelters group homes, teen parties, social media – traffickers prey on anyone that is mentally, physically, or economically vulnerable, and they target areas where vulnerable people can be found. Every 30 seconds another person becomes a victim of human trafficking.
“I was advertised in the same way as a car or phone, but with even less value than a bike”
Survivors want us to know:
  • They have a fear that no one will understand
  • Think about things from their point of view; never say you understand but still try to put yourself in their shoes
  • Language counts, words make a difference, use of word “prostitute” hurts
  • Don’t give up on someone if you think they are potentially a victim of trafficking
  • They may have asked for help, and were told they deserved what has happened to them
  • Look for the signs of possible trafficking: Coached/rehearsed responses to questions; signs of abuse, malnourishment, lack of health care; lack control over schedule and or ID or travel docs; bruises.
  • Call 911 if you know or expect something
  • Call local law enforcement for non-emergency
  • Use national human trafficking hotline (USA)

At Our Club on June 10 Maria Hudolin 2021-06-10 07:00:00Z 0

Improving Life After Concussion and Brain Injury

Posted by Kathryn Battrum on May 21, 2021
Carly Suddard, Marketing and Events Coordinator, at Brain Trust Canada, spoke to us on May 20 about Acquired Brain Injury or ABI.
Concussion is the most common form of brain injury which results from motor vehicle accidents, strokes, falls, intimate partner violence, and sports.  ABI has devastating impacts on physical, mental, and cognitive health and personal mobility:
  • 1 in 4 marriages break down after ABI.
  • 53% of homeless live with ABI, usually acquired after becoming homeless.
  • Those with ABI are 2.5x more likely to become incarcerated than those without it.
  • Those with concussion are 3x more likely to become victims of suicide.
The Impacts of ABI are like an iceberg:  the top part is physical changes that are obvious and visible; the changes under water are harder to see:  emotional and cognitive.
Physical changes include:
  • loss of motor skills like walking, sitting, balancing, moving – hemi, para or quadriplegia; slurred speech, chronic pain, headaches, fatigue, insomnia, temperature regulation issues, inability to sweat or regulate heart rate, excess saliva, drooling, inability to recognize hunger.
  • Social changes include changes in roles – from caregiver to receiving care (parent being looked after by child); difficulty reading social cues, trouble with work and social relationships, poor coping skills, loss of independence, loss of privacy, isolation.
  • Emotional changes are less obvious and include rapid, exaggerated changes in mood; short fuse, mood disorders, depression, PTSD, emotional/behavioral outbursts, easily frustrated, loss of sense of self; sadness, grief, addiction issues.
  • Cognitive changes are the hardest to recognize – difficulty planning scheduling, sequencing tasks; more time needed to process info; lack of focus and attention; poor memory, confusion, difficulty expressing thoughts, understanding conversations, difficulty with judgment and decision-making, perseveration, impulsivity – acting before thinking, disinhibition, hyper sexuality.
Brain Trust Canada provides programs to alleviate some of these difficulties:
  • Individualized Support for youth: counsellors to improve community inclusion, relationship building, additions, legal, education, employment, volunteerism, advocacy, counselling, emotional health, financial healthcare, housing, nutrition, independent living.
  • Similar programs for youth at Foundry – including compensatory strategies.
  • Group programs, - address complex needs with programs offered at any given time reflecting the needs of clients including yoga, meditation, healing art, path to employment, peer support, aerobics, inner rhythms drum circle, walking, group and more.
  • One-to-one tailored programs – like group, but individual completes on own – 8-week programs – for substance use and grain injury, managing emotions, social navigation.
  • Neuro recovery centre – cognitive rehabilitation to advance neuroplasticity in clients.
  • Persistent concussion – fee-based, sometimes paid by family and often funded by ICBC; includes aerobic, cognitive rehab and other programs.
  • Clinical counseling- related to grieving the pre-injury self; failed attempts at returning to school/work, social isolation, personality changes, PTSD; loss of or strained relationships, worry about managing injuries.
  • Caregiver support – family, friends, peers supplemented to prevent burnout of those support people, with one=to=one supports, respite programs and counselling]
  • Crime reduction and prevention – for ABI people with criminal history or risk of reoffending – counseling, clothing, shelter
  • Education – school, community, helmet education, conferences
3 key points to remember:
  • ABI is very complex.
  • ABI is unlike any other disability – there is memory of what it was like before ABI.
  • Respect for individual wit ABI is paramount.
Improving Life After Concussion and Brain Injury Kathryn Battrum 2021-05-21 07:00:00Z 0

Choose to be Happy!

Posted by Dave Colquhoun on May 13, 2021
Dr. Anthony Hlynka, a family physician at Turtle Bay Medical Clinic, joined us on May 13 to talk about his experiences as an ultra-marathon runner and how we can achieve happiness in our personal lives.
Several key messages emerged from his presentation:
  • We do NOT live in a happy world and often go out of our way to FIND misery.  When surrounded by negativity, our brain focuses not only on our successes, but our stresses, hassles, and complaints.
  • If we learn how to look at the world differently, we can train our brain to become happier.  Intelligence, productivity, creativity, and resilience increase when our brains are positive.
  • Only 25 % of job success is predicted by IQ.  75 % of our success is predicted by our optimism, emotional support, and ability to view stress as a challenger and not a threat.
  • We can program our brains to be optimistic, positive, and more successful, within one month and make permanent changes in 90 days.
  • There are five things which we can do to create personal happiness:
    • 3 gratitude’s:  identify 3 things each day for which we are grateful.
    • Journaling: create and maintain a daily personal journal.
    • Exercise:  motion is lotion
    • Meditation and mindfulness: reduce stress and fatigue.
    • Random Acts of Kindness:  do good in the world.
  • Scan the world for the positive, relive positive experiences, increase dopamine levels, focus on the small positives in life.
  • We can train our brain to see the positive over the negative and it will end up seeing the positives around us automatically.
  • Failure in life can be a great resource.  If we never fail, then we have never tried and will never learn what amazing things we are capable of.
Choose to be Happy! Dave Colquhoun 2021-05-13 07:00:00Z 0

Solar Eclipses and Club News

Posted by Judy Guido on Apr 30, 2021
We were honored this week to have Randy Attwood, President of the Royal Astronomical Society, as our guest speaker.
Randy has been interested in astronomy and space exploration for over 50 years. He has travelled the world to observe 12 total solar eclipses. During the space shuttle program, he witnessed twelve launches from Florida and one landing in New Mexico. He recently retired as the Executive Director of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. In 2012, Asteroid 250235 was named Asteroid Attwood in recognition of his contributions to Astronomy Education and Public Outreach.
Randy explained that Solar eclipses occur when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, leaving a moving region of shadow on Earth's surface.  Solar eclipses may be classified as either total, in which the Moon completely covers the Sun, or annular, in which the Moon obscures all but an outer ring of the Sun.
He let us know that over the next three years, Canadians will be able to observe three solar eclipses. Annular eclipses in 2021 and 2023 will be followed by a total solar eclipse in 2024, which will pass over the most populated area of the country.
He reminded us not to look at the sun directly but to use filters when looking at sun. If you look at the sun without protection you could damage your eyes. The Retina has no nerves, so you will not feel the heat.
Bits and Pieces
Jim Taylor reported that sunshine was about the Sigal’s. Felena has a birthday coming up next week and a wedding anniversary the following week.
Happy Sad
We were sad to hear of the passing of Monika’s grandmother. She died of COVID while in hospital in Abbotsford. We offer our love and condolences and to Monika and her family.
Rich was happy that his son is home and safe after a crash on his mountain bike that resulted in a pierced lung. He is sore but recovering.
Rich was also happy for the Rotarians who were out to picking up trash on the weekend. Lots of trash was found including a new spare tire.
Margaret reported being happy that she enrolled in a Thai cooking class online on Monday night and the resulting meal, cooked at home, was delicious.
Brenda Dewonck had an advertising dollar and reported an abundance of Rhubarb. Call her if you want some.
Sherriff Rich Gibbons had some earned lots of fines from the club members who failed to be up on some Rotary trivia. Did you know:
  • The first Rotary club to be organized outside an English-speaking country was established in Havana, Cuba, April 29, 1916, with 22 charter members making Rotary officially bilingual.
  • Rotary crossed the Atlantic to establish clubs in England, Ireland, and Northern Ireland. The National Association of Rotary Clubs, which became the International Association of Rotary Clubs in 1912, adopted the name Rotary International (RI) in 1922.
  • 1957 is when Paul Harris fellowships were instituted. Thank heavens they have not kept up with inflation. Otherwise, we would be paying $12,500 for a Paul Harris today.
  • Frank Gorman may have taken the Rotary Banner to space, but he was not the first. In 1932, Professor Auguste Piccard was presented a flag by the Rotary Club of Zurich, Switzerland, and he carried it on his balloon ascent 55,777 feet into the stratosphere.
  • The members chose the name Rotary because initially they rotated subsequent weekly club meetings to each other's offices7: 55Reports:
  • Club will be meeting at 7am going forward.
  • Lobster Crawl II has been rescheduled, it will now be held on Friday, July 9 at Beasley Park. Promotion will be rolling out soon.
  • Options for Canada Day; the plan is to move it beyond July 1 and looking at an alternate celebration on BC day, August 2. The District of Lake Country has offered a grant $4000 to help us finance the event. The plan is to keep is simple, and low key.
  • The Day Trippers concert is still planned for October 16, 2021.
  • Saturday, May 1, 2021 Club Spring Training. Three breakouts at 9: am, 10am and 11 am, with 11 topics. Save this date.
  • May 12, 2021, In lieu of our Conference there will be Zone wide Coast to Coast Variety show. The price will be $US110 with $100 being tax receiptable. This will be entertaining and a way to boost the Foundation’s donations. Keep the date…. more to come.
Solar Eclipses and Club News Judy Guido 2021-04-30 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary at Work in Our Community

Posted by Dave Colquhoun on Apr 23, 2021
At our meeting this week, we welcomed a new member, Dr. Sarah de Leeuw, to our Club and renewed acquaintances with several of our charter members - Dean Muscardin, Derek Hinchcliffe, Jim Bogartis and Gerry Morton, as part of our Club’s 25th anniversary celebration.
Club members also approved the allocation of $30 thousand in BC Community Gaming Funds for the following organizations to support the services they provide in our community:
  • Walk Around Lake Country (WALC)
  • Oyama Community Club
  • Winfield Curling Club
  • Lake Country Art’s Council
  • Lake Country Art Gallery
  • Okanagan College Foundation
  • Lake Country Museum
  • George Elliot Secondary Bursaries
  • UBCO Foundation
Thanks to the excellent work of Marsel Ahmadzadegan, we also enjoyed a video tribute to honor our members who have achieved a Paul Harris Fellowship through their community service activities or financial support of the Rotary Foundation.  The Rotary Foundation supports key international and local Rotary projects to eradicate polio, supply pure water to villages in African villages and undertake projects such as recreation and cultural improvements in our local communities.
One of the highlights was the heartfelt video tribute from former exchange student from Finland, Eeva Hemming, for Patty Garrett, who served as Eeva’s mentor and Rotary District 5060 Youth Exchange Coordinator.
Jim Robertson, Dave Colquhoun, Jim Taylor, Bernard Dewonck, Dan and Felena Segal, Rich Gibbons, Joan Downes and Judy Guido were also awarded Paul Harris Fellowships.
Bits and Pieces
Several Rotarians pitched in this past weekend to complete the assembly of three new arbor shelters at the Lake Country Food Bank.
As part of International ‘Rotary at Work Day’, members will be meeting on Saturday, April 24, at 9:30 a.m. at the Tim Hortons (at Hwy 97 and Oceola Rd) to undertake trail clean-up on the Pelmawash Parkway.
Rotary at Work in Our Community Dave Colquhoun 2021-04-23 07:00:00Z 0

Beacon of Light Rotary Peace Pole 

Posted by Maria Hudolin on Apr 15, 2021
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!
Beacon of Light Rotary Peace Pole Maria Hudolin 2021-04-15 07:00:00Z 0

Lake Country Rotary - Silver Anniversary

Posted by Margaret Brown on Mar 31, 2021
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!
Lake Country Rotary - Silver Anniversary Margaret Brown 2021-03-31 07:00:00Z 0

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da…😊

Posted on Mar 13, 2021
The world’s longest wedding veil made a (virtual) appearance at the regular Thursday morning meeting of the Rotary Club of Lake Country, March 11, 2021.

Rotary Clubs generally appoint a sheriff, whose job is to fine members for speaking unkindly to a fellow member, for failing to address the president with suitable respect, or for wearing mismatched socks. Since none of those things ever happen in the Lake Country club, the sheriff is forced to raise money by fining members who cannot answer trivia questions correctly.

In this instance, sheriff Patti Garrett asked, “How long is the world’s longest wedding veil?”

No, it wasn’t Meghan Markle’s veil. Or even Princess Diana’s.
The veil belongs to Maria Paraskeva, a bride from Cyprus, who achieved her lifelong dream by creating the world's Longest wedding veil in preparation for her wedding on 14 August 2018. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the seemingly never-ending lace veil measured 6,962.6 m (22,843 ft 2.11 in), which roughly translates into 4.3 miles, or 76 football fields.

Because the guest speaker didn’t show, that was probably the most exciting thing that happened at that club meeting. The treasurer reported that the finances are in order, the secretary reported that the correspondence is in order, and the membership, international service, fund raising, and community service are all in order.
In the absence of the featured speaker, long-time member Rich Gibbons filled in with stories of his youth in the Okanagan Valley, his career as an investment counselor, his secondary career as a race car driver, his travels through Europe in a flat-four air-cooled Volkswagen van, and the depth of snow in Terrace, in northern BC. For further details, contact Rich at Or bring Scotch.
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da…😊 Jim Taylor 2021-03-13 08:00:00Z 0

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da…😊

Posted by Jim Taylor on Mar 13, 2021
The world’s longest wedding veil made a (virtual) appearance at the regular Thursday morning meeting of the Rotary Club of Lake Country, March 11, 2021.
Rotary Clubs generally appoint a sheriff, whose job is to fine members for speaking unkindly to a fellow member, for failing to address the president with suitable respect, or for wearing mismatched socks. Since none of those things ever happen in the Lake Country club, the sheriff is forced to raise money by fining members who cannot answer trivia questions correctly.
In this instance, sheriff Patti Garrett asked, “How long is the world’s longest wedding veil?”
No, it wasn’t Meghan Markle’s veil. Or even Princess Diana’s.
The veil belongs to Maria Paraskeva, a bride from Cyprus, who achieved her lifelong dream by creating the world's Longest wedding veil in preparation for her wedding on 14 August 2018. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the seemingly never-ending lace veil measured 6,962.6 m (22,843 ft 2.11 in), which roughly translates into 4.3 miles, or 76 football fields.
Because the guest speaker didn’t show, that was probably the most exciting thing that happened at that club meeting. The treasurer reported that the finances are in order, the secretary reported that the correspondence is in order, and the membership, international service, fund raising, and community service are all in order.
In the absence of the featured speaker, long-time member Rich Gibbons filled in with stories of his youth in the Okanagan Valley, his career as an investment counselor, his secondary career as a race car driver, his travels through Europe in a flat-four air-cooled Volkswagen van, and the depth of snow in Terrace, in northern BC. For further details, contact Rich at Or bring Scotch.
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da…😊 Jim Taylor 2021-03-13 08:00:00Z 0

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da…😊

Posted by Jim Taylor on Mar 13, 2021
The world’s longest wedding veil made a (virtual) appearance at the regular Thursday morning meeting of the Rotary Club of Lake Country, March 11, 2021.

Rotary Clubs generally appoint a sheriff, whose job is to fine members for speaking unkindly to a fellow member, for failing to address the president with suitable respect, or for wearing mismatched socks. Since none of those things ever happen in the Lake Country club, the sheriff is forced to raise money by fining members who cannot answer trivia questions correctly.

In this instance, sheriff Patti Garrett asked, “How long is the world’s longest wedding veil?”

No, it wasn’t Meghan Markle’s veil. Or even Princess Diana’s.

The veil belongs to Maria Paraskeva, a bride from Cyprus, who achieved her lifelong dream by creating the world's Longest wedding veil in preparation for her wedding on 14 August 2018. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the seemingly never-ending lace veil measured 6,962.6 m (22,843 ft 2.11 in), which roughly translates into 4.3 miles, or 76 football fields.

Because the guest speaker didn’t show, that was probably the most exciting thing that happened at that club meeting. The treasurer reported that the finances are in order, the secretary reported that the correspondence is in order, and the membership, international service, fund raising, and community service are all in order.

In the absence of the featured speaker, long-time member Rich Gibbons filled in with stories of his youth in the Okanagan Valley, his career as an investment counselor, his secondary career as a race car driver, his travels through Europe in a flat-four air-cooled Volkswagen van, and the depth of snow in Terrace, in northern BC. For further details, contact Rich at Or bring Scotch.
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da…😊 Jim Taylor 2021-03-13 08:00:00Z 0

Environmental Stewardship in the Okanagan

Posted by Maria Hudolin on Mar 04, 2021
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 widerange 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.
Environmental Stewardship in the Okanagan Maria Hudolin 2021-03-04 08:00:00Z 0

Rotary Partnership Delivers International Disaster Relief

Posted by Dave Colquhoun on Feb 26, 2021
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.
Rotary Partnership Delivers International Disaster Relief Dave Colquhoun 2021-02-26 08:00:00Z 0

Rotary Bursaries Help Students Access Post-Secondary Education

Posted by Dave Colquhoun on Feb 11, 2021
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!
Rotary Bursaries Help Students Access Post-Secondary Education Dave Colquhoun 2021-02-11 08:00:00Z 0

Getting To Know You - M&M

Posted by Maria Hudolin on Jan 21, 2021
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”.  
Getting To Know You - M&M Maria Hudolin 2021-01-21 08:00:00Z 0

New dryer allows Food Bank to preserve donated fruit

Posted by Jim Taylor on Jan 02, 2021
Santa came early to the Lake Country Food Bank, when Rotary past-president Ken Guido inscribed a check for $5000 covering the cost of a brand-new industrial-strength food dryer.

The money comes from Rotary’s promotion of Save-On-Foods gift cards, which have so far generated approximately $45,000 in funding for the Food Bank.

The food drier itself is worth $1435. The balance of the cheque will go to general operations.

The Food Bank needs the drier, because it receives shipments of fruit and produce every day from stores such as Save-On-Foods and IGA.
Those perishable foods go into hampers distributed to needy families on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But fresh fruit that arrives on a Thursday may not still be usable by Tuesday the following week. Even with refrigeration.

The answer -- dry it! Apples, pears, peaches, plums, strawberries, all can be dried, and then be available for use anytime. Even mangoes can be turned into fruit leather.
The Food Bank has long been supported by the Rotary Club of Lake Country. Indeed, without Rotary’s participation, the Food Bank might not have its new building at all. Rotary took the lead in organizing support and funding for the new building on Bottom Wood Lake Road, next to the Seniors’ Centre.

After several years of seeking alternate sites, Rotary concluded that only a permanent building would serve the region’s needs. By lobbying for public support, Rotary won a $100,000 grant from Aviva Life Assurance. Coupled with land provided by the District of Lake Country and labour donated by the apprenticeship program at Okanagan College, plus donations, that was enough to construct and complete the present building, worth approximately $1 million.

Today the Food Bank has two floors stacked to the ceiling with supplies, and services a network of helping institutions up and down the valley, from Peachland in the south to Salmon Arm in the north, west to Cherryville and even beyond to Nakusp and Revelstoke.

The Lake Country Food Assistance Society owns two trucks, which are on the road every day, distributing supplies to and from other food banks.
At one point, stores like Save-On-Foods and IGA worried that having the Food Bank hand out free products would harm their own sales. Manager Joy Haxton says they have found that’s not so. As people see and use their brands, store sales have improved.

The Save-On gift cards, promoted by Rotary are redeemable for merchandise at any Save-On-Foods store.
The cards come in denominations from $50-$200, and work like cash. But every dollar spent using a gift card provides 8% directly to the Food Bank. An anonymous backer adds another 8%. And because of the Food Bank’s purchasing power, that 16% turns into as much as 40% on bulk food purchases.

Gift cards are available from any Rotary member, or online at

A recommendation -- don’t just buy a card once, use it, and forget it. Keep getting new cards to cover your grocery needs, and keep the support coming.
New dryer allows Food Bank to preserve donated fruit Jim Taylor 2021-01-02 08:00:00Z 0

Rotary Wine Raffle Winners Announced

Posted by Jim Taylor on Oct 21, 2020
Three lucky winners helped give the Lake Country Food Bank a $5000 boost.  🍎 🍇
The three were winners of a raffle held by the Rotary Club of Lake Country. The raffle itself raised a net $3317.75. An anonymous donor added $17.58, to bring the total up to some round figures -- $3333.33, exactly one-third of $10,000. And because the Food Bank’s purchasing power makes every dollar worth about 40% more, the Food Bank benefits by close to $5000.
Kim Sylvestre, president of the Lake Country Food Assistance Society, accepted the donation, symbolically represented by half a dozen bags and baskets of food, at O'Rourke's Peak Cellars winery on Goldie Road.
🍇First prize in the raffle, a paired wine dinner and tour of the winery’s cellar, valued at $600, won by Diane Johnstone of Lake Country.
🍇Second prize was a $400 gift card from Ex Nihilo Winery, won by Dan Gould of Lake Country.
🍇Third prize was a $400 gift card from Grey Monk, won by Dean Caban of Los Angeles.
Through Rotary’s promotion of Save-On gifts cards, which can be used to purchase groceries at Save-On-Foods, eight cents per dollar spent goes directly to the Food Bank, at no additional cost at all to the purchaser. Over $25,000 has already gone to the Food Bank through this program, plus ongoing support for other community organizations.
Make sure to visit our local wineries and Save On Foods to continue supporting community organizations including The Lake Country Food Bank. 🍎🥗
Stay tuned for our next raffle...coming soon!
@lakecountryfoodbank @peakcellars @exnihilovineyards @graymonkwinery
@Save-On-Foods (9522 Main Street, #10, Lake Country, BC, Canada)
Rotary Wine Raffle Winners Announced Jim Taylor 2020-10-21 07:00:00Z 0

New Trail Connects Residents to Lake Country Town Centre

Posted by Dave Colquhoun on Oct 20, 2020
A partnership between Lake Country Rotary, Walk Around Lake Country (WALC) and the District of Lake Country (DOLC) has helped create a new trail connection linking residences on the west of Highway 97 to businesses and schools in the Lake Country Town Centre.
Lake Country Rotary contributes $10 thousand annually from the Community Gaming Funds that the Club receives to WALC to implement new pedestrian and cycling infrastructure in our community.  WALC also conducts its own fundraising, and with input and financial assistance from the District of Lake Country, plans the new trail routes and engages private contractors to carry out trail construction.
In 2019, funding from Rotary, WALC and the District of Lake Country was used to construct a new outdoor classroom near Peter Grier Elementary School and create a new walking trail from the Copper Hills subdivision to the Okanagan Rail Trail and Lodge Road.
This year, Rotary, WALC and the DOLC collaborated to construct an 800-meter pathway at the north end of Newene Road, running parallel to Highway 97.  The new trail provides a safe option for students walking to George Elliot High School as it connects to the Berry Road intersection with Highway 97, without the need to walk along the busy Okanagan Centre Rd. E.  Students and residents are already taking advantage of the new trail.
A few weeks ago, Lake Country Rotarians and WALC volunteers coordinated a work party to smooth out the trail and remove weeds and broken glass.
A news story on the new trail connection recently appeared in the Lake Country Calendar.
The District of Lake Country has also recognized the efforts of WALC and Rotary, with the following commendation:
Walk Around Lake Country (WALC) and Rotary volunteers, you’ll be happy to know all your hard work Sunday raking and grooming the new Pretty/Eva Rd to Newene Rd trail is being used by young and older alike to connect the Pretty Rd neighbourhood to town centre, GESS, stores and services etc.
Your diligent efforts and insights working along with District staff is helping make good progress on the community’s vision for safer, walkable neighbourhood connections! Thank you!!
Bits and Pieces
Don’t Forget…..Our ‘PIZZA  PARKAS & POLIO PLUS OUTDOOR PARTY’, in support of Rotary’s Polio Plus Program, will be held Saturday October 24, at Beasley Park, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.  Bundle up and please bring your chairs, food and (hot) beverage. We will have two propane firepits on hand to keep us warm.  Hope to see you there!
Come prepared for a 'raffle basket!
New Trail Connects Residents to Lake Country Town Centre Dave Colquhoun 2020-10-20 07:00:00Z 0

The Secrets to a Happy Life Revealed

Posted by Kathryn Battrum on Aug 13, 2020
Our Rotary Zoom meeting this morning featured a TED talk that provided inspirational answers to a question most of us ask. What is the secret to achieving a genuinely happy life? 
The speaker summarized findings from a Harvard study that has gone on for 75 years and started with 724 men from both Harvard and inner-city Boston.  The objective of the study was to find ‘what makes happiness and a good life’. 
In a recent survey, 40 percent of millennials answered ‘wealth’, and 50 percent answered, ‘being famous’.  The speaker posited that we are given the impression we need to go after these things to have a good life, but the study, which is still running with 60 of the original 724 subjects, tells us differently.  There are three lessons to be learned from it:
Happiness is not about wealth or fame or working harder and harder; the clearest message from the study is:  good relationships keep us happier and healthier.” Loneliness ‘kills’, as people who were lonely lived shorter lives and were less happy and physically healthy than people who were more socially connected to community and family.
It is the quality of relations that matters – living in high-conflict marriages can be worse than divorce; living in warm relationships is protective.  People who were most satisfied in relationships at 50 were the healthiest at 80 and could withstand adversity better than those in unhappy relationships.
Good relationships do not just protect our bodies, they protect our brains; being attached in secure relationships is ‘protective’:  when you feel you can really count on someone, you are happier and healthier.  People who were happiest in retirement those who had actively worked to replace workmates with other friends in retirement – they ‘leaned into’ relationships with family, friends, and community.
The speaker ended with a quote from Mark Twain which is paraphrased here: “There isn’t time, so brief is life, for bickering, apologies, etc. There is only time for loving, and but an instant for that”.
Here is the link for the Ted Talk:
The Secrets to a Happy Life Revealed Kathryn Battrum 2020-08-13 07:00:00Z 0

Checking in with our MLA

Posted by Monika Speitelsbach on Aug 10, 2020
Today our featured speaker was Norm Letnick, MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country!
Norm gave us an update on Covid19 (the science and efforts to date) and the non partisan approach to attacking a global pandemic.
Got land? Norm has started an affordable housing initiative using his entrepreneurial expertise. There's a need for available land to plan future phases. Interested in getting involved? Contact 
Norm Letnick
Checking in with our MLA Monika Speitelsbach 2020-08-10 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary at Work - International Service

Posted by Monika Speitelsbach on Jul 10, 2020
A global pandemic doesn't stop the fact that there are women & children in need, and it doesn't stop Mandy Hicks from the Rotary Club of Kelowna Ogopogo 2015 from continuing her work.
Our Zoom meeting today highlighted the success of the Early Stimulation Program in La Cuesta, Honduras and the future need. The program in La Cuesta is now considered sustaining. A new global grant for Comayagua (1.5 hours northwest of Tegucigalpa) is being proposed. Government of Canada matching funds may no longer be available so every donation counts.
Early Stimulation Program
Mothers/care givers are trained in the areas of:
✅ nutrition
✅ reproductive health
✅ paternal responsibility
✅ disease prevention
✅ child growth development
The program also provides:
✅ medical examinations
✅ assessments for health & developmental status
✅ nutritional supplementation & deworming
You can find more information at: or by contacting our club.
Rotary at Work - International Service Monika Speitelsbach 2020-07-10 07:00:00Z 0

Local Volunteers Turn Kop Into a Hiking Gem

Posted on Jun 22, 2020
A recent article by J. P. Squire, in the Kelowna Daily Courier, recognized the efforts of local volunteers from WALC (Walk Around Lake Country) and Lake Country Rotary in creating an expansive trail system on Spion Kop.
Spion Kop occupies a massive 350-hectare ridge located between Okanagan Lake and Wood Lake.  There are now more than 17 kilometers of trails, varying from easy to difficult, with a possible 485-metre elevation gain to the summit.
Spion Kop is Dutch for ‘spy hill’ or “lookout hill” and it resembles the original Spion Kop hill in South Africa near the city of Emnambithi-Ladysmith. It was likely named by Boer War veteran and Okanagan settler, Leslie Caesar.
Spion Kop is unusual because it has an outstanding trail system with absolutely the best trail map, signs, colour-coded markers and flags of any Okanagan trail. Thanks go to volunteers with Walk Around Lake Country (WALC).
WALC designed and printed trailhead maps. In partnership with Lake Country Rotarians and the municipality, signs were installed at all four trailheads.
According to WALC President, Dev Fraser, “WALC members continue to do regular trail scouting and have been assisted from time to time by other community groups, including Lake Country Rotary and students from George Elliot Secondary School. Many regular users, including families with children, help maintain the trails, remove invasive weeds and do garbage pick-up,” said Fraser.
Lake Country Rotarians enjoy supporting WALC through funding and sweat equity along with support from the District of Lake Country.
A big kudos to WALC volunteers for their ongoing work in our community. The Spion Kop trail system is first class.
Photo Credit:  Leanne Spanza
Local Volunteers Turn Kop Into a Hiking Gem Dave Colquhoun 2020-06-22 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Meetings Move On-line

Posted by Monika Speitelsbach on Apr 23, 2020

You can't keep a Rotary club down! Virtual meetings continue.

Today, Carly from BrainTrust Canada reviewed the who, how's and why's of brain injury and programs available to help. Many Rotary clubs, including ours, support the helmet safety program - making sure cost is not a barrier to brain safety.

Bike season is here: wearing helmets = 88% reduction in brain injury! Put a lid on it wink

Information about the Lake Country helmet safety program may be obtained by contacting the District of Lake Country Bylaw office. 

Rotary Meetings Move On-line Monika Speitelsbach 2020-04-23 07:00:00Z 0

Catching Up With Club News

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.
Catching Up With Club News Jim Robertson & Jean-Marc Lacasse 2020-02-26 08:00:00Z 0

New Municipal Budget - Public Engagement

Posted by Monika Speitelsbach on Jan 17, 2020
Snow is in the air, it's the start of a new year and thoughts naturally turn to...budgets!  District of Lake Country budgets to be specific.
Tanya Garost, Ruth Sulentich and Greg Buchholz from the District of Lake Country attended our meeting this week to provide an overview of what's in store for 2020 and beyond.
Lake Country has experienced tremendous population growth over the past 10 years, with a spike beginning in 2004.  This growth has sparked a need for improvements in community policing, transportation, culture and recreation services.
Lake Country is in a unique situation relative to our larger neighbor – the City of Kelowna, in that the cost of growth are largely borne by residential property owners.   Lake Country has a 93% residential tax base with annual budget of $34 million while Kelowna has about 60 percent residential tax base with a budget of $150 to $200 million.  A one percent tax increase in Lake Country generates $135 thousand in revenue whereas a one percent increase in Kelowna yields $1.4 million.
DOLC staff have presented a prioritized list of new budget requests to Council members and are conducting a public engagement process to receive input on the proposed 2020 municipal budget.
Do you have questions about the budget? The process? Didn't make the meeting today? Check out the "Let's Talk" dates/locations listed at and in the picture below.
New Municipal Budget - Public Engagement Monika Speitelsbach 2020-01-17 08:00:00Z 0

Former Exchange Student Leads Project to 'Support Ethiopia'

Posted by Jim Taylor on Aug 19, 2019
Our speaker on Thursday was Thomas Scheuba, the young man who was our exchange student here in 2011. He currently heads a private charitable foundation that helps Ethiopian villagers have a dependable supply of drinking water.
Thomas credits his Exchange experience with learning to listen to a culture, rather than coming with pre-packaged answers. When he went back to his home in Austria,  his sister suggested he should now go to some place completely different. He chose a farming village in Ethiopia, where he slept on a dirt floor, did farm chores, understood none of the language, etc. But he also realized how much of the women’s time every day was spent just carrying water back and forth from the spring or river. Essentially, families live on 2 litres per person per day.
Yet there was water. The rains came, and it ran off, and some of it accumulated in springs and streams. The rest was lost.
He came home and set up a foundation to provide more reliable water. Initially, they provided water storage tanks for prominent families. He had mixed success there. Some shared their water, and trained others to conserve water. Others protected their good fortune from others.
So he started using schools, which are seen as community property.  When they collect rain off the roof, everyone benefits. The present plans show the villagers how to build a waterproof cistern, approximately 10 m by 12 m, and 8 m deep. They channel the rainwater off the school roof into the cistern. It’s big enough to supply several thousand people with 6 litres a day, for a whole year.
 It’s not purified. It still has to be boiled for safety. But it’s better than the water they used to gather. And a lot closer.
Thomas’s foundation, Support Ethopia, now has cisterns at 18 schools.
Harsh facts: 45% of rural Ethiopians have no access to fresh water. 73% have no sanitary facilities. 88% of their diseases are directly related to those two statistics – caused by polluted water supplies.
Thomas recognizes that simply supplying water is not the total solution. He uses the cisterns as a way of teaching people about conservation of water supplies. His foundation has also planted 40,000 trees, as a way of storing rainfall in the soil and reducing runoff and erosion.
Thomas thanked the Rotary Club of Lake Country for giving him his start in these projects, and for supporting him financially over the years.
Other News
The Club wishes to thank Rotarian Kayla Caruana and her mother and business partner, Karen Erickson, of IG Wealth Management, for their generous donation of $1200 toward our new Club project, which will eventually see a a new accessible fishing pier and kayak launch constructed on Pelmawash Parkway.  The funds were raised at client appreciation event, held on August 11 at Intrigue Winery.
Former Exchange Student Leads Project to 'Support Ethiopia' Jim Taylor 2019-08-19 07:00:00Z 0

Travel Tales, Popcorn Sales and Racing Dragons

Posted by Dave Colquhoun on Aug 09, 2019
Our first two meetings in August have certainly been entertaining and provided lots of enjoyable discussion.
On August 1st, Margaret’s granddaughter, Kate Cheryba, spoke to us about her adventures as a Rotary exchange student in Germany.  Kate was sponsored by the Calgary - Heritage Park Rotary Club and spent her exchange year near the town of Brake, in northern Germany.  She told us that it was a great life experience, highlighted by gaining two new friends (Mirna and Leslie); a European tour, with visits to Amsterdam and Venice (her favourite cities); helping disabled kids as part of a kindergarten practicum; and raising funds to purchase a shelter box for deployment in international disaster areas.
Oh yes, copious amounts of German ice cream were consumed!  Katie also gained a good proficiency in speaking German and was able to ‘ace’ the proficiency test required of all visiting Rotary Exchange students. 😊
Fast forward to August 8, and news of a new Club popcorn sales record at last week’s ‘Live in Lake Country’ concert at Swalwell Park!  Our ‘popcorn queen and princess’ rocked out to the music of Rann Berry’s 1980’s Time Machine (photo credit to Dee 😊) and sold over 200 bags of popcorn in three-hours, raising $434 for our Club projects.   We are fortunate to have booked Rann’s band for our Fall fundraiser, on October 19, at Oyama Community Hall.  It should be a great event!
We also learned about the sport of dragon boat racing, which is rapidly increasing in popularity and attracting people of all ages and organizations including cancer survivors, people with visual impairments and senior’s who want to maintain an active lifestyle.  The sport provides opportunities for friendship and comradery (much like Rotary), strengthens cardio fitness, and creates friendly competition.  Free 'try it' clinics are offered in Kelowna, every May, to recruit new paddlers to the sport.
Kelowna will be hosting two dragon boat festivals, on August 24 at Tugboat beach, and as part of the BC Senior’s Games in Kelowna, from September 10-14.
Travel Tales, Popcorn Sales and Racing Dragons Dave Colquhoun 2019-08-09 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary - Making it Work!

Posted by Dave Colquhoun on Jun 25, 2019
‘Making it work, takes a little longer.  Making it work, takes a little time’
With apologies to Doug and the Slugs, these song lyrics seem appropriate to describe the flurry of Club activities that have taken place in the past two weeks.
On June 15, volunteers from Rotary and Walk Around Lake Country (WALC) got together to remove a nasty barbed wire fence barrier on public property, between Peter Grier Elementary and the Okanagan Rail Trail.  The removal of this barrier will enable WALC to improve the trail connection between the school and the rail trail and construct a new outdoor classroom area, using funds raised by Rotary and WALC.
The next morning (Father’s Day) a group of ‘Rotary dads’ and friends gathered at the Okanagan Centre Community Hall to begin installing painted wood panels on the walls of the basement store room.  The project is proceeding smoothly under the direction of the project leader, Sandy, who kept the volunteers well fed and hydrated with some local craft beer.   One more work session will be required to complete the project and then, Okanagan Centre Hall volunteers will have a much cleaner and brighter space to store their valuables.
Fast forward to June 23, and Rotarians were at work again serving hot dogs at the Pelmawash Parkway Opening Ceremony.  It was very gratifying to celebrate the opening of the first phase of this beautiful and well used recreation corridor. The donations received from our food service will be used to help fund a new fishing pier and kayak launch, adjacent to the dog park and large vehicle pull-out space on the parkway, in partnership with the District of Lake Country. 
The Club will be undertaking other fundraisers in the next year and seeking other funding partners to support construction of the pier project.
If you would like to learn more about the proposed fishing pier and kayak launch, please plan on attending our July 4th breakfast meeting as Greg Buchholz, Manager of Infrastructure Services, District of Lake Country, will be our guest speaker. 😊
Rotary - Making it Work! Dave Colquhoun 2019-06-25 07:00:00Z 0
Celebrate Canada Day in Lake Country! Dave Colquhoun 2019-06-23 07:00:00Z 0

Community Gaming Grant Presentations

Posted by Dave Colquhoun on May 02, 2019
Today’s breakfast meeting was one of the most enjoyable of the year as we had the pleasure of presenting $30 thousand in Community Gaming Funds to deserving local service groups. In no particular order, the recipients of this year’s Community Gaming Grants include:
  1. ‘Walk Around Lake Country’:  development of local walking trails;
  2. George Elliot High School – Parent Advisory Committee:  Dry Grad and ‘No Kid Left Behind’ program;
  3. Oyama Community Centre:  Hall renovations
  4. Okanagan College Residential Trades Program:  Bursaries for graduating Trades Students.
  5. Brain Trust Canada:  Children’s Bicycle Helmet Safety Program;
  6. Kelowna Safety Council: Children’s Safety Programs
  7. Lake Country Art Gallery: Senior’s Art Enrichment Program
Save the Date for Community Service Projects
Sign-up sheets will be circulated in the next couple of weeks for the following community service projects.
  1. Lake Country Health and Wellness Fair:  Sunday June 9, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Beasley Park.  Volunteers are needed to work at our Rotary table.
  2. ‘Rotary at Work’ Day:  Saturday June 15, from 9 a.m. to approximately 1 p.m. The Club will be collaborating with ‘Walk Around Lake Country’ to upgrade a section of walking trail near Peter Grier Elementary School.  Meet at Peter Grier School at 9 a.m.  Please bring work/gardening gloves and wire cutters, if you have them, as we will be removing a section of barbed wire fencing.  Friends and family are welcome to join us.  Refreshments will be provided.
  3. Okanagan Centre Hall Basement Renovations:  Date to be confirmed.  Volunteers will be needed to help paint and install plywood paneling and metal shelving in the Community Hall basement.  More information to follow from Tom and Sandy. 😊
‘The Case of the Missing Cheque’
Our large cardboard Rotary cheque has mysteriously disappeared. ☹  If it is currently ‘living’ in your garage or basement, please return it to our store room at Holiday Park.
Community Gaming Grant Presentations Dave Colquhoun 2019-05-02 07:00:00Z 0

Big White, Bears and Beyond!

Posted by Dave Colquhoun on Apr 19, 2019
Our meeting this week was very bearable, thanks to an entertaining presentation by Sandy Wightman, who talked about expansion plans at Big White Ski Resort and some of his adventures in the ‘back country’.
 It was difficult at first to get our bearings on the layout of the ski resort; however, with the aid of aerial maps and photos, Sandy guided us through plans to open up a new mountain face to the east for two new ski lifts (planned opening in 2021) and showed us some stunning photos of the natural areas which lie just beyond the ski area.
The Big White Ski area is home to a many species of game – bears, wolverines, wolves, fox and coyotes, and of course, the dreaded Urus Big Whiteus (shown above), which has Sandy’s granddaughter in its grip.  All joking aside, although this particular bear is fuzzy and beary adorable, the real thing can be very terrifying!
Sandy told us about two personal experiences with grizzly bears (aka, Ursus Arctos).  In the first instance, he and a friend were ‘treed’ for several hours by a grizzly near Prince Rupert after stumbling onto its freshly killed moose dinner – a very embearassing situation!  The second encounter occurred while he was doing a survey along the Coppermine River near the Arctic Ocean.  A grizzly went bear-zerk after smelling pleasant smells in a helicopter and was angered after an insect repellant cannister exploded in its mouth.
Sandy was also able to tell us how to distinguish between different types of bear scat! In general, scat from the brown/grizzly bear tends to be larger (2-inches or more in diameter) than black bear scat, include remnants from animal kills, and as one of our members quipped, also pieces of human feet and shoes 😊.
Other News:
Club Member, Kayla Caruana (Certified Financial Planner) is offering a free seminar on ‘Tax Tips for Retirees’, at 1:30 p.m., on Monday May 6, at the Landmark 4 Conference Centre, on Dickson Avenue.  To register, please go to:
 Save the Date:   Five volunteers are needed on May 25 and 26, from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m., to help serve breakfast to 500 volunteer firefighters, who are attending a training course at George Elliot High School.  The Club will receive an honorarium for this service.  A sign-up sheet will be circulated at our next breakfast meeting.
Next Speaker:  Norm Letnick, MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country, will be our guest speaker at our May 2 breakfast meeting.  If you have questions regarding any Provincial matter, you won't want to miss this meeting!
Big White, Bears and Beyond! Dave Colquhoun 2019-04-19 07:00:00Z 0

Big White, Bears and Beyond

Posted by Dave Colquhoun on Apr 19, 2019
Our meeting this week was very bearable, thanks to an entertaining presentation by Sandy Wightman, who talked about expansion plans at the Big White Ski Resort and some of his adventures in the ‘back country’.
It was difficult at first to get our bearings on the layout of the ski resort, however, with the aid of aerial maps and photos, Sandy guided us through plans to open up a new mountain face to the east for two new ski lifts (planned opening in 2021) and also showed us some stunning photos of the natural areas which lie just beyond the ski area.
The Big White Ski area is home to a many species of game – bears, wolverines, wolves, fox and coyotes, and of course, the dreaded Urus Big Whiteus (shown above), which has Sandy’s granddaughter in its grip.  All joking aside, although this particular bear is fuzzy and beary adorable, the real thing can be very terrifying!
Sandy told us about two personal encounters with grizzly bears (aka, Ursus Arctos).  In the first instance, he and a friend were ‘treed’ for several hours by a grizzly near Prince Rupert after stumbling onto its freshly killed moose dinner – a very embearassing situation!  The second encounter occurred while he was doing a survey along the Coppermine River near the Arctic Ocean.  A grizzly went bear-zerk after smelling pleasant smells in a helicopter and was angered after an insect repellant cannister exploded in its mouth.
Sandy was also able to tell us how to distinguish between different types of bear scat! In general, scat from the brown/grizzly bear tends to be larger (2-inches or more in diameter) than black bear scat, include remnants from animal kills, and as one of our members quipped, also pieces of human feet and shoes 😊.
Other News:
Club Member, Kayla Caruana (Certified Financial Planner) is offering a free seminar on ‘Tax Tips for Retirees’, at 1:30 p.m., on Monday May 5, at the Landmark 4 Conference Centre, on Dickson Avenue.  To register, please go to:
 Save the Date:   Five volunteers are needed on May 25 and 25, from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., to help serve breakfast to 500 volunteer firefighters, who will be attending a training course at George Elliot High School.  The Club will receive an honorarium for this service.  A sign-up sheet will be circulated at our next breakfast meeting.
Next Speaker:  Norm Letnick, MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country, will be our guest speaker at our May 2 breakfast meeting.  If you have questions regarding any Provincial matter, you won't want to miss this meeting!
Big White, Bears and Beyond Dave Colquhoun 2019-04-19 07:00:00Z 0

Welcome to our New Members!

Posted by Dave Colquhoun on Apr 05, 2019
There was a heightened level of energy at our breakfast meeting this week as we renewed acquaintances with returning members who have been away for the winter.   We also had the pleasure of inducting three energetic ladies as new Club members.
Kayla Caruana is a Certified Financial Planner, with IG Wealth Management.  She has been an active participant in our meetings for several weeks as a greeter and enthusiastic ‘Sheriff’.
Kathryn Battrum is a Notary Public in Lake Country and provides legal services from an office on Main Street.  She is an avid dog-lover and has helped establish and upgrade the off-leash park on Woodsdale Road.  Kathryn also volunteers at an animal shelter in Vernon.
Shauna Murdain is a Learning Assistance Teacher at Pearson Road Elementary School in Kelowna.  The focus of her job is providing support to children with learning disabilities.  She is also keen to contribute time and effort to our club’s activities.
Leader Recognition
Thanks again to Monika, Bernard and Ken for their leadership over the past three months in keeping the Club running smoothly while I was away.
I also want to recognize Jim Robertson for accepting the responsibility of managing our Bursary Program this year for George Elliot High School graduates.  Jim and Judy Guido together evaluated a record number of Bursary applications (13), using a grid scoring system and were able to select the top eight candidates to fit with the funding we have available.
Other News
New Breakfast Club
Our Club has is now a member of the new Lake Country Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Club, which meets on alternate Wednesdays, at L’Isola Bella Restaurant.  By attending these meetings, we will be able to promote the work that Rotary does in the community and strengthen our relationship with local businesses to attract new members.
Business After Hours
Our Club and the Lake Country Food Bank will be jointly hosting a Business After Hours Event, through the Chamber of Commerce, at the Lake Country Food Bank, on Wednesday July 24, 2019.  This event will enable both groups to showcase a signature Rotary project which benefits vulnerable people in our community.
Ladies Movie Night
Due to low ticket sales, the Ladies Movie Night showing of Grease on April 13th had to be cancelled.  Full refunds are being issued by Kelowna Tickets to ticket purchasers.
Speaker’s Schedule
A new speaker’s schedule has been posted on our website, at   Our next speaker on April 11 will be Liz Talbott, from ‘Now Canada”.
Welcome to our New Members! Dave Colquhoun 2019-04-05 07:00:00Z 0

The Largely Unknown Landlord

Posted by Jim Taylor on Jan 29, 2019

“From the outside, you shouldn’t be able to tell that it’s affordable housing,” Kelowna councillor Luke Stack told the members of Rotary last Thursday. Stack is also the Executive Director and a founder of the Society of Hope, which currently operates four groups of houses and apartments in Lake Country – Cedar Court and Pinewood Villa on Bottom Wood Lake Road, just north of the municipal offices, and Woodsdale Place and Providence Meadows on Woodsdale Road.


This year is the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Society of Hope. The original incentive came  back in 1989 when Stack and some friends recognized the need for housing for a number of single parents who couldn’t afford the rents in Kelowna.


The Society of Hope is now the largest provider of affordable housing in the Central Okanagan. Their facilities are available to low-income families, seniors, and people with mental health problems. They now have 700 rental units from Lake Country to Peachland.


Recognizing that low-income renters also often lack social support, every complex includes a social component – such as bowling lanes, a meeting area, and a selection of activities such as games, hiking, etc. But no meals.



Currently, the Society is working on developing a new complex on Jensen Road, on what had been the Kangaroo Farm below Main Street. Present plans call for 40 units for seniors, 30 units for families. All would provide subsidized housing. Luke approximated the rental rates: a comparable two-bedroom unit in Kelowna would rent for $1600 a month; the Society would provide the same unit for $900 a month. The actual figure would vary, depending on the renter’s income.


Generally, he said, this is transition housing. The renters need the subsidized rates for three to five years, before they are able to move on to their own homes or apartments.


Other News

Our Columbian exchange student, 'Nando', celebrated his 18th birthday last week and didn't seem to mind consuming some chocolate birthday cake with breakfast.  Happy birthday, Nando.  It's been a pleasure hosting you this year.

The Largely Unknown Landlord Jim Taylor 2019-01-29 08:00:00Z 0

Keep Your Head Safe!

Posted by Jim Taylor on Jan 21, 2019


If you have a bicycle helmet, how old is it?   Magda Kapp, Director of Prevention Services at Braintrust Canada, told the club Thursday morning that if it’s more than three years old, it probably won’t protect your head properly in an accident or a crash.


And if it has ever been in an accident, or even dropped on the floor, you probably should replace it anyway.  Her concern is preventing brain injuries such as concussion, although she did promise to come back at some time in the future to talk about treatment of concussion, and the tasks of caregivers.


Concussion is a long-term problem. Kapp pointed out that hockey star Sidney Crosby took a whole year off to recover from his last concussion. It’s commonly said that boxer Mohammed Ali suffered from Parkinson’s Disease, but more likely his tremors resulted from repeated blows to his head.


Concussion used to be taken for granted, as part of growing up. Of course kids will run into posts; of course sports teams will bash heads. But brain injuries are not something to be shrugged off. An accident in your youth can affect you for the next 60 years, with learning difficulties, personality changes, headaches, etc. Brain injuries can affect ability to walk, to taste, to hear, to smell....and 90% of these injuries are preventable, Kapp insisted. Proper helmets alone can reduce brain injury by 85%.


Unlike tumours and brain diseases like meningitis, concussions tend to affect the frontal lobes of the brain, the areas we use for reasoning and wisdom. When they get damaged, you are not the same person you once were. You may say, or do, inappropriate things in company. You may lose friends. You may lose your driver’s licence.


Kapp was scornful of parents who make their children wear helmets but don’t wear helmets themselves. “What they’re actually teaching their kids is to think, ‘When I grow up, I won’t have to wear a helmet’.”


Because protection for your head is so important, she recommends that you do not buy a helmet at a low-price retail store and definitely not a used helmet at a yard sale! The crushable material that protects your brain from getting bounced around inside your skull degrades over time. The helmet also needs to be properly fitted to your skull, using the foam-fitting materials that come with it.


Take care of your brain. It’s the only one you’ve got!




This Thursday’s speaker will be Luke Stack, Kelowna City Counsellor and a member of the Society of Hope that is building affordable houses for seniors and others in Lake Country.

Keep Your Head Safe! Jim Taylor 2019-01-21 08:00:00Z 0

Exchange Student Saves the Day!

Posted by Jim Taylor on Jan 14, 2019
Hooray for Hernando Nora!  For our Thursday January 10 meeting, ‘Nando' saved the day when technological complications prevented us from showing a half-hour YouTube video from former exchange student Thomas Scheuba, about the work his organization is doing in Ethiopia providing water in villages that formerly had to carry every drop several kilometres on women’s heads.
The video would download to Monika’s laptop, but wouldn’t go from there to the big screen so all of us could see it.
With about 20 minutes of silence to fill, Nando stepped up to the podium to discuss his week as an exchange student. But then people started asking questions about his life in Columbia, and Nando answered so fluently, and with such enthusiasm, that before anyone knew it, it was time for the Four-Way Test to close the meeting.
Even more to his credit, Nando had been the featured speaker the week before, January 3, with a slide presentation about life in his home city of Bucaramanga, known as the “pretty city” for its parks, its views, and its pleasant climate.
Bucaramanga is the capital and largest city of the department of SantanderColombia. It has the fifth-largest economy by GDP in Colombia, has the highest GDP per capita in Colombia, has the lowest unemployment rate, and has the ninth-largest population in the country, with 521,857 people. Bucaramanga has over 160 parks scattered throughout the city.
Nando will probably go to university in Medillin, Colombia’s second-largest city, after Bogota itself. The university there has about 20,000 students, who speak dozens of languages, but mainly English, Spanish, and German. ‘Nando himself plans to study economics.
Asked about Colombia, and Medellin particularly, as centres of drug trade, Nando suggested that Colombia is no different from Canada – some parts of the country, and some parts of each city, are dangerous to go into, but other parts are completely safe.
Some of his slides showed the city of Bucaramanga by night. Fireworks are a specialty, with few restrictions on their purchase. For Independence Day, the fireworks displays last for four hours.

Another exchange student heard from

Before Nando’s first talk, on January 3, Judy Guido read a looooong letter from the club’s outbound student, Rori Allport, in Denmark.
Rori described her high school, a genuine graduation “prom” that she attended – the girls in formal dresses, the boys in suits. She enjoyed a trip to Copenhagen, saw the Little Mermaid, went to the Tivoli Gardens, and watched the changing of the guard at the palace.
She said she hasn’t been homesick, not even at Christmas. She was scheduled to stay with four different families, but is negotiating to stay with just three, so that she can getter integrate into the family.
And she too enjoyed fireworks displays, in her case for Denmark’s New Year’s celebrations.
The next LC Chamber of Commerce – Business After Hours social event is on Wednesday, January 23, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Winfield Curling Club.  A great opportunity to enjoy some ‘appies’, promote our Rotary achievements, and recruit new members.  Your $5 ticket includes appetizers and 1 can of Budweiser Beer (yes that's correct).  Wine available for sale at the bar.
A new breakfast speaker’s schedule is posted on our website, at  Magda Kapp, from the Braintrust Foundation, will be talking to us on January 17 about injuries such as concussions, and a new bike helmet safety program  to reduce preventable brain injuries for youth 19 and under.
Exchange Student Saves the Day! Jim Taylor 2019-01-14 08:00:00Z 0

November 8 Breakfast Meeting

Posted by Brenda Dewonck on Nov 09, 2018
We were 14 strong on this cold frost morning!  Jack was the lucky winner in the table stakes and Glenn tried to find the elusive Ace of Spades. No luck!
Our annual Christmas Party will be Sunday December 16 at 5:30pm in our Regular Meeting room. Attendees are encouraged to bring a wrapped gift from their ‘Re-gift’ collection, which then will be jealously fought over during the evening. This will be a catered meal and more info will follow ASAP.
Cathy Goheen has sent a message that she is collecting all kinds of glasses to take on her next trip to Nepal. She leaves mid December and all donations, including reading cheaters, can be dropped off at Dr. Spec Optics in Orchard Plaza Shopping Mall.
November is Foundation Month! Quite a number of donations were collected at the Rotary Dinner on October 24, but monies are still be collected by Margaret throughout November. The Gates Foundation will multiply our donations by 3!  What an incentive! Assistant District Governor Jim Hawkins is coming to our club next week to talk about the Foundation. Your cheque will be warmly accepted!
Brenda has sent a detailed email to all Rotarians about signing in to Club Runner and updating personal information. Rotary International is a little concerned about the number of members we have who were born in 1900. Please update your information.
Hernando, aka Nando, gave us a very interesting presentation of his homeland, Colombia. He started with the presentation of his national anthem, but thankfully did not play the entire piece, which runs 17 minutes in length.  Nando explained the education system he has been a part of for 14 years – from the age of 3 until graduation at 17 in the same building. Colombia is very rich in culture and nature, and Nando will give us Part 2 as there is so much to cover.
Here is an opportunity of a lifetime to each and every Rotarian! Please consider including Nando in your entertainment/family/social/dining plans.  He is anxiously awaiting experiencing hockey games, family dinners, Canadian holidays and customs, his first snow, skiing/boarding, skating (think outdoor arena in Kelowna), movies, travel. If you have trouble contacting him, please get in touch with Brenda.
Remembrance Day:  The official Remembrance Day ceremony in Lake Country will take place at 10:30 a.m., at George Elliot High School.  We are hoping for a good turn-out of Rotarians for this event.  Margaret Brown will be presenting a Remembrance Day wreath, on behalf of our Rotary Club.
The Lake Country Calendar will be hosting the next LC Chamber of Commerce – Business After Hours social on Wednesday November 14, at 5:30 p.m., at the Winfield Curling Club.   Delicious appetizers, wine and great networking opportunities, all for a $5 admission fee.
Until next week….
November 8 Breakfast Meeting Brenda Dewonck 2018-11-09 08:00:00Z 0

November 1 Breakfast Meeting

Posted by Bernard Dewonck on Nov 07, 2018


The club welcomed as guests and speakers Okanagan College Foundation representatives Kathy Butler, Executive Director, Okanagan College Foundation and Holley Routley, Development Officer. Their presentation focused on the college’s campaign to build a new 30,000 square foot Health Sciences Centre at the Kelowna campus.


The college has been providing training of health and science professionals in more than eight professions for 55 years but as we all know the region’s population and needs has grown tremendously over that time, and so have they for the province as a whole. It has been predicted that health care and social assistance will have the greatest number of job openings in the province over the next 10 years.


The new centre will teach programs for:

·       Certified Dental Assistant              CRITICAL

·       Early Childhood Education            CRITICAL

·       Bachelor of Science in Nursing     CRITICAL

·       Health Care Assistance                 CRITICAL

·       Human Services Work                   SERIOUS

·       Pharmacy Technician                    SERIOUS

·       Therapist Assistant                        STABLE

·       Practical Nursing                           STABLE


Total building cost is $18.9 million, of which the provincial government is contributing $15.4 million. The Foundation has a goal to fundraise $3.5 million for building and teaching spaces as well as $1.5 million for program support, equipment and student aid.


It was noted that Kathy is retiring from the Okanagan College Foundation at the end of the year. The Rotary Club of Lake Country extends congratulations to Kathy for her hard work on behalf of the Foundation since 2003 and wishes her good fortune in the next stages of her life.


Other News


  • Our Exchange Student, Hernando, will be speaking to us at our November 8 breakfast meeting about his home country, Columbia.  We hope to have a good turn-out of Rotarians for this special presentation.




November 1 Breakfast Meeting Bernard Dewonck 2018-11-07 08:00:00Z 0

September 20 Breakfast Meeting

Posted by Dave Colquhoun on Sep 22, 2018
At our meeting today, we were delighted to receive a membership application from Jim Robertson.  Jim has recently moved to Lake Country and is an Addictions Counsellor and Educator with Axis Intervention Service.  He has served as a Board Director of two Chambers of Commerce on Vancouver Island as well as the Canadian Boards of two East African Universities.   Welcome Jim! 
We also presented a cheque for $1,500 to Brenda Kalinovich and Julie Wolfe, from the Lake Country Health Planning Society, to support their Family and Friend Caregiver Support Group.
A second cheque for $1,000 was presented to Petrina McNeil, from the Lake Country Art Gallery, in support of their Senior’s Outreach and Enrichment Program.
Family and Friend Caregiver Support Group
The Lake Country Health Planning Society provides a twice monthly, facilitated peer support group for people who are caring for adults with mental health or cognitive issues such as dementia and head injury.  The group is free and open to all caregivers, and the only requirement is to sign a confidentiality agreement.
The group meets on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month at the Lake Country District Office, Carr’s Landing Room, at 7 p.m. until about 8 p.m.  Brochures for relevant local services as well as advice for caregivers is available and light refreshments are served.
The facilitator introduces everyone and provides a brief introduction to the group process for new members.  She asks all members to say what is on their mind this session and if they have anything they really need to discuss with the group.  Each member takes a turn, and the other group members may offer advice or consolation or very often, knowing laughter.  The facilitator makes sure that everyone has a chance to speak, she identifies themes and commonalities that emerge in the discussion.  Sometimes the focus is very much on one member and sometimes it is equally shared.  The discussion may lead to a topic for education or shared information in the next group, or by a group email.
The support group members would like to inform our Club how important it is to have a local support group and how this makes them feel that they are part of a community of peers. They said that they like the loose structure compared to time limited education groups, as it gave them the opportunity to share stories and ideas, seek advice and just vent.  Members also said that they look forward to coming and hope that the program ‘sticks around’.
Senior’s Outreach and Enrichment Program
The Lake Country Art Gallery has been offering an enriching program of guest speakers at the Lake Country Manor (care home for senior living) since July 2016.  Speakers present a variety of art-related topics and are carefully selected to bring valuable content that engages and interests the residents. 
The monthly event acts to bring the Art Gallery to community members unable to visit there themselves and helps prevent the Manor residents from feeling socially isolated.  Lake Country community members are also welcome.
Rotary support will enable the Art Gallery to continue the speaker series and provide the Manor residents the opportunity to create art.  Rose Braun, an established local artist, will lead the art classes which will culminate in the residents making art that will be included in the Art Gallery’s Intergenerational Community Exhibition.
A Reminder:  The Club will be cooking hot dogs at the Okanagan Rail Trail Celebration, which begins at 11 a.m., on Thursday September 27, at the Oyama Boat Launch.  About 400 people are expected to attend; therefore, Club members should plan on arriving at the event by 10:30 a.m. to secure a parking spot and avoid potential traffic congestion.  Please note:  Our normal breakfast meeting on September 27 is cancelled.
September 20 Breakfast Meeting Dave Colquhoun 2018-09-22 07:00:00Z 0

August 30 Breakfast Meeting

Posted by Brenda Dewonck on Sep 04, 2018

Today, we welcomed two guests:  Antonia (Toni) Revea, our guest speaker, and Hernando Mora, our new exchange student from Columbia.

Toni is a kinesiologist, who is based out of Prime Physio in Mission (located at Hawthorn Pool, on KLO Road|).  She spoke to us about how the study of human body mechanics can help us recover from and prevent injuries.  She’s a wealth of knowledge and is helping with the recovery of one of our own members – Ken Guido.

Most programs have a land-based assessment and then move to hydrotherapy sessions in the pool as it is easier to move in the water than on land.  This type of therapy works for proactive health (Arthritis and Osteoporosis), pre-operative and post-operative recovery, soft tissue injury, sports specific strengthening, and ICBC/WCB return to work.

Toni can be reached at or (778) 822-8575 to set up a consultation.


  • Club members approved a motion to allocate $1 thousand from our Gaming Account to fund the Senior’s Outreach and Enrichment Program, run by the Lake Country Art Gallery.
  • A motion was approved to fund the Caregiver's Support Program, run by the Lake Country Health Planning Society, with $1,500 from our Club Operating Account.  Our guest speaker, Toni, also offered to set up a Go Fund Me page to raise additional funds to support the ongoing operation of this program.
  • The District Youth Exchange Committee is currently recruiting for a District Youth Counsellor, Inbound Coordinator (ideally male) and Youth Protection Officer.  Please contact District Chair, Patty Garrett, at for more information.
  • The Terry Fox Run will be held on September 16, at 9 a.m., at Beasley Park. MLA Norm Letnick is organizing the event and is seeking volunteers to help on race day, and to help promote the event at Art Walk.
  • The Rotary Fox Hunt will take place on September 22, at 1 p.m., at Stewart Park, to raise funds for JoeAnna’s House.  Join our team, Wild Goose Chase, for some fun and support a great cause.
  • Our September 13 meeting will be a BBQ social to welcome our new exchange student, Hernando.  The social will start at 5:30 p.m. and will replace our normal breakfast meeting.  It you did not sign-up at breakfast, please confirm your attendance with Brenda as soon as possible so that we can do some food ordering!
Speaker’s Schedule

Our guest speaker on September 6 will be Greg Bucholz, Infrastructure Manager, with the District of Lake Country.  Greg will be discussing park upgrade plans and may provide us with ideas regarding potential Rotary participation in these projects.

August 30 Breakfast Meeting Brenda Dewonck 2018-09-04 07:00:00Z 0

Preserving Lake Country's History

Posted by Bernard Dewonck on Aug 15, 2018

On August 9, the club welcomed visiting Rotarian Walter Zuk of the Calgary Heritage Park Club, guest speaker Duane Thompson, as well as guests Dee Hansen and Ivan (grandson of club members Ken and Judy Guido).



Duane Thompson, President of the Lake Country Heritage and Cultural Society, which operates the Lake Country Museum, presented an update on the Society’s activities.


One of its more visible exposures is in the form of 10 heritage and history information panels located along the Rail Trail. The Society is looking for sites along the trail within the Lake Country section to develop kiosks encompassing several heritage displays. These kiosks may also be duplicated on sites in other jurisdictions along the trail.


Currently the Society receives $35,000 annually from the District of Lake Country to support its programs, part time employees and volunteers. Duane personally hopes to see this amount doubled in order to facilitate the hiring of some permanent staff. He also hopes to see the museum’s infrastructure, profile and accessibility improve.


In its current location in Okanagan Centre the museum is somewhat out of the way and therefore, does not benefit from the traffic flow through the central part of Lake Country. The building is also very old and is a potential fire hazard. Ideally, the museum could achieve a much higher profile if located along Main Street and it hopes to attract a benefactor to help create a cultural centre to service both residents of the fast-growing community and the numerous tourists who spent time in the area, particularly during the summer.




Lake Country has a rich and diverse history that deserves to be both preserved and communicated. There are a number of families still living and working here whose roots go back to the earliest days of the area’s development.


In the meantime, the Society conducts fundraising activities such as publication of a booklet on the history and development of transportation in the Okanagan. It will be sponsoring a dance on September 29, in Oyama, featuring Scottish and Ukrainian styles. Outreach activities are being focused on school curricula, such as a booklet of agriculture in the central Okanagan, for use in School Districts 22 and 23.


Preserving Lake Country's History Bernard Dewonck 2018-08-15 07:00:00Z 0

Hot Times in the Valley

Posted by Bernard Dewonck on Aug 02, 2018

The Club welcomed Rotarian Janet Reeves, visiting from Chilliwack.


President Dave highlighted several important dates requiring member participation:


  • August 18 – hotdogs, water and popcorn sales at a Live in Lake Country musical evening – Beatles tribute band, 6:30 – 9:30 at Beasley Park. Sign-up sheet was circulated.
  • August 19 – annual Chamber of Commerce Car Show at Swalwell Park – popcorn and water sales, Rotary information booth, 10 am to 4 pm, sign-up sheet was circulated.
  • August 29 – new District Governor Sherry Chamberlain is hosting a BBQ for clubs in Areas 5 and 6, which includes clubs from Lake Country to Peachland, 4:30 – 8:30 pm, at the Mission Creek Park – Picnic Area, adjacent to Springfield Road.
  • Volunteers are needed to work at the next blood donor clinic at George Elliot Secondary School, on September 26.  A volunteer training session is scheduled for Friday Sept 21, from 5-7 p.m., if anyone wanted a 'refresher' or would like to become a volunteer.


Considering the extremely hot, dry weather we’ve been experiencing, Rotarians Steve Windsor, Director of Protective Services and Fire Chief for District of Lake Country, and Deputy Fire Chief Brent Penner provided a very timely overview of the District’s Fire Department.


The Department currently has 7 full time employees working Monday to Friday, and 55 on-call personnel who are paid when called out. They come from all walks of life and if self-employed, respond on their own time. Those who are employed often have to take vacation time to respond. It is estimated that Lake Country has the busiest on-call fire department in the province.


There are 3 stations in the District – Winfield, Oyama and Carr’s Landing. The Department has 6 engines, 1 tender, 1 bush truck, 1 ladder truck, 1 marine rescue boat as well as several pickup trucks and ATV’s.


In 2017, the Department responded to 1,134 incidents. These include structural and wildfires, flooding and assisting neighbouring Departments as the need arises, under reciprocal agreements. Typically, the annual cost of incidents within Lake Country amounts to $1 million or less; however, in 2017 this jumped to more than $14 million due to the Nighthawk fire, which burned several homes.


The Department has an extensive training program whose standards are equal those of the much larger Kelowna Department. Training of a new recruit takes about 5 months and covers structural and wildfires, marine incidents, ice rescue and road incidents (there are 130 – 140 road incidents a year).


The Department also conducts several fire prevention activities, including a program for Grade 3 students in local schools, participation in children’s festivals, fire extinguisher training for adults and inspections of structures, commercial and industrial sites. It has recently initiated a Mobile Water System – a sprinkler system than can be deployed in suitably accessible areas with a water source to reduce a fire hazard or help mitigate the advance of an existing fire.


The current main Winfield firehall is over 60 years old and is substandard regarding size, essential safety related-amenities for personnel, and structural integrity. The District owns land at the corner of Okanagan Centre Road East and Jardine Road on which it intends to build a new firehall to adequately and safely service the needs of a rapidly growing community. A referendum seeking approval for financing the new hall will be held in conjunction with this October’s municipal elections. Distribution of pertinent details and number of information meetings will be forthcoming prior to the election.


Speaker's Schedule


Our next breakfast meeting on August 9 will feature a speaker from the Okanagan Centre Museum.



Hot Times in the Valley Bernard Dewonck 2018-08-02 07:00:00Z 0

A Fast Start to the New Rotary Year

Posted by Dave Colquhoun on Jul 03, 2018

A lot has happened in the past few weeks!

On June 21, the happy group (above) were elected as our new Club Executive for 2018/2019 at our annual induction event at Arrow Leaf Estate Winery.   Good food, great fellowship, and some tasty wine were enjoyed by all who attended.

We also recognized some special people for their outstanding contributions to our Club.  Monika Speitelsbach received our ‘Rotarian of the Year’ award for work as our Public Relations Director and Brenda Dewonck was awarded our ‘Unsung Hero’ award for her dedication as our Club Secretary and lead organizer for many of our fundraising activities.

Past President, Bernard, also received a ‘change-maker’ award from Rotary District 5060 and Joy Haxton was awarded the Vern Neilsen – Local Hero Award for the amazing work she has done at the Lake Country Food Bank.

A little over one week later, on July 1st, the Club hosted our second full day Canada Day event at Swalwell Park to celebrate Canada’s 151th birthday.  The day was highlighted by our traditional Rotary pancake breakfast, followed by full day of family oriented, multicultural stage entertainment and tent exhibits.  In spite of some wet weather that Mother Nature threw at us, the day was a smashing success!

Many volunteers from outside the Club stepped forward to help with the breakfast and other activities.  Approximately 1,500 people attended the event over the course of the day and many people commented that they enjoyed the diverse entertainment program that was offered. 

Our Club looks forward to  coordinating future Canada Day celebrations in Lake Country.

Upcoming Events

July 5:  A social evening to celebrate a successful Canada Day.  This will take place at the Club House at Margaret Brown's complex, at 11290 Bond Road.  Bring an 'appy' and your favourite beverage, and celebrate our success with our community partners who helped us make the day such a memorable event.  Please note:  there will be no breakfast meeting on this day,

July 12:  A special Club Assembly will be held at Holiday Park, beginning at 5:30 p.m., to discuss Club goals for the  new Rotary Year.  Appies will be served at 5:30 p.m., followed by a round table discussion.  Please note:  there will be no breakfast meeting on this date.

A Fast Start to the New Rotary Year Dave Colquhoun 2018-07-03 07:00:00Z 0

June 7 Breakfast Meeting

Posted by Judy Guido on Jun 08, 2018
The installation ceremony for the incoming new 2018/2019 president and executive will be held on Thursday, June 21, at 6 pm, at Arrow leaf wineries.  It is a potluck meal.  Please let Trish Lugrin know what you plan to bring and how many are in your party.  Email:  or phone: (250) 766-1649.
Canada Day Celebrations 2018 at Swalwell Park:   The signup sheet will soon be posted on Club Runner. Volunteers are needed before, during and after the event.
Exchange Student Going Away Party: July 21 is a going away party for our two out-going exchange students, Rory Allport and Lily Robinson.  Stay tuned for more details.
Speaker:  Mark Koch, Director of Community Services for the District of Lake Country, and a corporate member of the Rotary Club of Lake Country, gave us a bit of personal background and an update on the Official Community Plan (OCP).
Mark grew up in Durbin, South Africa and moved, with his family, to Canada, in 1996.  He graduated from York University with a Master’s Degree in planning and later obtained a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. He currently lives in Lake Country with his wife, Kim, and 6-year-old son, Conner.
Mark has been with the District for 10 years and it is obvious from his presentation that he has a passion for city planning.  He did, however, comment on the difficulty for local officials in drafting an OCP and stated that the local officials often feel beat up because you can’t be all things to all people.   For planning staff, it is also very challenging to ensure that social, economic and environmental interests are properly balanced.
Purpose of OCP: To have a fair and sequential program to deal with community issues and priorities.  It is a statement of objectives and policies guiding land use management within the area.
Primary Objectives:  To preserve rural character of Lake Country while encouraging growth where it is suitable, for instance, in serviced areas.
Lake Country is 90% residential which means the residents carry the burden.  A light industrial area is being proposed on Glenmore Road as the current gravel pit becomes depleted.
The public has been engaged in a variety of ways in the drafting of the OCP and Lake Country received the Cama Willis National Award for Innovation with their Frog Talk initiative.   Judging by the number of questions directed to Mark regarding growth management, he will likely be called to speak to us again in the future.
The complete draft report is available on the District website.
June 7 Breakfast Meeting Judy Guido 2018-06-08 07:00:00Z 0

May 17 Breakfast Meeting

Posted by Judy Guido on May 18, 2018
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!
May 17 Breakfast Meeting Judy Guido 2018-05-18 07:00:00Z 0

May News

Posted by Jim Taylor on May 16, 2018

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.
May News Jim Taylor 2018-05-16 07:00:00Z 0

April 26 Breakfast Meeting

Posted by Judy Guido on Apr 26, 2018
Today, the Rotary Club of Lake Country distributed over 20,000 dollars in gaming funds to local community organizations.
John Grimes, executive director of Kelowna and District Safety Council (KDSC) expressed his appreciation, stating that KDSC is a small group of people whose passion is safety.  The funds received will ensure ongoing education and skill training for people of all ages.
Dev Fraser, president of Walk Around Lake Country (WALC) share their mission statement, ‘To develop and promote walking trails in and around Lake Country.’  This year’s funds are being used for trail head signage on Spion Kop and in particular, the Upper Lakes trail head.  
Kathy Butler, executive director of the Okanagan College Foundation expressed her gratitude for Rotary support, which helps overcome the financial barrier to higher education for many individuals.  Our support has been a contributing factor in the 9.4 million dollars put into the hands of students.
Ross Bischoff, vice principal of George Elliot Secondary School and Thom Killingsworth, president of the dry grad committee, said without funding, there are promising students who would have to miss out on pursuing music and band training and experience and others who would miss out on the Dry Grad weekend activities.
Chris Shield, president of the Oyama Community Club, reminded us that OCC has been in existence since 1914 as a non-political, non-sectarian community center for the people.  The funds received will be used for much needed site upgrading.
Elaine Gibbons and Jenny Wilkinson, board members, volunteers and mainstays of the Community Hall Association of Okanagan Centre, accepted funds directed toward replacement of the 100 year old floor.  This volunteer group is comprised of nine residents of Okanagan Centre whose tireless efforts continue to keep the Centre Hall, ‘A place where people gather’.  Whether you are planning a wedding, family reunion or some other special occasion, Okanagan Centre Hall may be the perfect venue for your event.
  • Rotary at work day with WALC on Saturday, April 28.  Meet at Upper Lakes trail head at 9 am.  Bring work gloves, water, hard rakes, and lopping pruners.
  • Lake Country Blood Donor Clinic on Wednesday, May 9 at George Elliot Secondary School 10:00 am to 3 p.m.
  • Volunteer Fair on May on Saturday, May 26 ‘A Celebration of Volunteers & Community Spirit’, at Lake Country Community Complex, 10241 Bottom Wood Lake Road, Lake Country.
  • George Elliot Dry Grad BAGGED BREAKFAST fundraiser.  Friday, April 27 from 7 am to 9 am.  Drive through Husky gas station and pick up your breakfast.  One lucky person will find a $300 gift certificate for a TELUS hotspot for your vehicle.
April 26 Breakfast Meeting Judy Guido 2018-04-26 07:00:00Z 0

A Fast Start to the New Rotary Year

Posted by Dave Colquhoun on Apr 20, 2018

A lot has happened in the past two weeks!

On June 21, the happy group (above) were elected as our new Club Executive for 2018/2019 at our annual induction event at Arrow Leaf Estate Winery.   Good food, great fellowship, and some tasty wine were enjoyed by all who attended.

We also recognized some special people for their outstanding contributions to our Club.  Monika Speitelsbach received our ‘Rotarian of the Year’ award for work as our Public Relations Director and Brenda Dewonck was awarded our ‘Unsung Hero’ award for her dedication as our Club Secretary and lead organizer for many of our fundraising activities.

Past President, Bernard, also received a ‘change-maker’ award from Rotary District 5060 and Joy Haxton was awarded the Vern Neilsen – Local Hero Award for the amazing work she has done at the Lake Country Food Bank.

A little over one week later, the Club hosted our second full day Canada Day event at Swalwell Park to celebrate Canada’s 151th birthday.  The day was highlighted by our traditional Rotary pancake breakfast, followed by full day of family oriented, multicultural stage entertainment and tent exhibits.  In spite of some wet weather that Mother Nature threw at us, the day was a smashing success!

Many volunteers from outside the Club stepped forward to help with the breakfast and other activities.  Approximately 1,500 people attended the event over the course of the day and many people commented that they enjoyed the diverse entertainment program that was offered.  Our Club looks forward to continuing to coordinate future Canada Day celebrations in Lake Country.
Upcoming Events
July 5:  A social evening to celebrate a successful Canada Day.  This will take place at the Club House at Margaret Brown's complex, at 11290 Bond Road.  Bring an 'appy' and your favourite beverage, and celebrate our success with our community partners, who helped make  this such a memorable event  Please note:  there will be no breakfast meeting on this day.
July 12:  A special Club Assembly will be held at Holiday Park, beginning at 5:30 p.m., to discuss Club goals for the new Rotary year.  Appies will be served at 5:30 p.m., followed by a round table discussion.  Please note:  there will be no breakfast meeting on this date.
A Fast Start to the New Rotary Year Dave Colquhoun 2018-04-20 07:00:00Z 0

March 22 Breakfast Meeting

Posted by Jim Taylor on Mar 26, 2018
Women in Arab Kingdoms
Shannon Linden was teaching school in the United Emirates, on the Persian Gulf, when she asked a group of her Grade 4 boys what they wanted to be when they grew up. Most of them gave predictable answers – doctor, lawyer, engineer….
Then her favourite student said that when he grew up, he wanted to be a suicide bomber. So he could kill lots of Americans. And be a martyr for his faith.
When Shannon Linden told us that story on Thursday morning, there was a gasp from the dozen or so Rotarians gathered. It didn’t seem to register that his own teacher would be considered one of those “Americans,” even though she was technically Canadian.
It was one of the many shocks, and insights, that Shannon discovered during her five years in Abu Dhabi, one of the seven small states that form the United Arab Emirates, gathered together through some exceptional leadership by their hereditary monarchs. Although Dubai is probably the best-known Emirate, an aviation and shopping hub for the entire region, Abu Dhabi is the capital.
With the discovery of oil and natural gas, the Emirates found themselves awash in money. Wisely, they made the wealth benefit all – free education and free medical care for everyone, for example.
In 2000, Shannon’s husband, a doctor, applied for and was appointed to a hospital in Abu Dhabi. So they sold everything they had — house, car, furniture, and books — and moved to the Middle East.
Fair-skinned, blonde, with small children, Shannon found herself immersed in a Muslim culture where women had to keep themselves covered in black. While her husband worked in a new and ultra-modern hospital, she taught in an elementary school, where girls and boys were segregated. Then she went to teach in an international school mostly for the children of expatriates like her, where they taught an American curriculum, and had the best of everything. And finally, she taught journalism and communications to adult women in a college.
At the same time, she began freelancing magazine articles and newspaper columns about her experiences.
Her talk, using PowerPoint slides, illustrated her learnings about the changing roles of women in a traditional Islamic environment. Such as how Muslim can flirt and otherwise push the limits of a traditional society.
Animated questioning demonstrated that Rotarians loved her story.
Other News
  • The gaming grant Cheques will be issued April 26.
  • Ladies movie night:  We have 57 letters for businesses for the silent auction. We need the value of each donation noted. We also need someone to head up the food part of the night. We have only sold 23 tickets thus far.
March 22 Breakfast Meeting Jim Taylor 2018-03-26 07:00:00Z 0

March 15 Breakfast Meeting

Posted by Jim Taylor on Mar 17, 2018

New resource for ailing families 

It hasn’t been built yet, but it’s already getting support up and down the Okanagan Valley, and all through the Kootenays. JoeAnna’s House will provide accommodation for families from all over the Interior Health Region who need to come to Kelowna General Hospital while a parent, a child, a spouse, receives treatment.


Gail Harrison took a year off from Cops for Kids, to spearhead a fund-raising drive for JoeAnna’s House. On Thursday March 15, she talked about plans and progress.


Almost everyone has heard of Ronald McDonald House in Vancouver. JoeAnna’s House will be something similar, but serving families from Williams Lake to Osoyoos, from Merritt to Fernie. At any given moment, Gail explained, one in four beds at KGH is occupied by a patient who has had to travel for care. They commonly arrive in response to an unexpected emergency. They haven’t had time – and often haven’t the money – to arrange for accommodation in Kelowna while their family member recovers. Some sleep in their cars. Some arrive with only the clothes they’re wearing.


JoeAnna’s House is named after Josef and Anna Huber, who provided an initial donation to get the project started. With a goal of $8 million, Gail said, they have already raised $4.5 million. Prestige Inns has opted into the project with its hospitality expertise. They already have the property, at Royal and Abbott streets, between the hospital and the lake, and have support from Abbott Street residents.


Gail Harrison herself has been travelling the province, organizing support, with Rotary clubs a key element.


When built (hopefully, starting this September), JoeAnna’s House will be two floors, look like a heritage house, with 20 hotel-style rooms in 14,000 square feet. Kitchens and lounges will encourage the families using JoeAnna's House to support each other. A major part of healing is often discovering that you’re not the only person dealing with unexpected or tragic circumstances.  


Other news


  • Greg Buchholz announced a Happy – the District of Lake Country has received a $5 million grant from the federal Gas Tax Program to build a multi-use recreation centre on Bottom Wood Lake Road, in connection with the Food Bank, Seniors’ Centre, Arena, and Curling Rink. The new facility will also provide a permanent home for the Lake Country Boys’ and Girls’ Club.            
  • April is Shoe Bank Month. Our club has a collection bin for used-but-still-wearable shoes. Bring ‘em out!
  • April is also Ladies’ Movie Night month. The movie chosen for this year is “Nine to Five”, to be shown April 14. Please let your friends know, and get them to buy tickets. Rotary members will be canvassing potential donors for Silent Auction items in coming weeks. No doubt President Bernard will want to devote a club meeting to plans for Ladies’ Movie Night as soon as he returns.
  •  April 28 is Rotary at Work Day.
  •  And May 9 is the Blood Donor Clinic sponsored by Rotary.
March 15 Breakfast Meeting Jim Taylor 2018-03-17 07:00:00Z 0

March 7 Breakfast Meeting

Posted by Jim Taylor on Mar 09, 2018
Embrace Aging
Guest speaker Joan Buttorff came to the club this last Thursday morning to talk about Embrace Aging Month, a program she has organized for the last five years. Past President Judy Guido helped to emphasize the point by having a birthday this week.
Joan Buttorff is a professor at UBC Okanagan in the Nursing faculty. Five years ago, they offered four small workshops about aging. The response was so good, the program has expanded every year since. This year, there’s an event almost every single day of the month, and some days there are two events.
The most notable event will be an evening with Jay Ingram, for many years the host of CBC Radio’s Quirks and Quarks science program. Ingram has made extensive study of dementia — what it is, how it can be treated, and in some cases, what can be done to prevent it. He’ll be speaking at the Kelowna Community Theatre Tuesday evening March 20, at 7:00 p.m. The event is free, but the organizers request registration in advance — online at, or by phone at 250-807-8072.
Joan also talked about some specific workshops.  One — the same Thursday evening as her talk, unfortunately — about sleep. Researchers at UBC-O are finding that getting adequate sleep is crucial for seniors’ health, just as important as getting enough sleep is for children and youth. Many seniors think they’re getting enough sleep, because they go to bed at 10:00 and get up at 7:00. But if their sleep is disturbed, or broken, they may be getting much less sleep than they think. But there are practical techniques — and in some cases, equipment such as CPAP machines — to improve the quality of sleep.
Another event deals with exercise. Again, researchers have found that elderly men and women need different kinds of exercise for maximum benefit.
A third program, next Thursday night on the UBC-O campus, will focus on techniques for “auditory rehabilitation” — trying to restore some hearing loss through exercise and socialization.
The biggest health problem for elderly people, Joan said, is often loneliness; loss of vision and hearing isolates them from other people. Social contacts in the right environment encourage seniors to make more use of the hearing they still have.
Enhance Aging Month is co-sponsored by Interior Health and Interior Savings Credit Union.
In other news
Next week’s speaker will be Gail Harrison, talking about the proposed JoeAnna’s House — something like Ronald McDonald House in Vancouver — where families from out of town can stay while their children, parents, or spouses are hospitalized in Kelowna.
Looking ahead, Saturday April 28 will be Rotary at Work Day, probably clearing brush along the walking trails on Spion Kop.
May 9 will be a Blood Donor Clinic, sponsored by our Rotary club, in the community gym at the Secondary School. Volunteers will need to be trained at the Canadian Blood Agency’s premises on Dilworth Drive in Kelowna. We will probably need about eight volunteers.
And remember that Ladies’ Movie Night is April 14. All hands on deck!
March 7 Breakfast Meeting Jim Taylor 2018-03-09 08:00:00Z 0

February 22 Breakfast Meeting

Posted by Jim Taylor on Feb 22, 2018

Rotary had 100% attendance today -- every person there was

a Rotary member. No guests, no visitors, 11 regulars. 


Monika Jatel and Judy Guido entertained us for the first part of

the meeting by describing their weekend with the District's 50 or so

Youth Exchange students, both incoming and outgoing, in Revelstoke. They 

were joined by Patty Garrett. The three of them went on a lichen-picking

expedition -- something to do with wandering through the woods on

snowshoes plucking quantities of black hanging moss (which isn't moss)

off the trees to feed some local caribou. They collected a whole garbage

bag, and were gratefully thanked.


The Youth Exchange kids were chaperoned constantly. Had to leave

their bedroom doors open to avoid any, umm, intermingling. The system

worked fine except for one boy from Brazil who was somehow assigned a

room with two girls. He demonstrated his maturity by saying nothing

until departure time.


In other matters, president Bernard Dewonck announced that he and

Brenda would be going south for a week or so, and would leave things in

the care of one or more past presidents, which included at least half

the members present.


In the meantime, two other clubs have gotten on board in the quest

to raise enough funds to qualify for a District grant in support of the

Lake Country Food Bank's role as a central distribution point.


Bob Rymarchuk handed out posters promoting the 9 To 5 movie for

Ladies' Night. He recommends folding the posters in half. It's a

psychological tactic -- when people see half a page, they pick it up and

open it to see the rest of the message. If they can see a whole page at

once, they don't bother picking it up at all.


There was some discussion of having a male activity to go along

with the Ladies' movie -- everything from poker to whisky tasting.

Bernard offered to do personal research into the whisky tasting option

while in Mexico. wink



February 22 Breakfast Meeting Jim Taylor 2018-02-22 08:00:00Z 0

February 15 Breakfast Meeting

Posted by Judy Guido on Feb 15, 2018
Our guest Speaker this morning was Dr. Linda Kaplan, a Veterinarian at Tri Lake Animal Hospital.
Dr. Kaplan grew up in Lake Country and attended George Elliot High School.  Her first practice, started in 1985, was in her parent’s mud room. She started slowly and quietly learned as she went along, while building a small business in Oyama.  In response to the increased demand for veterinary services in Lake Country, she opened a new clinic, which has now become the four storey Animal Hospital on Powley Crt. 
Tri Lake is one of the only clinics in the Valley treating exotic animals along with other pets and farm animals. Linda told us that they have to ‘hit the books’ a lot to understand the anatomy of some of these exotics.  Just diagnosing is a big challenge as the client is unable to give feedback.  They have a full time, highly skilled surgeon at the practice and a full time Internal Medicine Doctor.  A Dermatologist and Physiotherapist are available part time.  They also have a CT Scan to do imaging and a part time Ophthalmologist.
There is no government support for Veterinary Clinics.  The expensive equipment and procedures required for veterinary services have necessitated corporate take overs of most clinics.  Currently, Tri Lake is owned by the MARS Corporation.
Dr. Kaplan emphasized that they do what they do out of passion and a desire to help and in many cases save the animals brought to them.
Announcements from Executive Meeting
  1. Decision to top up what was earned at Beans and Jeans to $3,000 for OK Centre Hall hardwood floor replacement.  The presentation of the funds will be in April.
  2. We were inspired by the speaker from our last meeting and have decided to follow the corporate sponsor model that was suggested.  A letter           is being drafted.
  3. Wine left over from Beans and Jeans Fundraiser will be offered to club members at cost.
  4. Brenda reminded us we can go on line with Club Runner, to Club Documents, to view all Executive Minutes.
Fun Stuff:
  1. Newest member Tanya, from the DOLC, won table stakes.
  2. President Bernard received a gift from Jim Taylor:  Tee shirt from Mexico which says, “I don’t need Google - My wife knows everything”. wink
February 15 Breakfast Meeting Judy Guido 2018-02-15 08:00:00Z 0

January 25 Breakfast Meeting

Posted by Jim Taylor on Jan 26, 2018
The president reports
We still haven't heard one way or the other from 9 clubs, about the District Grant that we are taking a lead in negotiating, on behalf of the Lake Country Food Bank’s new role as a central distribution point for food banks up and down the Okanagan Valley.  At least one of the lack of responses can be accounted for by the fact that the Armstrong club is in the process of folding. With the West Kelowna club, that make two gone from the valley.
We have confirmed just over half of the total needed, using only $307.65 from us -- so far. If necessary, we can make use of the grant originally made to SASFY (Summer Arts Scene for Youth) which has also decided to close its doors. We started supporting SASFY about six years ago, but the driving forces behind it (Claudia Cargyl and Jim Gray) decided they had to devote their energies to other matters.
Beans and Jeans:
As of Thursday, we had sold 83 tickets for the Beans ‘n’ Jeans event Saturday night January 27. We will probably reach 90 by the time doors open. We have lots and lots of chili, but Brenda told us that she could use more jeans to hang up as décor.
New Members
This coming Thursday we will induct seven new people, as two Corporate Memberships from the District of Lake Country. Bernard expressed some concern that, given our low attendance recently (because of snowbirds heading south for the winter, mostly), we may have more guests there Thursday morning than members.
Youth Exchange students shine
Our two Youth Exchange students, Lily Robinsonn (headed for Finland) and Rori Allport (headed for Denmark) provided our program last Thursday.
Lily decided to prove that we hadn’t learned everything about Finland from Aeva a year ago, with a series of true or false questions. For example, did you know that it is illegal to sell kittens in pet stores in Finland? Neither did we. Or that there are no pay phones in Finland? Well, if you think about it, Finland is the home of Nokia, which might suggest something about cell phone availability. Or that when a PhD student graduates, his/her symbols are a sword and a top hat? Ah, didn’t think so.
Rori, in her turn, peppered us with multiple choice questions about Denmark. We learned that pork-with-parsley-sauce is Denmark’s national dish. That the national sport is soccer. That Denmark is the world’s longest lasting monarchy. That the swan is Denmark’s national animal. And, of course, that is the home of the Little Mermaid.
Both girls demonstrated that they have good skills in dong research, that they speak well, and that they are confident on their feet when making presentations.
Our club can be proud of them.
January 25 Breakfast Meeting Jim Taylor 2018-01-26 08:00:00Z 0

January 18 Breakfast Meeting

Posted by Margaret Brown on Jan 18, 2018

Our guest speaker for today cancelled so we had a club assembly to discuss up coming events, grants etc.

Our group was small, only 9 Rotarians, however, we were mighty and very rowdy to make up for this!!!

Happy-sads were never ending as each person​ seemed to want to outdo the other in happiness!! (I think the sunshine has a lot to do with our mood today!). Rich seemed especially happy to use Jack's ticket draw money for his proclamations, claiming he couldn't see which pile he was taking from!!!! It evened out in the end, as while Rich was doing his sheriff job, Jack paid from Rich's coin pile!



Our partnering Global Grant application with the Kelowna and Ogopogo clubs to support health, education and literacy in Honduras has been accepted by the Rotary Grant Committee. Our donation was 1000.00 USD.

The District 'grant in progress' with requests for money to 16 other Rotary clubs, for a forklift for the Lake Country Food bank, is moving slowly with only five clubs responding so far. The Kelowna Rotaract Club gave the first cheque!! Kudos to them!!!

Our local food bank is partnering with others up and down the valley and with the expansion of the basement and the forklift will be able to do even more. Bernard is working on this and reminding all that he needs the money by March 1st.

The Beans and Jeans fundraiser is shaping up. Half the tickets have sold. Chili makers in place, door prizes received from Dan Sigal, Corey and Jack; 50-50 draw happening, games planned, music, square dancing lessons!! The fun never ends!!!!

A Save the date notice for Ladies Movie night will be sent out Feb 1st. Rotarians attending the Lake Country Chamber of Commerce Gala, on February 23, will also personally hand out 'save the date' cards. Two of our Rotarians, Bernard Dewonck and Bob Rymarchuck are nominated for Chamber awards that evening!

January 18 Breakfast Meeting Margaret Brown 2018-01-18 08:00:00Z 0

January 4 Breakfast Meeting

Our first meeting of the year was at the Cream and Bean in Lake Country. The room was a buzz with everyone’s tales and stories of their holiday time.   One of our newest members from the District, Matt, was welcomed to his first meeting! He seemed to enjoy the lively banter!  A few spouses also attended. The food and service were exceptional, as usual. The program was mostly fellowship and catching up with everyone.

Tom was going to Australia via Singapore for some pet sits and Monika was off to New Zealand!

President Bernard and Mme Secretary did bring up our latest endeavors; Beans and Jeans at the Okanagan Centre Hall Jan. 27 and got commitment from the club members, formed a committee, and we are moving forward! The ideas are flowing now!!

Ladies Movie Night is April 14/18 with the movie ‘Nine to Five.’ An eighties movie yet somehow very appropriate to what is happening now!!! A 'Save the date' will be going out the first of February. We also need someone to head up the evening who will get lots of help from last years 'template' and club members. Broken down into 'bite size' chores it is all very doable! Remember to volunteer to do your part!

Creekside is in charge of promoting and selling the tickets, so we need to make sure all our contacts know to go online or to Creekside to book! (one less chore for us!)

Many lingered until 9:00 as we wished everyone well on their travels and enjoyed the ambience. A wonderful start to 2018!

January 4 Breakfast Meeting Margaret Brown 2018-01-14 08:00:00Z 0

January 11 Breakfast Meeting

Posted by Margaret Brown on Jan 14, 2018

Karen Mason from the Kelowna Women's Shelter was our guest speaker today imparting some very sombre information.

The Kelowna Women's Shelter provides a safe confidential location and free services. Some of these include accommodation, food, clothing, transportation, childcare, counselling, 24-hour phone line, help with safety planning, information, referrals, advocacy, outreach, follow-up support, educational programs and much much more!!!!

The abuse mostly involves women. She talked about the endless cycle of abuse; tension, explosion, break, honeymoon. In most cases this is repeated 7 times before the woman leaves for good! Abuse is any behavior used to exert power and control over someone. It can be physical, verbal, emotional, sexual, and financial. The abuse crosses all walks of life rich and poor. Statically, one in three women are abused in some way but realistically it is believed to be 50%!

The shelter has been open for 37 years and serves from Lake Country to Peachland. It has 16 beds that are full to over flowing daily. They have a 30-day maximum stay which can extend into longer if the person simply has no where to go. They also have a home on the site they rent (nominally) for one year to up to 4 women who are getting back on their feet. They partner with an umbrella (7) of other vital services such as, the Ministry of Children and Family services, police etc., to provide a broad helping hand to those that come for help.

201 people spent at least one night in the shelter last year! Nearly 1000 had counselling or other support help. The needs are endless!

The program is funded by government funders, foundations, service clubs, business organizations and individuals.

To learn more about how the shelter changes lives, and how you and help, visit  If you need help or, know someone who does, call 250-763-1040 24 hours a day.

They are also looking for volunteers in many different areas.

January 11 Breakfast Meeting Margaret Brown 2018-01-14 08:00:00Z 0


Posted by Monika Speitelsbach on Dec 08, 2017
A merry band of 16 members were in attendance for the 2017/18 AGM. While AGMs are not known to rock the casbah, our own Dan the man Sigal provided a page worth of AGM funnies! 
The AGM in a nutshell
Committee Reports
Youth Exchange 
Rory Allport and Lily Robinson are outbound to Denmark and Finland respectively next year. Host families needed for our inbound student.
Community Service
It was an active year with Canada Day being a full day this year. Our $30,000 in gaming funds supports many local organizations in Lake Country. The committee is looking at possible projects: working with DLC on Swalwell Park concession stand; Food Bank in need of a pellet lift; hands on Rail Trail project; Pelmewash project.
International efforts include Ethiopia water project (former exchange student Thomas), Shelter Box and the Honduras early childhood stimulation project (in conjunction with Ogopogo & Sunrise).
Facebook and online portals used this year for Ladies Movie Night, Canada Day & sharing the magic of Rotary e.g. guest speakers. We ran ads in The View for major events and a Canada Day thank you press release and added club meeting info in the recurring events section. Also new, an online ad on the LC Chamber website.
PR projects for the upcoming year:
  • posting link to e-bulletin on Facebook 
  • Facebook ads: membership focus
  • branding: club shirts
  • newspaper column/feature in The View
  • highway sign refresh
  • social media 101 hands on presentation with Rotaract’s Kate K.
Past President
Focus on membership. It is every Rotarians responsibility to encourage membership growth.
Society’s Act action-Ken has updated bylaws in order to qualify for gaming. Ken will post the bylaws, budget and supporting documents on clubrunner. There will be a test to see who reviewed it!
And now for the moment you've all been waiting for...(drum roll please)
Nomination of officers/directors:
Your motley crew for 2018/19
  • president: Dave C.
  • pp: Bernard D.
  • president elect: (fill in your name here)
  • secretary: Brenda D.
  • treasurer: Margaret B.
  • youth exchange: Judy G.
  • dictators directors at large: Michael, Monika, Corey
Other business
Bernard was Rotarisplained (the act of explaining to a Rotarian it just makes sense for that Rotarian to carry on in a role they did not intend to take on in the first place) into foundation chair.
AGM Monika Speitelsbach 2017-12-08 08:00:00Z 0

November 30 Breakfast Meeting

Posted by Trish Lugrin on Nov 30, 2017


Today's meeting was attended by 15 Rotarians plus our guest speaker, Nicole Sorenson, who is an audiologist here in Lake Country. Her clinic, Lakeside Hearing, is in the medical building on main street near Mona Vision.

Nicole spoke to us on how the technology has and is continually changing thanks to advanced research studies. She discussed improvement techniques for common tinnitus and other hearing conditions, as well as, a new pediatric procedure to test the hearing of infants.  Hearing loss is one of the fastest growing health hazards known to man.

President Bernard mentioned that Nicole is considering a Corporate membership to join our club.

Other Announcements:

·        We were reminded that the meeting next week on Dec. 7th has been cancelled because of our Christmas party on the 8th.

·        The request was once again put forth requesting members to step up to put their names forward to either chair or serve on two upcoming committees, ‘The Bean & Jeans Night’, proposed for January, and our ‘Ladies Movie Night’ next April. The club will fully support the committee, but someone must take the lead.

November 30 Breakfast Meeting Trish Lugrin 2017-11-30 08:00:00Z 0

November 23 Breakfast Meeting 

Posted by Bob Rymarchuk on Nov 27, 2017
Our guests this morning were Holly Flinkman and Julie Wolfe, representing a newly-formed support group for community caregivers in Lake Country.
The group has been in existence for only three months and was formed to help caregivers who are supporting people with Bi-Polar disorders and chronic illnesses.  The group currently meets at the District of Lake Country offices and receive from funding from the Lake Country Health Planning Society but are seeking other sources of funding to create a sustainable program.
A survey conducted in 2012 confirmed that about 2,200 Lake Country residents are regular care givers for people with chronic health problems.  Moreover, at least 400 of these caregivers provide 10 hours or more per week, and only 12 percent of these receive any financial support.  The time commitment and other pressures created by care giving commitments create very high stress levels for the involved individuals and families.
Given that the 2016 Census population of Lake Country was 12,900, the need for additional support programs for community caregivers seems obvious.  This is a cause that your Club Executive believes deserves further consideration for potential Rotary support, after gathering additional information about what services are currently being offered in the community. 
Other News
  • Welcome back world traveller, and home sitter – Tom Roth and our effervescent Past- President, Monika Speitelsbach.
  • Tom was the Sheriff, and did his usual really bad puns. He also managed to remember the 4-way test to close the meeting.
  • Dan Sigal announced that any Rotarians that would like to book accommodations at Holiday Park during the evening of our Christmas party, on December 8, would receive a discount.  Please contact Dan or the Holiday Park office for more information.
  • The Lake Country Big Band is performing their Christmas concert, in support of the Lake Country Food Bank, on December 9.  Our very own Jim Taylor will be the MC 😊
  • Our AGM will be December 14 - important meeting for the club.
  • Our Christmas Party, on December 8, will be in our normal meeting room at Holiday Park.  Trish is co-ordinating; and Cory will MC.  L'Isola Bella will cater main course (Lasagna). Rotarians bringing appies and desserts. BYOB and don’t forget to bring along a long-forgotten treasure for our wacky gift exchange.
  • We are trying to plan a type of Beans & Jeans night at the OK Centre Hall on January 27 or February 3..  Need an organizer - talk to Margaret Brown.
November 23 Breakfast Meeting   Bob Rymarchuk 2017-11-27 08:00:00Z 0

Battle of Vimy Ridge

Posted by Brenda Dewonck on Nov 17, 2017
Sandy Wightman, of Semiahmoo Rotary, did a very interesting slide show and talk about his grandfather, Captain Alec Jack and the battle of Vimy Ridge.
Captain Jack worked at the Bank of North America, in Hedley, BC and was refused to be given leave to join the army. He and 16 others from Hedley, the “Hedley Boys”, signed up in August of 1915 and went to train at the Vernon Army Camp.
Their adventure then took them across Canada by train, to Liverpool by ship, and 6 months training in Bramshot, near Stonehenge. Once over in France, they faced a different battle with mud, lice, rats, corpses, rain, knee-deep water, trench foot, raw cold and freezing temperatures as well as boredom, while waiting for action.
A major part of the advancement planning was surprise attacks on the Germans. Three major craters were formed at St. Eloi, Belgium when German trenches were taken over with explosions. The last battle of the Somme, fought on November 18, 1916, involved 12 officers and 500 soldiers from which the casualties were 44 killed, 23 missing, 160 wounded and 52 captured enemies. Capt. Jack and his troop were one of four Canadian Corps at the battle of Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1918, for which he was later awarded in 1919 the Military Cross.
Capt. Jack attended the 50th anniversary of Vimy Ridge as one of the Canadian war veterans.
Our Rotary Christmas Dinner is December 8th – a catered dinner with potluck appies and dessert. Sign up sheet is circulating at breakfasts or email Brenda with numbers.
Chamber After Hours: Wednesdays meeting was at Olive Us. They announced their Christmas party at Turtle Bay Pub on Thursday December 14, 7:00 pm. Cost is $25 including wine and appies. Bring a bottle of wine for the wine wagon and receive 3 tickets for that draw!
The Ace of Spades 50/50 was drawn by Mike Bate! On to a new deck next week!
Battle of Vimy Ridge Brenda Dewonck 2017-11-17 08:00:00Z 0

Battle of Vimy Ridge

Posted by Brenda DeWonck on Nov 17, 2017
Sandy Wightman, of Semiahmoo Rotary, did a very interesting slide show and talk about his grandfather, Captain Alec Jack and the battle of Vimy Ridge.
Captain Jack worked at the Bank of North America, in Hedley, BC and was refused to be given leave to join the army. He and 16 others from Hedley, the “Hedley Boys”, signed up in August of 1915 and went to train at the Vernon Army Camp.
Their adventure then took them across Canada by train, to Liverpool by ship, and 6 months training in Bramshot, near Stonehenge. Once over in France, they faced a different battle with mud, lice, rats, corpses, rain, knee-deep water, trench foot, raw cold and freezing temperatures as well as boredom, while waiting for action.
A major part of the advancement planning was surprise attacks on the Germans. Three major craters were formed at St. Eloi, Belgium when German trenches were taken over with explosions. The last battle of the Somme, fought on November 18, 1916, involved 12 officers and 500 soldiers from which the casualties were 44 killed, 23 missing, 160 wounded and 52 captured enemies. Capt. Jack and his troop were one of four Canadian Corps at the battle of Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1918, for which he was later awarded in 1919 the Military Cross.
Capt. Jack attended the 50th anniversary of Vimy Ridge as one of the Canadian war veterans.
Our Rotary Christmas Dinner is December 8th – a catered dinner with potluck appies and dessert. Sign up sheet is circulating at breakfasts or email Brenda with numbers.
Chamber After Hours: Wednesdays meeting was at Olive Us. They announced their Christmas party at Turtle Bay Pub on Thursday December 14, 7:00 pm. Cost is $25 including wine and appies. Bring a bottle of wine for the wine wagon and receive 3 tickets for that draw!
Ace of Spades 50/50 was drawn by Mike Bate! On to a new deck next week!
Battle of Vimy Ridge Brenda DeWonck 2017-11-17 08:00:00Z 0

November 9 Breakfast Meeting

The meeting today was attended by fifteen members and our two guest speakers from the District of Lake Country - Greg Bucholz, Director of Infrastructure Services and Tanya Garost, Chief Financial Officer.
Tanya spoke first and explained to us the diversity and complex need of her department to balance the budget in a manner they feel will best service the needs of our community- everything from transportation to the rail trail to parks and recreation. To effectively manage the budgets, a reserve policy has been created where funds are saved as a buffer or reserve.
This Spring, many of the funds were needed to deal with the problems arising out of our spring floods. Tanya also mentioned that they are currently developing an opportunity for the public to go online and give feedback to current issues. This should be ready for use in early December.
When Greg spoke, he first touched on the OCP, or Official Community Plan, and then was kept busy with questions from our members on a variety of current, ongoing and future projects, that included the maintaining and development of parks, the realigning of roads, another exit out of The Lakes community and Pelmawash Highway area. Regretfully, he was kept so busy with Q & A on a variety of topics that he ran out of time and was unable to share a lot of the information he planned to. Greg also explained how his Department must work closely with the budgets available from Tanya as well as submitting proposals back and forth to council.
  • We currently have thirteen Rotarians signed up to participate in the Remembrance Day services. We will be seated together in the reserved seat section.
  • Next Wednesday at 5:30 the Chamber After Hours will be hosted at the Olive Us (Oil & Vinegar) store in Coopers Mall. As our club holds a corporate membership all our members are welcome and encouraged to attend these functions to network and promote Rotary.
  • Save the date for our annual Christmas party Friday, December 8th @ 6:00 here in Holiday Park. This year our main course will catered, and we will bring the appetizers and desserts. A sign-up sheet will be circulated next week.
  • Our AGM & election of officers will be December 14th. Bernard also mentioned that he has spoken to Past DG Roger Perry regarding the possibility of a District Grant to add to our ongoing food bank project. President Elect Dave along with president Bernard have been working on the proposal which they then will present as a possible joint club project.
November 9 Breakfast Meeting Trish Lugrin 2017-11-11 08:00:00Z 0

November 9 Breakfast Meeting

Posted by Trish Lugrin on Nov 11, 2017
The meeting today was attended by fifteen members and our two guest speakers from the District of Lake Country - Greg Bucholz, Director of Infrastructure Services and Tanya Garost, Chief Financial Officer.
Tanya spoke first and explained to us the diversity and complex need of her department to balance the budget in a manner they feel will best service the needs of our community- not only for today but also in the future. Everything from transportation to the rail trail to parks and recreation. To effectively manage the budgets, a reserve policy has been created where funds are saved as a buffer or reserve.  This spring, many of the funds were needed to deal with the problems arising out of our spring floods. Tanya also mentioned that they are currently developing an opportunity for the public to go online and give feedback to current issues. This should be ready for use in early December.
When Greg spoke, he first touched on the OCP or Official Community Plan and then was kept busy with questions from our members on a variety of current, ongoing and future projects, that included the maintaining and development of parks, the realigning of roads, another exit out of The Lakes community and Pelmawash Highway area. Regretfully, he was kept so busy with Q & A on a variety of topics that he ran out of time and was unable to share a lot of the information he planned to. Greg also explained how his Department must work closely with the budgets available from Tanya as well as submitting proposals back and forth to council.
  • We currently have thirteen Rotarians signed up to participate in the Remembrance Day services. We will be seated together in the reserved seat section.
  • Next Wednesday at 5:30 the Chamber After Hours will be hosted at the Olive Us (Oil & Vinegar) store in Coopers mall. As our club holds a corporate membership all our members are welcome and encouraged to attend these functions to network and promote Rotary
  • Save the date for our annual Christmas party Friday, December 8th @ 6:00 here in Holiday Park. This year our main course will catered, and we will bring the Appetizers and Desserts. A sign-up sheet will be circulated next week.
  • Our AGM & election of officers will be December 14th. Bernard also mentioned that he has spoken to Past DG Roger Perry regarding the possibility of a District Grant to add to our ongoing food bank project. President Elect Dave along with president Bernard have been working on the proposal which they then will present as a possible joint club project.
November 9 Breakfast Meeting Trish Lugrin 2017-11-11 08:00:00Z 0

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Posted by Trish Lugrin on Nov 06, 2017


This morning's meeting was attended by seventeen of our own Rotary members plus a visiting Rotarian. Judi Wallace, a member of the Ogopogo club was also our guest speaker. Her topic was "Laughing Yoga". 

It seems while Judi was recovering from Cancer she was introduced to this form of therapy and was so impressed she went on to become a teacher/instructor for others. The benefits are huge! While enjoying laughter for ten to twenty minutes, it boosts our killer cells to promote healing. This is a good technique for cancer survivors as well as someone recovering from the flu or other forms of illness. The form of Laughter Yoga is considered an aerobic exercise so it also releases endorphin's and burns calories. Judi put us through a series of laughter exercises and techniques as she explained that practicing laughter on a regular basis helps to build greater pain tolerance. The room rocked with laughter! 

Other announcements from President Bernard follows. A sign up sheet was passed around for anyone able to attend the November 11th services at GESS. The hope is that we have a good representation of Rotary members attending and sitting together. Please contact the President if you did not sign up but are able to attend. 

Our Christmas party date has been set for Friday December 8th, six p.m. at Holiday Park more details to follow. 

Looking forward to our spring fundraiser of the Ladies Movie night. The date will be April 21st, 2018 we need to form a committee of volunteers a.s.a.p. 

Keep up to date by following us on social media. Check out pictures from our latest events, send us your questions and join the conversation!

Laughter is the Best Medicine Trish Lugrin 2017-11-06 08:00:00Z 0

Breakfast at Cream 'n' Bean Coffee House 

Posted by Dave Colquhoun on Oct 20, 2017
We took our meeting ‘on the road’ this morning and enjoyed a delicious breakfast at one of Lake Country’s newest businesses – the Cream ‘n’ Bean Coffee House.
For business owners, Jason Leonard and Shandell Smith, the Cream ‘n’ Bean represents the fulfillment of a dream to own and operate a restaurant business.  Jason previously operated landscaping companies in the Yukon and the Okanagan but recently saw an opportunity to open a food business to cater to visitors to the very popular Kangaroo Farm, located on Main Street.
All natural, Fair Trade coffee and tea are just two of the menu items which are offered.  The food menu also includes several full breakfast options, as well as, home-made perogies, borsch, and delicious flavoured ice cream rolls!  After just four months of operation, the future for the business looks very bright, judging by the positive comments made by our hungry Rotarians.
Rotary News!
The process of selecting students for our Rotary Youth Exchange Program is going well.  Margaret, Monika and Dan recently interviewed two excellent candidates from George Elliot High School and have recommended that they both be interviewed by the District selection team.
Your Rotary Executive propose to commit $1 thousand to partner with the Ogopogo and Sunrise Rotary Clubs on a global grant application to Support Honduras.  We will receive a budget update and consider this request at our next breakfast meeting.
The Club will be preparing a District Grant application, in partnership with other Okanagan Rotary Clubs, for $10 thousand to develop the lower level of the Lake Country Food Bank as a regional food recovery and distribution centre.
We are also investigating the idea of supporting a drop-in centre to support caregivers of Alzheimers' and other seriously ill patients, in partnership with the Winfield United Church.  There will be more discussion of this idea at future meetings.
Our next meeting on October 26 will be a Club Assembly, which will include a budget update and discussion of Christmas Party plans.
Breakfast at Cream 'n' Bean Coffee House Dave Colquhoun 2017-10-20 07:00:00Z 0

ISEE Solutions - Uganda 

Posted by Monika Speitelsbach on Oct 16, 2017
ISEE Solutions
Investing in Sustainability, Education and Empowerment Solutions
$5 a year can keep a girl in school!
Erika van Oyen spoke about her most recent trip to Uganda and successful programs of ISEE Solutions. ISEE offers three areas of support: 
·        Sanitary kits & education
·        Mama Nguvu: empowering mothers
·        Educational partnerships
80% of Ugandan girls leave school once they get their period. ISEE Solutions provides girls with re-useable sanitary kits and education on reproductive health and safety.   One kit is $15 and lasts 3 years. 
You'd be hard pressed to find that kind of value anywhere else. Since 2012 ISEE has delivered 4,250 sanitary kits and educated young women and boys to help prevent unplanned pregnancy and prevent the spread of STDHIV/AIDS.
35 Mamas have benefited from the micro loan program to start a business to help them send their children and grandchildren to school. Businesses including water storage and sales, book making, sewing services and cooking/food service. Each project must be sustainable by generating ongoing income which will be reinvested to support future Mamas.
ISEE also partners with Ugandan schools and teachers to foster educational environments. ISEE mentors educators on modern teaching practices including activity based learning and supplies hard to acquire materials for schools and libraries.  For more information, please click on the links below:
Because poverty should not be a barrier to education! 
Donations over $20 eligible for a tax receipt
ISEE Solutions - Uganda Monika Speitelsbach 2017-10-16 07:00:00Z 0

Happy Thanksgiving!

Perhaps inspired by the upcoming Thanksgiving Celebration, our meeting on October 5 covered a veritable buffet of topics.
Judy Guido was recognized by President Bernard as 'Rotarian of the Month' for leading the relaunch of our Rotary Youth Exchange Program. Thank you, Judy, for your commitment to making this program a success.
Lake Country Food Bank
Dave Colquhoun updated us on the status of the Lake Country Food Bank expansion project. The Food Bank has entered the Aviva Community Fund Contest to try to win $50,000 to develop their basement as a food recovery centre to share food products with eight smaller Food Banks in the Okanagan Valley.
The voting round for the Aviva Competition begins October 10 and extends to October 19. Our Club is supporting this application by reaching out to other Rotary Clubs to encourage their members to vote for the Project. We will also be talking to other Rotary Clubs about applying for a District Rotary Grant to help fund essential equipment required for the new food recovery centre.
Voting in the Aviva competition is a two-step process.
Register with the Aviva Community Fund at You will be asked to register using Facebook or to provide your name and a valid email address and to create a password, so you can sign in. Registered participants have a total of 18 votes to use during the Voting Round and you can cast all 18 votes at once or at different times throughout the Voting Round. 
Cast your votes between October 10, 2017 @ 9:00 am PST - October 19, 2017 @ 1:00 pm PST by using the link:
HELP Honduras
Visiting Rotarian, Mandy Hicks, spoke to us about opportunities to sponsor a Honduran child to acquire essential supplies for their education.  The Help Honduras donation form is posted below. Personal donations to sponsor a child would make a great Christmas gift for the person who has everything, or for a grandchild that you want to teach the benefit of helping others.
Mandy also asked that we consider co-funding a Global Grant application with Kelowna Ogopogo and Sunrise Clubs to renew our aid program to help Honduran families.  Our Club has participated in two earlier Global Grant applications to Help Honduras.  The Executive will discuss this request at their next meeting.
Final Thoughts
Club members extend our best wishes to Richard Brown who is recovering from recent surgery.
Get your Rotary apple orders in to Judy Guido before past presidential pup Scout gets them!
Happy Thanksgiving! 2017-10-10 07:00:00Z 0

Introducing our New District Governor

Posted by Dave Colquhoun on Sep 28, 2017
Our Club was well represented on Tuesday evening at the social event for District Governor, Bill Jenkin, at the Rotary Centre for the Arts.
Bill lives in Prosser, in Washington State, and is the owner/operator of Prosser Vineyards and Winery and a member of the State House of Representatives. The ‘cluster meeting’ at the Rotary Centre was arranged to allow him to meet collectively with local Rotary members to learn more about our local projects, and discuss how he could help us achieve our goals as District Governor.
The Three C’s
Bill was very complimentary about the accomplishments of local Rotary Clubs, and specifically mentioned the Rotary Centre for the Arts, the Rotary Marshes Project, Rotary Beach and our own Lake Country Food Bank Project as showcase projects.  He shared with us that three overarching themes would be the focus for his term as District Governor -  commitment, challenge and change.
Commitment and challenge refer to continuing the good work that our Clubs do to support worthy community causes and continuing to grow our membership. 
Change is something that we’ve discussed recently at our Club meetings.  Bill challenged us to experiment and try new ways of doing things, to have fun and attract new members, particularly the younger age demographic.  The decision to hold a ‘cluster meeting’ between the DG and local clubs is an example of change that he believes will foster improved communication and collaboration within Rotary.
Bill also talked briefly about the distinction of ‘being in Rotary’ and ‘becoming a Rotarian.’ He told us a story about how as a struggling entrepreneur, he donated a $100 to fund the purchase of a wheelchair for a disabled child.  After receiving a thank you card and photo from the child, he experienced a feeling of gratification and bond with Rotary which has carried forward to today.
This story resonated with me and made me think of numerous times when I’ve felt good about being a Rotarian. It would be interesting to hear from each of you what your first significant Rotary experience has been.
District Grants Capital Projects
The availability of District funding of new capital projects was also discussed.  Bill confirmed that District Grants, usually up to $10 thousand, are available for local projects.  Partnerships and co-funding of proposed community projects between Clubs are encouraged when applying for District Grants.  In small group discussions, the proposed Lake Country Food Bank expansion, the Peachland Public Pier project, and Joanna’s House for KGH patients and families were identified by local Presidents as examples where partnerships should be considered.
Next Meeting
For those Rotarians who are longing for Louise’s cinnamon buns and butter tarts this morning, do not despair! Our normal Thursday breakfast meetings will resume on October 5, at Holiday Park.  Mandy Hicks will be joining us to discuss our potential participation in a Global Grant application for Honduras.  We will receive also an update on the Lake Country Food Bank expansion project.  
Introducing our New District Governor Dave Colquhoun 2017-09-28 07:00:00Z 0

Serving Our Community

Posted by Dave Colquhoun on Sep 23, 2017
Community service projects and health and wellness planning in Lake Country were the focus of our September 21 meeting.
Community Service Projects
Our Club is actively exploring options to support two local community projects:
  1. Lake Country Food Bank:  The Food Bank has secured funding from Food Banks BC and Food Banks Canada to purchase delivery vehicles and develop the basement as a food distribution centre to deliver excess food to other smaller food banks in the region. Our Club is planning to apply for a Rotary District Grant to contribute to completion of the basement development, with support from the other Rotary Clubs that serve communities which are benefitting from this program.
  2. Swalwell Park Food Concession:  The existing food concession space is unusable due to design deficiencies.  We plan to approach the District of Lake Country to offer funding support to make the area safe and functional for our Canada Day celebration as well as other community events.
Health and Wellness Planning
Brenda Kalinovich and Megan Ross gave the Club an overview of the services provided by Lake Country Health Planning Society (LCHPS).
LCHPS has historically focused on senior’s programs and rights, but in recent years has expanded to include health and wellness initiatives for children, youth, families and adults. Some of the community programs currently offered by LCHPS are:
  • Better at Home: a program that provides non-medical supports (transportation, housekeeping, yard work, etc.) for independently living seniors in Lake Country. 
  • Lake Country C.A.R.E.S: a toolkit developed and distributed by LCHPS that addresses elder abuse and provides resources. 
  • Car Seat Initiative for Families: distributing car seats to families when available.
  • Resource Directory: an up to date resource directory that highlights health and social services specific to Lake Country. 
  • Health Hub: a service that provides health and wellness resources, referrals, and information to the citizens of Lake Country online and at the LCHPS office located at 10080 Main Street.
For more information, visit
Special Note:  LCHPS is sponsoring a Health and Wellness Fair on September 30, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Winfield Memorial Hall.  Over 35 vendor displays, door prizes and kid’s activities.
Final Reminders and Thoughts:
A reminder of the District Governor Social Event on Tuesday, September 26, at 7 p.m., at the Rotary Centre for the Arts.  Tickets are $10 each.  No breakfast meeting next Thursday (September 28).
Club members extend our best wishes to our Treasurer, Ken Guido, who is recovering from hip surgery.
Serving Our Community Dave Colquhoun 2017-09-23 07:00:00Z 0

September 7 Breakfast Meeting

Posted by Dave Colquhoun on Sep 08, 2017
Our Club Assembly this morning resulted in some very positive discussion and decisions about the Youth Exchange Program and how we can strengthen our Club.
We will renew our participation in the Rotary Youth Exchange Program in 2018/2019.  A leadership team was formed for this purpose, with Judy Guido, Brenda DeWonck, Dan Segal, Margaret Brown and Monika Speitelsbach as participating members.
To provide more opportunities for member engagement, one of our monthly breakfast meetings will allocated for an Executive meeting.  The meetings will be conducted in a Club Assembly format to allow members to participate.
Membership growth will be a major focus for the Club in the next year.  We will be scheduling more social events, paired with community service activities wherever possible, and focussing on social media and newspaper advertising and community outreach activities to outline the benefits of joining Rotary.  More discussion on this matter will occur at future meetings.
Job Well Done!
Monika Speitelsbach was recognized this morning as ‘Rotarian of the Month’ for her work in updating our Website, developing our Chamber of Commerce ad, and relieving for President Bernard during his absence.  Thank you, Monika, for your dedication to our Club!
Tom Roth, who is currently vacationing in Peru, also requested that I share a thank you note he received from Gayle Voyer, Territory Manager, Canadian Blood Service, regarding the Lake Country Blood Donor Clinic, on August 30, 2017.
‘What an amazing day out at the Lake Country Blood Donor Clinic!  Thanks to everyone’s help we collected 64 donations which was over the original goal – so thanks to everyone.  
Thank you to Rotary, the Community and for many of your team who volunteered in the clinic. (my apologies for them not getting a confirmation of times for volunteering and thank you for their support! What an amazing community event and other than the clinic being warm (have to select a cooler time of year or a different venue in the future)’ 
            Appreciate the continued support of Rotary and please extend my thanks to your team!’
September 7 Breakfast Meeting Dave Colquhoun 2017-09-08 07:00:00Z 0

Strolling with the Grateful Fed

Posted by Dave Colquhoun on Aug 31, 2017

A clear, sunny day greeted us this morning at our off-site meeting at Swalwell Park.

We welcomed back President Bernard and Madam Secretary, Brenda from their vacation as well as some special visitors, Peter and Midge Behnke, from the Peachland Rotary Club, who learned of our mobile meeting from our website.  And of course, we can’t forget ‘first dog’, Scout, who was eagerly eyeing the delicious breakfast offerings prepared by Chef Louise.

After a bite to eat, we auctioned Jack Shultz’s road bike, which he generously donated to the Club, after upgrading to a newer model.  A fierce round of bidding followed, with Dan Segal emerging victorious with a winning bid of $275!   Congratulations Dan!

Having been fortified by a hearty breakfast, ‘the grateful fed’ set out to begin a walking tour of the Okanagan Rail Trail test section, between McCarthy Road and Lodge Road.  I think that everyone was truly impressed with the standard of construction and many of us commented that a compact gravel trail should sufficiently satisfy the region’s long-term needs.  I also believe that the experience of walking a short section of the future rail trail made us realize what a tremendous asset that it will be, when completed.

Lake Country Blood Donor Clinic

Several of our Club members worked or donated blood at the first ever blood donor clinic in Lake Country on August 30.  Thanks to our assistance in promoting the event, most of the appointment times were filled and the clinic was deemed to be a success by Canadian Blood services.  Many new blood donors chose to participate and people really appreciated the convenience of being able to donate blood in a convenient location close to home.  Hopefully, Canadian Blood Services will choose to schedule another clinic in Lake Country sometime in the future.

Final Thoughts

Club members extend our best wishes and prayers to Elaine Gibbons, for a speedy recovery from her recent surgery.

Strolling with the Grateful Fed Dave Colquhoun 2017-08-31 07:00:00Z 0

Snowbirds...Spread Your Tiny Wings and Fly Away

Posted by Tom Roth on Aug 24, 2017
“Spread your tiny wings and fly away…” Anne Murray
“When heading down south, cross all your t’s and dot your i ‘s!” .... Wendy Caban   (ok… so I’m paraphrasing a bit here!)
Thank you to our very own Club member, Wendy Caban, for the very informative talk  on the Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA).
If you are heading to the States, for a bit, or up to your allowed 182 days each year, it sounds very beneficial to join the CSA for a measly $25.00 per family, per year.  You could probably recoup your investment by taking advantage of the Snowbird Currency Exchange Program, with preferred exchange rates and LOW or NO transfer fees for moving funds from your Canadian to US bank accounts.
There are many other benefits too:  CSA Auto club, Auto/ home insurance, personal accident insurance, CSA magazine, travellers report card, travellers check list, travel info guide, to name a few.
The Medipac Travel Insurance sounds like a top-notch travel insurance plan. And if you need a bit of legal advice, CSA also provides members with a free referral service to call for advice.
We also learned that Canadian residents who winter in the U.S. are technically subject to U.S. income tax if they exceed a specific number of days (based on a calculation on the form 8840) in the U.S. in any one year.  To avoid U.S. taxation, IRS form 8840 (Closer Connection Exemption Statement for Aliens) needs to be filed annually with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
 We also learned about “hot zones” today, so here is a pop quiz:, What is a hot zone?
A.     A hot strip, 100 miles wide along the equator?
B.     A guide to all of the ‘red light districts’, around the world?
C.      A band running 100 km on both sides of the border, where the criminal element is keeping an eye on your vehicle for smuggling purposes, prior to crossing the border?
Only the facts have been changed, so if you want more information, you could take Wendy out for a coffee, or you could go to the Canadian Snowbird (not Snow Board) Association at
 Thanks Wendy,
(Hope to see all your smiling faces on October 5.
Take care….
A Reminder:
Our next Club social event is this Saturday (August 26), at 6:40 p.m., at Swalwell Park, featuring a live performance by Jenn Boal and the J.S. Garcia Band.  Invite a friend, bring a lawn chair and a snack that you can share with the group and enjoy a free concert in the park.
Snowbirds...Spread Your Tiny Wings and Fly Away Tom Roth 2017-08-24 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Supported Blood Donor Clinic Coming to Lake Country

Posted by Dave Colquhoun on Aug 17, 2017
Gayle Voyer, Territory Manager, with Canadian Blood Services, joined us this morning to provide an orientation for members who will be working at the Blood Donor Clinic at Winfield Memorial Hall, on August 30. 
Gayle informed us that about half of the 90 available appointments slots have been filled so far.  There is still lots of time to fill the remaining appointment spaces so everyone is asked to encourage our friends and family members to call for an appointment.
Potential donors must be:
·        17 years or older;
·        weigh a minimum of 110 pounds;
·        be in general good health and feeling well;
·        have eaten good meal before donating;
·        be well hydrated.
All interested blood donors should complete the online questionnaire (see above) before calling for an appointment to verify that they are eligible to donate blood.
Other Events
August 19th:  Live in Lake Country at Beasley Park
·        Abba & Fleetwood Mac Tribute Band
·        Rotary food trailer (hot dogs and pop corn) at Beasley Park from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
August 20th : LC Customs and Classics Car Show at Swalwell Park
·        We will be operating a popcorn concession from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
August 26th Social Night: Live in Lake Country  at Swalwell Park
·        Jenn Boal and the JS Garcia Band
·        Invite a friend, bring a chair, beverage & a snack to share
·        Concert and social event from 6:40-9 pm
 August 31st: The Walking Fed
·        Takes the place of our regular morning meeting
·        meet at Swalwell Park at 7 am for breakfast
·        walk the 1 km completed trail section
·        bring friends & family (including pets)
·        please RSVP for food planning purposes
·        chance to win Jack Schultz's bike!
September 9-10th ArtWalk
·        save the date
·        volunteers needed for our Rotary food concession.
September 28  - ‘Frog Talk’ Social Night
·        ‘Frog Talk’ meal with friends to talk about what we like and what could be improved in Lake Country.
·        Part of community input on Official Community Plan update.
·        Invite a friend and enjoy Free pizza and refreshments
·        Event starts at 7 p.m., in Okanagan Room at Holiday Park
Rotary Supported Blood Donor Clinic Coming to Lake Country Dave Colquhoun 2017-08-17 07:00:00Z 0

Honduras Project

Posted by Monika Speitelsbach on Aug 11, 2017

Today we were fortunate to have Ogopogo Rotarian Mandy Hicks update the club on a project we supported:  the Early Childhood Stimulation Project in Honduras. 

The Global Grant on the Tegucigalpa Early Childhood Development/Educational Training of Mothers has been a success. The program in a nutshell: 

·        provide Early Childhood Stimulation (ECS) for 100 children 0-5 years of age

·        provide mothers/care givers training in ECS, nutrition, reproductive health, paternal responsibility, disease prevention & child growth development

·        families involved in the program also have access to a not for profit organization called Alternatives y Oportunidades (AyO) and their umbrella services

Mandy and fellow Ogopogo Rotarian Cathy Goheen travelled to Honduras to audit the program in April. Both were impressed with the state of the finances and the human impact.  

Results of the Global Grant (18 month program):

·        30 Mother Leaders from prior program involved in educating others

·        10 more Mother Leaders being trained

·        Mother's knowledge base grew from 24-39% to 92-96%

·        fewer children needing nutritional supplements

·        improvement in children's motor/language/social and cognitive skills


Another Way to Help Honduras

Help Honduras is a Canadian charity that accepts donations for student scholarships through the AyO programs in Tegucigalpa as well as a separate (but similar) scholarship program in Santa Barbara, Honduras. 

Student scholarships available:

·        Preschool/Kindergarten/Primary School Students: $180/year

·        Secondary School Students (grades 7–12): full year $300/year

·        Secondary School Students (grades 7-12): ½ year $150/year

·        Vocational Student: $350/year                                                                          

·        University Student: $350/year                                                                               

·        Secondary Student Santa Barbara: $250/year   

For more information, please visit


Honduras Project Monika Speitelsbach 2017-08-11 07:00:00Z 0

Let's Have Some Fun

Posted by Dave Colquhoun on Aug 04, 2017

We’ve had a busy schedule of activities this year with the planning of our ‘Ladies Movie Night’ fundraiser in March and the recent Canada 150 celebration at Swalwell Park.

 To celebrate our success, and give our members to a chance to relax and have some fun, your Executive have decided to replace one of our breakfast meetings in the next few months with a social event in the community.

The first group social activity will be a concert on Saturday, August 26, at 6:30 p.m., at Swalwell Park, featuring Jenn Boal and the J. S. Garcia Band.  Please invite a friend, bring an appetizer to share with the group, and enjoy some great music in a relaxing setting.

Speaking of fun, we were happy this morning to have Elaine Gibbons join us to celebrate her birthday.   The ‘birthday girl’ extinguished all the candles on her second try and afterwards, everyone enjoyed a delicious chocolate birthday cake.  Is it just me, or can you also see Elaine’s birthday aura in the above photo?

Our speaker this morning was Alan Gatzke, owner of Gatzke Orchards, and President of Tourism Lake Country.   Alan spoke to us about three subjects that he is passionate about – sustainable agricultural practices, Okanagan Rail Trail governance, and his personal business philosophy (which is remarkably like the Rotary four-way test).

Alan’s discussion about sustainable agriculture focussed on his experience in producing ‘bio-char’, which is a natural compost comprised of ash from burnt tree pruning’s, leaves and chicken manure.  When mixed into the soil, this natural nutrient can sustain plant growth for many years.  The charcoal based compound also helps to absorb carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which is contributing to global warming.

Alan also talked about the challenge of managing the operation and maintenance of the future Okanagan Rail Trail corridor.  These responsibilities are beyond the scope of the interjurisdictional committees which are currently responsible for fundraising and construction activities and will require a sustainable governance model that represents the various government interests along the corridor.

Alan’s work has focussed on securing trade-marks and naming rights to future websites and merchandise for fundraising purposes and reviewing the experience of Rail Trail developments in New Zealand regarding governance matters. 

A copy of Alan’s presentation will be emailed to Club members for their review.

Let's Have Some Fun Dave Colquhoun 2017-08-04 07:00:00Z 0

July 20th Breakfast Meeting 

Posted by Brenda Dewonck

We had an exceptional turnout of members this morning, each one with their own version of personal experiences during the Lake Country fire. Fortunately none of our homes were lost but there were several cases of ‘too close for comfort’.



Even with all our chitchat about last weekend, it was a quieter meeting without our lovely Eeva who now is safely home in Finland amongst her family and Finnish friends. Our club now has its first Rotary Grandbaby with the birth this week of Maire’s daughter in Denmark. How proud we all are!


Patty, the District Youth Exchange Rep, showed us a video of an exchange student to remind us how very important Youth Exchange is for both the student and for the club. We are all energized once again but we need to have a much longer discussion as a club. A special ‘Fireside Chat’ will be scheduled after the summer.


Our club is once again firing up the trusty trailer grill for hotdogs at Live in Lake Country this Saturday at Beasely Park. It is a hard decision as to whether to sign up for hot dog duty or for popcorn duty. If you missed out this time, there is another chance to sign up for August 19.

July 20th Breakfast Meeting Brenda Dewonck 2017-07-20 07:00:00Z 0

A Fast Start to New Rotary Year

Posted by Dave Colquhoun on Jul 06, 2017

A lot has happened in the past three weeks!

On June 22, the happy group (above) were elected as our new Club Executive for 2017/2018 at our annual induction event at Arrow Leaf Estate Winery.   Good food, great fellowship, and some tasty wine were enjoyed by all who attended.

A little over one week later, on July 1st, the Club hosted our first full day Canada Day event at Swalwell Park to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.  The day was highlighted by our traditional Rotary pancake breakfast, followed by full day of family oriented, multicultural stage entertainment and tent exhibits which focused on ‘Celebrating our Past, Present and Future Together’.


Many volunteers from outside the Club stepped forward to help with the breakfast and other activities.  Approximately 2,000 people attended the event over the course of the day and many people commented that they enjoyed the new venue location at Swalwell Park and the diverse entertainment program that was offered.  The Club will use the lessons learned from this years’ experience to make improvements for future full day Canada Day celebrations.

Fast forward to our July 7th breakfast meeting, when Judy Holt, a certified Holistic Life Coach, briefed us on tips to achieve and keep a healthy, balanced lifestyle and weight for life.  If you are interested in learning more about what nutrition and lifestyle changes might be appropriate for you, go to to take a short survey.

A final note:  A farewell event for our Exchange Student, Eeva Hemming, will be held on Thursday, July 13, at 5:30 p.m.   Location - 11290 Bond Road (Cedar Ridge Estates), in the clubhouse at the centre of the complex (Margaret Brown's place).  There will be no breakfast meeting on July 13.

A Fast Start to New Rotary Year Dave Colquhoun 2017-07-06 07:00:00Z 0

What Eeva Learned

Posted by Jim Taylor on Jun 10, 2017


On Thursday morning, June 8, exchange student Eeva Hemming gave us her second, or maybe third, presentation – this time on what she has learned from her year in Canada. Her learnings could provide the club with a “Thought For the Day” for several months:

·         It doesn’t have to be perfect – even an outdoor movie that gets rained on can be fun.

·         People want to be friends; you don’t have to be scared of new contacts.

·         If you’re nice to people, they let you do things.

·         Volunteering introduces you to new people and new experiences.

·         Enjoy the moment, especially if it’s something you can do with other people (yes, even a polar-bear dip on New Year’s day!)

·         When you’re feeling down, distract yourself. Do something worthwhile. (After her best friend in Finland was killed in a skiing accident)

·         Say “Yes” and be grateful for the opportunities that come your way.

·         It doesn’t matter where you’re from, people are all the same. They may think differently, have different values, and different histories, but they are all the same.

Eeva’s final summation: I’ve learned to be more confident. People sometimes say “I’m just one person; I can’t do anything.” It’s not true. You can always try. I’m grateful to Rotary for giving me this opportunity to learn.


Canada Day preparations

                During the time following Eeva’s presentation, the club went over plans for Canada Day. The work will start Friday evening, with set up of tents and facilities. It will last all day Saturday, and everything has to be taken down again Saturday night, because another group has contracted for the use of the park on Sunday morning.

                Brenda cracked the whip: “No one can leave until you’ve signed up for at least two shifts on the weekend!”

                Much of the discussion centred on parking. The parking lot at Swallwell Park will be available only for vendors, organizers, and disabled persons. Others will have to park at GESS, the municipal offices, the Memorial Hall, the Curling Club/Seniors’ Centre area. The Community Policing group will have vests and two-way radios, but it will be important to direct people to places where they can find parking, so that they don’t give up in despair and go home. There will be a shuttle bus between the various parking lots and Swallwell Park.

                The District of Lake Country is providing two more bands for the afternoon entertainment.


What Eeva Learned Jim Taylor 2017-06-10 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary to sponsor Blood Donor Clinic

First of all, apologies for multiple mailings today. Dave Colquhoun and I are trying to figure out the sequence of steps needed to post a bulletin and/o message through the ClubRunner system. If this reaches you, it means that one of us has figured out the system – this time, anyway.
When Gayle Voyer, the territory manager for Canadian Blood Services (CSB) visited our club on Thursday May 20, we learned that Wednesday August 30 was available for a blood donor clinic in Lake Country. At the next meeting, April 27th, the club voted to sponsor a clinic August 30.
CSB has now accepted our offer.
CSB will choose a location – possibly Winfield Memorial Hall, or the Community Complex (at George Eliot Secondary). The club’s responsibility will be to round up donors. To make the clinic viable, CSB needs 100-120 blood donors that day. We will need to contact other organizations – other service clubs, for example, but also recreational and religious organizations – to get their members to come out and give blood.
A dependable supply of blood is crucial for saving lives, especially during the Vacation travel season. Sponsoring this clinic will make Rotary more visible and more respected in the community.  
Rotary to sponsor Blood Donor Clinic 2017-04-29 07:00:00Z 0

April 27, 2017 Dean Rohrs speech

Posted by Jim Taylor on Apr 29, 2017

Instead of a speaker at this Thursday’s meeting, we had DVD of a speech given at the PETS conference by Dean Rohrs of Vancouver, an incoming vice-president of Rotary International. She told of being born into a white family in South Africa where she took for granted her position of privilege.

She told about visiting a friend. Her friend was a veterinarian; her husband a doctor; they had side-by-side offices. Two men walked into the doctor's office and shot him. Dead. To steal about $20.

            When the police had finished doing their forensics, they said, "It's no longer a crime scene. You can clean it up." So who's going to do that? His widow couldn't. So Dean did. She was on her hands and knees, scrubbing up blood off the floor, off the desk, off the walls. And she recalled, "I was so filled with hatred..."

            But she realized, on the plane back to North America, that she couldn't live with that kind of hatred. She realized that she had to find a way to let that scar heal, and realized that the people who committed the murder were also scarred. "We have to make sure that these scars are excised, or healed, or are never formed in the first place," she said. She hoped Rotary was up to it.

            Acts of cruelty and disrespect grow out of cruelty and disrespect in society, she said. We have almost stamped out the polio virus; now we have to stamp out cruelty and disrespect.

April 27, 2017 Dean Rohrs speech Jim Taylor 2017-04-29 07:00:00Z 0

April 27 Breakfast Meeting

Posted by Jim Taylor on Apr 28, 2017

Instead of a speaker at this Thursday’s meeting, we had DVD of a speech given at the PETS conference by Dean Rohrs of Vancouver, an incoming vice-president of Rotary International. She told of being born into a white family in South Africa where she took for granted her position of privilege. Then her parents were sent to the Belgian Congo, as it was then, to supervise refugees fleeing violence. She was 15, and because she was literate, and available, she was given the job of recording the numbers of refugees who came off planes. Mostly, she said, she stood there with a clipboard and counted the number of men, of women, of children.

            Until the day when she greeted a planeload of 50 nuns, who had all been raped and had their hands cut off. When the door opened, she said, she felt overwhelmed by "the fear, the smell, the pain..." And she wondered, "How can one human do that to another human?"

            When she went back to South Africa, she joined the African National Congress, to lobby against apartheid -- a privileged white South African speaking out about the injustices being done by her own people. She was brought up in the Dutch Reformed Church, which taught that all races other than white were doomed, intended by God to be inferior and subservient. As a protester, she was arrested, thrown into the Women's prison. For two weeks. She spoke of iron bars, no light, concrete floors. And she realized that if the authorities were treating her this way, a white South African, what were they doing to black prisoners?

            "Fear came rushing in," she said.

            Years later, she went back to Constitution Hill, now a tourist attraction, and saw it as a symbol of change -- a fortress built on, and by, apartheid, in a society where a black person could receive 50 lashes, just for failing to carry the proper identification documents with him.

            She became convinced that no matter what our birth, every individual must have equal opportunity.

            And Rotary makes it possible, she insisted.

            She told about going to one of the black townships, where a 15-year-old girl came up to her and thrust her baby into Dean's arms, insisting, "Take it, please, take it."

            Fortunately, there were social workers with the group. They explained that in that culture it was believed that if a man had sex with a virgin under 15 years old, he couldn't get AIDS. But of course the girl can. And this one did. The girl – her name was Elizabeth -- had AIDS. Her baby had AIDS. They were both going to die. She had no education, no job. The only hope for her baby was to have someone from outside the country take it.

            But the social workers were able to get help for Elizabeth. She has now graduated from school. Her AIDS is controlled by medication. Her daughter is in school.

            Rotary has built five schools there.

            When the last Rotary team visited, the seven-year-old school children put on a play. They told each other, "Put on a condom."

            She told about visiting a friend. Her friend was a veterinarian; her husband a doctor; they had side-by-side offices. Two men walked into the doctor's office and shot him. Dead. To steal about $20.

            When the police had finished doing their forensics, they said, "It's no longer a crime scene. You can clean it up." So who's going to do that? His widow couldn't. So Dean did. She was on her hands and knees, scrubbing up blood off the floor, off the desk, off the walls. And she recalled, "I was so filled with hatred..."

            But she realized, on the plane back to North America, that she couldn't live with that kind of hatred. She realized that she had to find a way to let that scar heal, and realized that the people who committed the murder were also scarred. "We have to make sure that these scars are excised, or healed, or are never formed in the first place," she said. She hoped Rotary was up to it.

            Acts of cruelty and disrespect grow out of cruelty and disrespect in society, she said. We have almost stamped out the polio virus; now we have to stamp out cruelty and disrespect.

            The DVD ran about 15 minutes overtime. Not one person got up and left. Not one person protested that the meeting had run past closing time. And when the DVD ended, they broke into applause. For a DVD...!

            Anyone who didn’t get to see the DVD last Thursday can borrow it from past-prez Judy Guido.

April 27 Breakfast Meeting Jim Taylor 2017-04-28 07:00:00Z 0

February 9 Breakfast Meeting

Posted by Brenda Dewonck on Feb 09, 2017
  • We are small, but we are mighty when the snow dumps on us!
  • 10 members present and Krystina Rossworm from Telus
  • Jack won table stakes and Margaret was the 'Cupid' Sheriff with very surprising Valentine's Day history - some naughty, some nice!
  • Krystina gave us an update on Telus and the installation of Fibre Optics in the Lake Country area. Once it is up and running, there will be amazing speed for internet use.
  • There was good representation from the club at the Annual Chamber Awards Gala on Feb. 3. We have great ideas for our table next year!
  • Sad news that Vern Nielsen is moving to Hospice. Jim will take our bundle of cards to him ASAP.
  • Reminder to send your make-up dates to Brenda
  • March 11 Ladies Movie Night tickets are available from members or on line - let's fill the place this year!
  • Joanne tried her best to pull the Ace of Spades.....not so lucky.
February 9 Breakfast Meeting Brenda Dewonck 2017-02-09 08:00:00Z 0

January 19 Breakfast

Posted by Brenda Dewonck on Jan 20, 2017
  • 15 members present, 4 guests: Kate Kutzner and Josh Fisher from Kelowna Rotaract, Sharon McCoubrey from COF (Central Okanagan Foundation), and Eeva
  • Dan was table stakes winner and had to squeeze us a bit for Happy/Sads. We quickly complied!
  • Judy G was one tough sheriff with trivia about famous people and the organizations they support. We are definitely not following the lives of the Rich and Famous!
  • The box of 'Happy Thoughts' is ready for your contribution either on a folded piece of paper or on a card. This will be available for the next 2 weeks - start thinking and writing!
  • Kate and Josh presented posters and gave us a rundown of the up and coming 'Masquerade of Hearts' on Feb. 11 at the Okanagan Mission Hall.
  • Sharon McCoubrey showed a short video on the history of the Central Okanagan Foundation on its 40th anniversary. In the celebration of this anniversary each district, including Lake Country, will be allocated a $40,000 endowment which will fund a $1500 scholarship for a qualifying Lake Country resident entering post secondary education.
  • Grant applications to COF are April 1 and October 1.  LC Rotary has already been a recipient of one of these grants for the Food Bank. Organizations may now apply for a multi-year grant (3 years) without reapplying each year. 
  • Plans are well on the way for Ladies Movie Night, March 11 showing 'Mama Mia' - get ready to dance and sing!
  • Monika had her chance at the Ace of Spades, but pulled the Queen of close, but yet so far!
January 19 Breakfast Brenda Dewonck 2017-01-21 00:00:00Z 0
December 8 Breakfast Meeting Brenda Dewonck 2016-12-08 00:00:00Z 0

December 8 Breakfast Meeting

Posted by Brenda Dewonck on Dec 07, 2016
  • 14 members present plus Eeva
  • one guest - Henry Beasley from Ogopogo Club
  • Tom is back from his Spanish travels - how we missed his humour!
  • Banker Brandon quizzed us on bank/$$ trivia. We are not good at banking...Patty did well on coin collections.
  • Reminder of AGM next Thursday - we need  a minimum of 12 voting members
  • We had a turnout of 30 people at last Saturday's Christmas Party which was a hoot and a holler! Great socializing, amazing food as always, hilarious gift exchange (we may see some of them at next years party)
  • Eeva's presentation to the club is December 22. Tomorrow she is attending the Youth Exchange weekend at Silver Star.
  • The Rotary Foundation was named 'World's Outstanding Foundation for 2016' by the Association of Funding Professionals.
  • We did an update on Canada 150 planning and on Ladies Movie Night planning (March 11th)
  • 50/50 draw was with a new deck of cards, and Bob picked an Ace, but it was of Diamonds
December 8 Breakfast Meeting Brenda Dewonck 2016-12-08 00:00:00Z 0

December 1 Breakfast Meeting

Posted by Brenda Dewonck on Dec 02, 2016
  • 16 members present
  • 1 guest - Terry Lachance, sister of Judy Hodson
  • Trish drew her own number for the table stakes.......hmmmm...
  • Sheriff Margaret had us ho-going with Christmas trivia
  • Reminder of AGM on December 15 - we need a minimum of 12 voting members present (and awake)
  • Cory Dixon presented a very interesting classification speech - he has done a lot in his life! And he has brought down the average age of the club!  Thank you Cory!
  • Our Christmas party is this Saturday, December 3rd beginning at 5:30pm. Thanks to Trish and her committee!
  • There will NOT be a meeting on December 29th
  • There was some Lugrin bewitching happening at the meeting as Gord's number was drawn for the 50/50. AND HE DREW THE ACE OF SPADES!  Good job!
December 1 Breakfast Meeting Brenda Dewonck 2016-12-03 00:00:00Z 0

November 24 Breakfast Meeting

Posted by Brenda Dewonck on Nov 23, 2016
November 24 Breakfast Meeting
  • 16 members present plus 'almost awake' Eeva
  • Welcome back to Rich from his travels to Southeast Asia, and to Jack returning from Indiana.
  • Sheriff Jim taxed our brains as we had to recall complete nursery rhymes without repeating a previous quote.
  • Reminder of our AGM on December 15 - we need a quorum of 12 voting members.
  • Executive positions are still available for: Youth Exchange, International, Community Service and Public Relations
  • Judy Hodson reminded us of helping out with NOW Canada for Christmas donations. All donations of women's clothing, in particular pyjamas, slippers, cosmetics, dental care, gift cards (Super Store, Walmart, Save-On etc).  All donations must be in by December 3rd.
  • Saturday November 26 is the official dedication of the Food Bank Building at 12:00 pm where there will be the unveiling of Phyllis' portrait.
  • The basement level of the Food Bank is being developed to be used by Food Banks throughout the Okanagan as general storage for case lot items.
  • Eeva has been encouraged to teach/sing her national anthem. She has been given the lyrics to learn ours!
  • Gord Lugrin presented an overview of Rotary Foundation as it applies to our club.  The majority of club members present today are already recipients of Paul Harris awards. Rotary is the largest funding non-governmental organization in the world. Polio Plus, the drive to eliminate polio worldwide, was started in 1984 and there are only two countries remaining: Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • Although Patty had her finger on it, she did NOT choose the Ace of Spades today. Next week?.....
  • And it was a Cinnamon Bun Day!
November 24 Breakfast Meeting Brenda Dewonck 2016-11-24 00:00:00Z 0

November 17 Breakfast Meeting

November 17 Breakfast Meeting
  • 19 members present
  • 1 'not really a guest' - Eeva, our International Student.
  • Jillian McQuiggin was inducted as our latest member - she brought  the average age down considerably!
  • We made good $$ from Sheriff questions from MacLeans magazine trivia.
  • We are going ahead with Movie Night on March 11 in spite of the costs to Criterion Film (35% of tickets price) 
  • Nominations are being accepted for the Board.
  • The AGM is December 15.
  • Bernard laid a wreath at the Remembrance Day ceremony at George Elliot School. It was noted that there was a very visual turnout of Lions present in the audience. Perhaps Rotary could be well represented next year. 
  • Dave and Bernard gave a very detailed account of what the Canada Day 150 committee has brainstormed thus far. This is a work in progress and there was a good discussion as to how to help make all this work. The major themes are: the Past, Present, and Future of Lake Country.  We will let Rotarians know of the next committee meeting for anyone willing to help out.
  • A sign up sheet was passed around for potluck dinner on Saturday, December 3rd at Holiday Park. Turkey and ham will be provided by the club.
  • The Ace of Spades is still in the deck - Monika was very close to it!
  • Eeva will do a presentation to the club on December 22, There is no meeting on December 29.
November 17 Breakfast Meeting Brenda Dewonck 2016-11-17 00:00:00Z 0

November 10 Breakfast Meeting

Posted by Brenda Dewonck on Nov 09, 2016
November 10 Breakfast Meeting
  • 19 Rotarians present
  • 4 guests: Calvin Hoy (Vernon), Jillian McQuiggin (almost Corporate Member), Jim Hawkins (Assistant Governor), Vern Nielsen (District Governor), and Eeva
  • Jerry Lay's New Year 2016 post card arrived from Thailand
  • the biggest Happy/Sad is that we are all living in Canada - especially since Tuesday's election!
  • sun kissed Dan is back from his travels
  • Jim Hawkins won table stakes and was the wandering coin gatherer
  • No sheriff details this morning as Vern had a lengthy presentation
  • Vern gave an interesting account of the history of Rotary International as well as local Okanagan Rotary, and in particular this is the 100th Anniversary of Rotary Foundation.
  • The Million Dollar Dinner for the International Foundation is being held in Kelowna on April 8, and in Wenatchee on April 7. Get your tickets now!
  • Much encouragement from Vern, and from his video, for members to attend the 2017 District Conference being held in Kelowna.
  • Creekside Bar Service sign up is complete for November: Brenda and Bernard on Nov. 18, Jillian and Margaret on Nov. 19, and Dan and Felena on Nov, 26. Our club will receive $100 for each event we work at. Well done!
  • Patty did NOT extract the Ace of Spades.....maybe next week!
November 10 Breakfast Meeting Brenda Dewonck 2016-11-10 00:00:00Z 0

November 3, 2016 Breakfast Meeting

Posted by Brenda Dewonck on Nov 02, 2016
November 3, 2016 Breakfast Meeting
  • 17 members present
  • 3 guests including Jim Hawkins, (Assistant Governor), Jillian McQuiggin (guest of Joanne DeVries), Anne Marie Kirby (Kelowna Downtown) 
  • Judy Hodson finished hiking through Arizona, and the Grand Canyon is still is Judy.
  • Ken's birthday is next Monday - many happy returns of the day!
  • Happy/Sad - great news that the paving of the driveway to the Food Bank is being done today! Yeah! 
  • Monika played Sheriff and kept us guessing with more Trump-isms and US election trivia. We were not too smart!
  • Anne Marie presented information about Hosting Rotarians for dinner during the District Conference in April. Co-hosting is possible to lessen the task. A sign up sheet was passed around - it is not too late to help out!
  • Jim Hawkins gave us a detailed description of Rotary Foundation - historically and presently.
  • The winning Ace of Spades was NOT drawn by President Bernard....maybe next week!
  • Reminder that Vern Nielsen, District Governor, visits our club next Thursday. 
November 3, 2016 Breakfast Meeting Brenda Dewonck 2016-11-03 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Bulletin:  October 27, 2016

Posted by Brenda DeWonck on Oct 26, 2016

A whole bunch of items

Greetings everyone!  Below is a brief recap of our Breakfast meetings on October 20 and 27, 2016

October 20, 2016 Breakfast Meeting 

o   15 members present

o   2 guests – Eeva, our exchange student, and Ryan Donn

o   Welcome back Margaret!  Happy Travels Gerry!

o   Sunshine Birthdays for Dave and Bob

o   Eeva created Sheriff questions on Finland trivia. We are not very Finnish judging from our answers! 

o   Available Club Members will meet at 8:00am Monday October 24 at Tim Horton’s to promote World Polio Day

o   Canada Day 150 Planning has begun. Ryan Donn, cultural coordinator, was in attendance to help with planning. *** Wanted: members for the committee 

o   October 27 Breakfast Meeting– the club is hosting District Governor Vern Nielsen and Assistant Governor Jim Hawkins  

o   It was Cinnamon Bun Day!

October 27, 2016 Breakfast Meeting

o   16 Rotarians present,

o   2 guests: Eeva, our exchange student, and Jillian McQuiggin (guest of Joanne deVries)

o   Sunshine: ‘First Rotary Dog’, Scout, had a birthday Wednesday, the Dewoncks have birthdays today

o   Very deep thought for the day:  Wave to all children on a school bus

o   Sheriff: Brilliance by Tom - no further explanation needed!

o   Brandon Benner from RBC was inducted as our newest member. Welcome Brandon!

o   Vern Nielsen was to have been our guest speaker today, but at the last moment was admitted to hospital. He has tentatively rescheduled for November 10, 2016.

o   Ken gave us a rundown of the Draft Budget from 2015-16 and the projected one for 2016-17

o   The winning Ace of Spades was NOT drawn by Corey Dixon....maybe next week


Have a great week!

Rotary Bulletin: October 27, 2016 Brenda DeWonck 2016-10-27 00:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap - October 20 and  27

Posted by Brenda Dewonck on Oct 26, 2016


Greetings everyone:

Below is a brief recap of the Breakfast meetings on October 20 and 27

October 20, 2016 Breakfast Meeting 

o   15 members present

o   2 guests – Eeva, our exchange student, and Ryan Donn

o   Welcome back Margaret!  Happy Travels Gerry!

o   Sunshine Birthdays for Dave and Bob

o   Eeva created Sheriff questions on Finland trivia. We are not very Finnish judging from our answers! 

o   Available Club Members will meet at 8:00am Monday October 24 at Tim Horton’s to promote World Polio Day

o   Canada Day 150 Planning has begun. Ryan Donn, cultural coordinator, was in attendance to help with planning. *** Wanted: members for the committee 

o   October 27 Breakfast Meeting– the club is hosting District Governor Vern Nielsen and Assistant Governor Jim Hawkins  

o   It was Cinnamon Bun Day!

October 27, 2016 Breakfast Meeting

o   16 Rotarians present,

o   2 guests: Eeva, our exchange student, and Jillian McQuiggin (guest of Joanne deVries)

o   Sunshine: ‘First Rotary Dog’, Scout, had a birthday Wednesday, the Dewoncks have birthdays today

o   Very deep thought for the day:  Wave to all children on a school bus

o   Sheriff: Brilliance by Tom - no further explanation needed!

o   Brandon Benner from RBC was inducted as our newest member. Welcome Brandon!

o   Vern Nielsen was to have been our guest speaker today, but at the last moment was admitted to hospital. He has tentatively rescheduled for November 10, 2016.

o   Ken gave us a rundown of the Draft Budget from 2015-16 and the projected one for 2016-17

o   The winning Ace of Spades was NOT drawn by Corey Dixon....maybe next week


Have a great week!

Meeting Recap - October 20 and 27 Brenda Dewonck 2016-10-27 00:00:00Z 0

Local Rotarian Exemplifies Rotary Values

Posted by Michael Liddicoat on Sep 14, 2016
Vern Nielsen sits in a chair in Kelowna, British Columbia attached to a tube.  A cocktail of chemicals winds its way through the tube and into Vern’s veins.  This cocktail is just one of three such treatments that Vern must take every two weeks.  The chemicals are searching out a particularly aggressive form of pancreatic cancer.  The survival rate for this disease is about 20% within 12 months.  Vern is in month five.I didn’t hear about Vern in a medical journal.  He wasn’t on the nightly news.  His picture is not on my Facebook feed.  Vern was standing in front of my Rotary club.  As a district governor, Vern has spent the last two years preparing to motivate and guide the 60 clubs in Rotary District 5060, which covers parts of Washington State and British Columbia.  Some might have thought he wasted those two years of preparing. 
The news of his cancer should have changed Vern’s plans.  In his talk, he joked of trading in his time with Rotary for his bucket list.  With the possibility of six months left to live, most people would change their outlook on life.  Vern would tell you he has.  Rather than looking inward though, he is looking outward.  A more egotistical thing might be to take his partner on the trips they never had time for.  Spend cash like there’s no tomorrow and reach his end at frantic pace, trying to accomplish all that he had planned to do in the next 30 years in just 6 months.  Vern is not that kind of man.
Vern told my Rotary club of his desire to help others.  The Rotary International moto is, “Service Above Self.”  You only get to be a district governor by embodying this idea.  Vern has been involved in multiple successful companies.  He has guided numerous non-profit organizations.  Traveling the world to help in other countries and contribute to the betterment of mankind is just one of the many reasons Vern was asked to be a District Governor for Rotary.  As Vern stood in front of my club, he asked all of us to do our part.  The specific ask was very different than I’m used to.
As a Rotarian you are asked to do many things.  Raise money for local playgrounds, gather donations for a local food drive, or fight Polio, a disease which ravaged every country in the world as recently as 50 years ago and until July of 2016 had gone almost an entire year without a new wild case of the disease.  You see Rotarians care about their fellow humans and seek ways to improve their community.  For some clubs this is done on a local scale by giving food to children before the start of the school day so that education instead of hunger can be their focus.  For other clubs their community is the world so they start projects like Polio Plus or the United Nations.  Little projects.
When Vern Nielsen stands in front of your Rotary club as the District Governor and announces that he has pancreatic cancer and will probably not see the end of his term and then says he has an ask, you expect this to be the mother of all asks.  Vern asked us to talk.  No back breaking projects, no huge fund raisers, no world unity events.  Vern Nielsen asked that we talk with our friends about what we do as Rotarians.
You see Vern believes that Rotarians don’t talk enough about what we do.  Rotary International partners with some of the largest organizations and non-profits in the world.  Rotarians have received millions of dollars from organizations to do the work we do.  Tyrants and governors in war torn countries have called cease fires to allow Rotarians to bring aid to their people.  Despite all this Rotarians have been a dying breed for the last few decades.  Each year there are fewer and fewer Rotarians in every community.  Vern Nielsen believes that Rotarians don’t talk enough about what Rotarians do.
All Rotary clubs meet once a week.  It can be breakfast, lunch, dinner or even after work drinks that bring them together.  Guests are always invited but few come for more than one or two visits.  There is a disconnect between the weekly gatherings and the work Rotarians do.  It’s difficult to describe how your Rotary club has impacted your community.  That’s why Rotarians usually put a seal on their projects.  We don’t like to boast and brag about the work we’ve done.  When we build a bus stop for those that need shelter, we don’t ask for a thank you.  We know that it’s being used because we see the people getting a moments rest from the harsh wind.  Rotarians know what the golden gear / wheel or whatever you want to call it means.  Vern believes that it’s not enough for Rotarians to know.  He wants our friends to know what that golden gear / wheel or whatever you want to call it means.
It's friends that often help us reach understanding.  In the time leading up to Vern’s role as District Governor and before his diagnosis there were many trainings and events to go to.  Between one of these a very good friend of his approached him.  This friend walked up and said, “So Vern, I hear you’re going to be the grand poohbah of Rotary.”  In his telling of the story Vern chuckles, “Well not quite.  I’ll be the District Governor.”  His friend of numerous years looked at Vern.  This friend had watched Vern leave many evenings to volunteer, go to trainings, and fly out of the country all in the name of Rotary.  This friend looked at Vern and said, “What is Rotary anyway?”  Vern was speechless.  His friend didn’t know about the most influential group in Vern’s life.  The group that had demanded so much of Vern but provided him with innumerable opportunities to better his community and himself was a foreign word to this friend.  This was where Vern began to understand.
“I knew in that moment that we Rotarians need to tell others about the good we do.  We need to be our own public relations.  We need to speak up about what we do.  Not so that others will join us, but so that others will know.”
At the end of the District Governors speech I stood and applauded.  I applauded for his insight into what we as Rotarians should do to help our communities.  How it was our small contributions that could change the world economy or improve the lives of others.  I applauded for a man who openly admitted that in in four days the drugs that would be coursing through his body would make him into a different man.  A man weak and debilitated.  A man unable to carry the burden his title brought with it.  A tear came to my eye as well.  Before me stood a Rotarian.  A member of a small group of individuals who is striving to make his community better.  For years I too have called myself a Rotarian.  I wondered how many of my friends know what this word means to me. 
Should I walk into the doctor’s office tomorrow and be informed that I too had stage 4 pancreatic cancer, would I behave like Vern Nielson?  The motto of “Service Above Self” is a very nice thing to hang on our meeting wall.  Would I be able to live up to that motto if I faced Vern’s choice?  I don’t know. 
I know that before me on that day stood a man who was happy.  He has had a full life that is potentially being cut short by a terrible disease.  What else would Vern have accomplished had he been given more time?  That thought is not on Vern’s mind.  Doctors cannot tell him how many days he has left.  The treatments he receives in his chair are meant to make them as numerous as possible.  The time he is given by this treatment will be spent doing the thing that means the most to him.  Vern will tell others he is a Rotarian.  He is the man who built toilets in countries you haven’t heard of so that little girls wouldn’t be embarrassed by their periods and could continue to stay in school.  He is the man who helps put jam on toast so students can have a meal before school starts.  Vern Nielsen is a Rotarian.  His personal motto is the same as every Rotarians, “Service Above Self.” 
When Vern’s done taking his medicine he will lie down for a while.  To rest, to rejuvenate, and to recuperate before going to his next Rotary meeting.  Like all of us, Vern will eventually lie down forever.  This time may be sooner than any of us would like.  Vern’s family will have seen the good he’s done.  His friends will remember the times they shared. 
I only got to meet Vern Nielsen once.  In the forty minutes he spoke, Vern inspired me.  He showed me that a motto can be more than words we put on a wall.  I am a Rotarian, just like Vern.  We are all lucky to have neighbors like him.

Local Rotarian Exemplifies Rotary Values Michael Liddicoat 2016-09-15 00:00:00Z 0

August 12, 2016 Bulletin

Posted by Dave Colquhoun on Aug 11, 2016

Former Rotary Exchange Student Leads Ethiopia Water Project

As Rotarians, we know that positive changes in our community can be achieved by rallying individuals and groups to work toward a common purpose.  The new Lake Country Food Bank Project, which was spearheaded by our Rotary Club, is the result of one such collective action.
It’s also been said that good leadership is the key to almost all successful efforts.  This is certainly true in regard to one of our former exchange students, Thomas Scheuba, who has been leading an international water project in Ethiopia.
Thomas is from Vienna, Austria and as many of us will recall, participated in the Rotary Youth Exchange Program in 2010-2011.  During his exchange year, he attended Grade 10 classes at George Elliot High School and was hosted by the Brown, Guido and Colquhoun families.
I also had the pleasure of being Thomas’ counsellor during this time and was impressed by his maturity and interest in world events.  He displayed natural leadership abilities and I think that many of us thought that he would eventually become an important leader in his community.
As it turns out, our instincts about Thomas were correct!  After returning to Austria, Thomas and his local Rotaract Club began planning an ambitious project to construct new sanitary infrastructure in a rural village in Ethiopia.  A simple call to action: ‘Support Ethiopia’, became the name for the project and major fundraising campaign that followed.
 ‘Support Ethiopia’ is planned to include multiple phases and actions to address issues created by rapid population growth, poor sanitary infrastructure and deforestation.  The immediate priority is to provide secure sources of clean water for the local community. 
The fundraising campaign, spearheaded by Thomas’ Rotaract Club, raised sufficient funds to enable the construction of four water cisterns and eight rainwater tanks in 2016.  These improvements are able to provide a secure water supply for as many as 7,000 people.  The required funding was generated from activities such as volley ball competitions and music concerts organized by Rotaract; private donor contributions; and a six thousand dollar donation from our Rotary Club.  The Rotaract group also travelled to Ethiopia and worked with the villagers to construct the new water infrastructure.
The future goal of ‘Support Ethiopia’ is to expand the scope of the project to a wider area and also include new wash houses, solar panels, tree planting and livestock purchases to improve living conditions for the villagers.  Thomas estimates that approximately $700,000 Canadian may eventually be required to fully achieve the Project goals.
Our Rotary Club is continuing to support the work of Thomas’ Rotaract group by contributing an additional three  thousand dollars to ‘Support Ethiopia’ in 2016/2017.  International Service Director, Gord Lugrin, is also meeting with other Kelowna Rotary Clubs to request additional funds for the project.
The success of ‘Support Ethiopia’ serves a reminder of the power of individuals and service groups such as Rotary in making the world a better place.  To view a short YouTube video, produced for ‘Support Ethiopia’, please click on the following link.
August 12, 2016 Bulletin Dave Colquhoun 2016-08-12 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Bulletin Mar 24 16

Posted by Jim Taylor on Mar 29, 2016

Full schedule of activities

Everyone knows that ladies love to get dressed up for special occasions. (I could get in trouble for that statement.) But it’s less fun when their partners think getting dressed up means putting on a clean work shirt.
                That’s why the Rotary Club is sponsoring “Ladies Movie Night” on Saturday April 23. Ladies, leave the guys behind. Come out and show off your finest, to see “The Devil Wears Prada” -- and sample fine chocolate, fine wines from Intrigue Winery, and fine popcorn. Enjoy a spring fashion preview from Tina Louise dresses and Sassy Shoes.
                Tickets cost just $25. The evening starts at 6:00 p.m., at the Creekside Theatre, in the Community Complex at George Elliot Secondary School.
                Every Rotary member received six tickets. So get out there and sell ’em!
No one would refuse to save someone’s life. Even if it cost you some money. Now you have that chance, and it won’t cost you a cent.
                Tom Roth is trying to get a team of Rotarians together to donate blood. It’s one of the few club activities that doesn’t involve raising dollars. You won’t miss a pint of blood. But it will save someone’s life. No one gets a blood transfusion unless they need it.
                So far, Tom has only three members signed up for the Rotary team. You can register at or get the form from Tom directly -- 250-470-8019 or But please return your completed forms to Tom so he can sign up the whole team.
April 30 is Rotary At Work day, again. Kelowna area clubs are doing a food drive for the Kelowna and West Kelowna food banks. As far as I know, our club has not determined a project yet. Watch for it.
On Sunday, May 1, a group of Rotarians will walk for Alzheimers at Mission Creek in Kelowna. Jack Schultz has taken the lead in organizing the group, creatively named “Jack’s Team.” Registration starts at 10:00 a.m., the 2-3 km walk goes from 11:00 a.m. until evening, starting from Mission Creek Regional Park on Springfield Road. Talk to Jack to get involved -- 250-718-3450

Tipping points

                You’ve heard about “tipping points” -- finding the place in a social structure where the smallest input will have the greatest effect. In New York, apparently, fixing broken windows and beautifying basketball courts started the city towards renewal. Polio vaccines are a tipping point. So are Rick Mercer’s mosquito nets.
                The Rotary Club of Lake Country has supported a number of tipping points around the world -- work with the street children of Tegucigalpa in Honduras, water wells in Ethiopia, audiology clinics in India and Pakistan, a children’s hospital in St. Vincent, education for girls and young women in Afghanistan….
                Last Thursday, Erika Van Oyen told the Rotary club about an unexpected tipping point that helps to keep girls in school in Uganda. Read more below.
Rotary Bulletin Mar 24 16 Jim Taylor 2016-03-30 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Bulletin Feb 04 16

Posted on Feb 07, 2016

Catching up on some recent meetings:

January 14: Margaret Brown shares part of her life.
January 21: Louise Boisvert, asking for support for children with invisible disabilities
February 4: Bruce Falkens and Marjolein Lloyd, on the new focus for finding and keeping members.
Rotary Bulletin Feb 04 16 2016-02-08 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Bulletin Jan 07 16

Posted by Jim Taylor on Jan 12, 2016

Hidden details in Food Bank handover

If you weren’t standing close by, you might have missed one of the unforgettable moments connected to the handing over of the new Food Bank building.
                It started when the ceremony, originally scheduled for December 23 as a Christmas present for Food Bank founder Phyllis MacPherson, had to be abruptly postponed when Phyllis died four nights before.
                “How about January 6th?” someone suggested.
                “Over lunch? In the afternoon?” someone else asked.
                Just like that, the decision was made.
                From that moment on, life felt like paddling a canoe at the top of a waterfall, trying not to get swept over the brink. Over 200 donors to invite by phone. Caterers to call. Sandwiches to make. Dignitaries to contact. Media to co-ordinate.
                As the river rushed faster toward the falls, previously unidentified needs emerged. A PA system. A guest book. A slide show of construction progress.
                Even then, crucial details got overlooked. Mayor James Baker and club president Monika Jatel prepared to hand over the keys to the new building to representatives of the Food Bank.
                Oops. Keys? What keys? Where?
                With great presence of mind, provincial MLA Norm Letnick slipped his car keys into Monika’s hand. Monika passed them along without losing a beat. Without blinking, the two Food Bank representatives graciously accepted symbolic ownership of Norm’s Smart Car – a space even smaller than what they currently work out of!
                Everyone applauded.

New Lake Country initiatives

                Ryan Donn, the new Cultural Development person for the District of Lake Country, talked to us last Thursday morning. “Culture is not something we receive from someone else,” he said. “It’s something we do together.”
                Although he is replacing Horst Jassman as coordinator for the Creekside Theatre and Community Complex, his job is bigger than theatre performances. He wants to involve the whole community in events like a Children’s Festival this spring, with over 1000 children taking part. That’s one of his first goals. He’s planning other events 18 months ahead, so as to coordinate all groups. “The only people who have done that, so far,” he said, “are ArtWalk.”
                He will include in his planning process Rotary’s role in Canada Day celebrations, July 1, and our annual fund-raiser, the Sip Sample and Savour event this spring.

Other opportunities

  • January 23, a “Travel Night” social, at Holiday Park Resort in the Sweetlife Building. Maargaret Brown will show pix and talk about China; Judy Hodson will do the same for the Narrow Boats of England that wander through the countryside on a network of rivers and canals. Time: 7 pm to 9-9:30 p.m. Snacks provided, but BYOB.
  • The next day, January 24, the Rotary Club of Kamloops hosts their annual “Curling Fun-Spiel” at the Kamloops Curling Club, 700 Victoria Street, Kamloops. This is not intended as a fund raiser, however any surplus will be donated to our local food bank.  Registration 8:30 a.m., on the ice by 9:15 a.m., no host Bar opens 11:00 a.m., off the ice by 2:30 pm.(The lounge will be open after our event for convenience & Fellowship.) Entrance fee $25.00 per person, includes lunch and tea or coffee. All participants will be matched to a team, if they come as singles.
Rotary Bulletin Jan 07 16 Jim Taylor 2016-01-13 00:00:00Z 0

Food Band Building handover

Posted by Jim Taylor on Jan 04, 2016

New building handed over to Food Bank

On Wednesday January 6, the Lake Country Food Bank will have a new permanent home.
                After four years of research and fund-raising, the Rotary Club of Lake will hand over the keys to a new 2600 square foot warehouse and office building at 3:30 p.m. January 6.
                All the individuals and businesses who made donations of money, materials, or services have received special invitations to the handover. This notice invites all Rotarians and former Rotarians to join in the celebration.
Bob Rymarchuk, the Rotary member who has been most involved with the project from the beginning, estimates that over 250 people have made financial donations. “One donor who prefers to remain anonymous gave $50,000,” Rymarchuk says. “Our MLA Norm Letnick started us off with a personal donation of $10,000.”
                The biggest single boost to the financial campaign came from Aviva Insurance Company, when the Food Bank project won the $100,000 Grand Prize in Aviva’s Community Fund contest. Aviva has since contributed an additional $5,000 for publicity expenses.
                Other significant grants have come from organizations such as the Central Okanagan Foundation, Farm Credit Canada, and the Southern Interior Development Initiative. Ten students from Okanagan College’s Vernon campus Trades and Apprenticeship program gave an estimated 6,000 hours of labour to erect the walls and roof.
                In additional to the main floor, which will be used entirely by the Lake Country Food Bank, there is also a lower floor available for use by some other community organization.
                The transfer of ownership of the new Food Bank building was to have taken place before Christmas, as “the best Christmas present in Canada,” but was deferred when Phyllis McPherson, the original founder of the Lake Country Food Bank, died December 19th.
Food Band Building handover Jim Taylor 2016-01-05 00:00:00Z 0

Special request Dec. 11 15

Posted by Jim Taylor on Dec 10, 2015

Let’s get it finished!

Tom Roth put in an urgent request – he needs your help tomorrow, Saturday, December 12 to bring the new Food Bank building closer to completion.
                The work party starts at 8:30, but come out anytime you can put a few hours of work in to help out.
                Generally speaking, Tom will provide the direction and some of the tools. If you have any of these, bring them along:
  • Utility knife
  • Cordless drills
  • Knee pads
  • Work gloves
  • Masks (filter)
  • Paint rollers and pans
                “Oh, yes,” says Tom, “if you have any Christmas baking you weren’t expecting to use over the next few days, bring it along too.” Tom will provide lots of coffee, enough donuts, and pizza or some equivalent for lunch.
                It would also help if you can carpool, because there is an event on at the area, so parking will be limited. You may have to park fairly far away.
                The new building is almost ready to turn over to the Food Bank staff. Some of the warehouse area walls have already been painted. The municipal sewer and B.C. Hydro connections have been made. But there are still a bunch of details to clear up. Any help you can give will make completion before Christmas a reality.
                It’s been a long road to get this far. Let’s get the job finished.
Special request Dec. 11 15 Jim Taylor 2015-12-11 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Bulletin Dec 03 2015

Posted by Jim Taylor on Dec 04, 2015

Tonight’s the night

                As of Thursday morning, 20 people had signed up to come to the Rotary Club’s Christmas party, with another four possibles.
                The room at Holiday Park opens at 5:00, for set-up. Cocktails and appies continue at 5:30, with a potluck dinner starting at 6:00. If you haven’t signed up, come anyway – with pot-luck dinners, it seems, there’s always a surplus available for unexpected guests.

Final push towards completion

                Tom Roth is holding another Work Party for final work on the Food Bank building on Saturday Dec 12. The new building is now connected to the municipal sewer line. So the finishing touches include installing toilets, laying down the sub-floor and flooring, doing some painting, etc.
                Bob Rymarchuk told the club on Thursday morning that the building can probably be turned over to the Lake Country Food Assistance Society (the Food Bank) on December 22 or 23 – a just-in-time Christmas present!
                Club members expressed some disappointment about a recent news item on Global Okanagan, which seemed to focus on the failure to have the building ready for the annual Christmas rush, while missing the incredible accomplishment in getting it this far.
                The exterior walls may remain clad in stylish plastic wrap for a while, until enough money comes in to cover siding or stucco. At the moment there’s not enough cash in the bank to cover exterior siding. Two recent grants have come in; two more, possibly worth another $25,000, may come in. If they do, we will probably have enough to cover completion of the building.
                Donations continue to be welcomed.
                Exterior landscaping is not the club’s responsibility. The District of Lake Country has allocated $100,000 for landscaping during 2016.

Everyone knows Jerry, don’t they?

                Most of the club’s current members joined long after the long-term members gave their “classification” talks. To encourage better awareness of each other, the club is asking some of those long-time members to tell their stories again.
                So last Thursday, geotechnical engineer Jerry Lay told about how he came to get his hands dirty. It started, he said, on a farm in Beaverlodge, AB. He was responsible for feeding and cleaning up after his father’s herd of cattle in 35-below-zero (on the old Fahrenheit scale) temperatures. However, one of those steers was his own 4H project. He sold his steer for enough to put himself through first year engineering in Edmonton. A succession of jobs and summer jobs led him into geophysics. Almost by chance, Jerry sent a resume to a firm in Kelowna, got accepted, and settled down in the Okanagan.
                He joined Rotary when he visited Bob Rymarchuk’s tiny copy shop in what is now the Professional Building on Highway 97. Bob invited him for free breakfast, and told him if he joined, he would get to be a big wheel. That was 21 years ago.

Christmas and New Year’s meetings

                Last year, the club cancelled the meetings that would have occurred on the mornings of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. After all, who’s going to get up in the darkness after staying up late to celebrate New Year’s Eve, just so they can lose another $5 to the Sheriff?
                This year, the regular meetings would be scheduled for the day preceding Christmas and New Year’s.
                Rather than cancel the meetings entirely, the executive decided to offer informal gathering on those two days for people whose life just isn’t complete without a weekly fix of Rotary. Members are invited to gather for coffee, yummy cinnamon buns, and good fellowship in Louise’s Country Café, downstairs from our usual meeting room. No agenda, just conversation.
                However, Louise does need to know approximately how many to prepare for. Please talk to Trish Lugrin about attendance.

Other coming meetings

                Dec. 10  will be the Annual General Meeting with election of next year’s officers. Attack advertising is not permitted. Expect lively competition for the privilege of being president-elect, though.
                Dec. 17 will be a Christmas Singalong led by Brenda and Bernard Dewonck.

Youth exchange stuff

                This last year, the club took a year off from the usual Youth Exchange program with students from overseas locations, so that we could make a bigger donation towards the construction of the new Food Bank building.
                Youth Exchange will resume next year, 2016-17. Patty Garrett has been working with student applicants. Our outgoing student decided she would rather defer her participation until the following year, so our outgoing student will be Megan Sawatsky from West Kelowna. She will come and visit us.
                Our inbound student is, of course still unknown.
                Those who will be hosting or working with inbound and outbound students need to have approved Criminal Records checks. These are now good for five years after completion. They’re also necessary for anyone working with vulnerable adults. Go to the Online Link: and use Access Code: E7E2TA5JEY
Rotary Bulletin Dec 03 2015 Jim Taylor 2015-12-05 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Bulletin Nov 19 2015

Posted by Jim on Nov 22, 2015

Weekend work party moves Food Bank closer to completion

Seventeen volunteers put in a full day’s work on Saturday November 21 to install wall covering on the interior walls of the new Food Bank building. Six of those were Rotarians; the rest came from the community – a sign of the growing community support for the project.
                Although construction manager Tom Roth would have preferred to have drywall on the walls, the decision had to be made to go with OSB (oriental strandboard) for financial reasons. “We can’t spend money we don’t have,” said Bob Rymarchuk.
                After four years that started with investigating existing buildings that could be renovated to suit the Food Bank’s needs, the new permanent home is nearing completion. Once flooring and shelving is finished, the Food Bank can begin to move its operations to the new site.
                But that won’t happen until January 2016. During the Christmas season, the 600 or so clients that the Food Bank serves every month can rise to around 1000. It’s too much to expect the 60 volunteers to serve that increased clientele while at the same time moving supplies out of the two small rooms in the basement of the former Winfield Elementary School into the new premises.
                Once the building is finished, a Grand Opening Handing-Over Ceremony will be planned, with the public invited.

The gift of eyesight

                Cathy Goheen is no stranger to the Lake Country Rotary Club. On her last visit, November 19, she promoted two projects with her characteristic enthusiasm.
                Cathy talked first about her personal project, providing eyeglasses for village people in Central America. Cathy collects used eyeglasses from optometric offices through the Okanagan. She laughs about taking two suitcases full of used eyeglasses through airline check-ins and border examinations.
                But she gets serious when she talks about the effect of those eyeglasses. In one location, she said, a young lout leaned skeptically against a post, watching scornfully as villagers lined up to receive glasses. Cathy invited him to take the vision test. His eyesight was minus-11 – so bad that in a classroom he could barely have seen a blackboard, let alone what the teacher might have written on it. He needed what we sometimes talk about as “Coke-bottle” lenses. Cathy found a pair that was close, only about a half diopter out. She put them on his face, and watch an amazed smile break out. For the first time, he could see the faces of people around him. He could see that people liked him. With vision, he could get a job, get an education, get a life.
                “He walked out like he had found a new world,” Cathy said.
                She welcomes all old glasses, any old glasses, including Grandpa’s sunglasses. For the recipients, anything is better than nothing at all.
                “This is the most selfish thing I have ever done in my life,” Cathy told the club. “I get some much back out of handing out eyesight to someone who needs it.”

The gift of education

                Cathy Goheen’s second reason for visiting us was to promote support for the Street Children of Tegucigulpa project. Unlike many of the projects Cathy visits as an auditor (sort of) for Rotary International where, she says, adequate accounting records are often omitted, the Tegucigulpa project has been going for 20 years without a hitch. Its founder, Don Kaminsky, is a British Columbia doctor who keeps very close tabs on what happens.
                Tegucigalpa, the capital city of Honduras, is a dangerous place for children. Businesses think that having children hanging around drives away business. The police often shoot to kill. If the children hear a car backfire, they dive for cover. “It is not a safe place,” Cathy said.
                The project not only provides for, and rehabilitates, the street children, it works with their mothers who get the services of a nurse, a midwife, and medical care; their children get to go to school. Through microcredit programs, the mothers can become self-supporting. Many of the mothers can now afford to send their children to school, rather than depending on the Rotary program.
                Lake Country Rotary supports the Tegucigulpa Street Children’s Program with an annual donation through Rotary International.

Clubrunner improvements

                Lake Country Rotary uses the Clubrunner Internet program to keep attendance records and to communicate with members and with the Rotary District. Since Dave Colquhoun talked about updating personal profiles, most records have improved – but apparently there are still five members who don’t know how old they are!
                The Communications Committee (Monika Jatel, Judy Guido, and Jim Taylor) have undertaken to update and weed out the mailing lists generated by Clubrunner. Jim has sent a query to 30 persons on the “Other” list, to see if they want to continue to receive communications from the club, and will start soon on a list of 75 former members, most of whom have not been heard from in years.
                If you should happen to receive multiple requests about these communications, blame the duplications and overlaps in multiple lists – don’t get mad at Rotary for bugging you!
Rotary Bulletin Nov 19 2015 Jim 2015-11-23 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Bulletin Nov 03 2015

Posted by Jim Taylor on Nov 09, 2015

Food Bank building nearing completion

                Lake Country's new home for the Food Bank is nearing completion. The sub-trades have install heating and air-conditioning, plumbing, and electrical services. The underground connections to B.C. Hydro and to the municipal sewer will come soon.
                As things stand at present, the building will be complete by Christmas – slightly behind initial plans, but still more or less on schedule, and on budget. Plans are underway for a ceremony to hand over the keys to the Food Bank shortly before Christmas. However, the Food Bank will not move in until the new year.
                Most of the year, the Food Bank serves 600 or so customers a month. During the Christmas season, that number may rise to 1000. To shut down the present facilities, move all the supplies into the new building, on top of dealing with Christmas hampers and the additional demand, would be too much for the Food Bank’s 60 or so volunteers.
                So the move will wait until early 2016.
                In the meantime, project manager Tom Roth is looking for help.
                On Saturday, November 21, he will need an all-day work party to install sub-flooring, and perhaps some of the wall surfaces. The warehouse space will be OSB panelling, the office and service facilities will be drywalled. Tom will provide much of the equipment needed; if you have your own equipment that could prove useful, contact Tom at a meeting, or by calling 250-470-8019.
                Tom also needs a couple of helpers available on call for jobs that require a little more skill and competence than driving screws. Again, contact Tom to offer your services.

Culmination of four years’ effort

                For the past four years, fund-raising and publicity for the Food Bank project has dominated our club’s agenda. Over that time, the 23-member club has raised approximately half a million dollars in donations of cash, materials, and services -- including winning the top national prize of $100,000 in the Aviva Insurance Community Fund competition last winter.
                Once the Food Bank building is finished, the club will be looking for new projects that can make it better known throughout Lake Country.
                A last week’s meeting, Judy Guido divided members into three groups to consider
a) present activities that we could do better, to improve Rotary’s image in the community
b) key messages that we needed to present to the community
c) a draft statement of our priorities and programs.
The proposals developed in small groups will be further researched and developed.

Neither male nor female

                About 20 percent of the members of the Lake Country Rotary Club apparently have no gender!
                One way of improving the club’s communication, both with its members and with the community, is to make better use of the technical services available through the Clubrunner program. At the meeting October 29, secretary Dave Colquhoun asked members to update their profiles, noting that several members had failed to indicate even whether they were male or female.
                Part of the process involves making the club's web page more appealing, with a greater variety of information available to non-member visitors.
Rotary Bulletin Nov 03 2015 Jim Taylor 2015-11-10 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Bulletin Oct 22 2015

Posted on Oct 25, 2015
Rotary Bulletin Oct 22 2015

Going waterless, or at least less water

Let’s get one thing straight – zeri-scaping is not zero-scaping.
                Zero-scaping, said speaker Gwen Steele at last week’s meeting, consists of burying your green stuff under a pile of ugly rocks and thinking you’ve done something to make this planet better. Zeri-scaping means deliberately growing plants that use minimal water and still look attractive. Gwen made her point with dozens of pictures of gardens that look lush and colourful, but may never need watering.
                She drew our attention to a zeriscaping website and database, that lets you choose everything from the colour of a flower, to when it blooms, to how big it gets, to… well, if you can think of it, the database will cover it. You choose the plant characteristics you want, push the button, and the database will provide you with details and pictures of a dozen or more plants that will fit your need – and where you can buy them. For details, see:
                In case you’re wondering, xeriscaping does include grass – but with efficient irrigation and mulching to conserve water.
                Gwen painted a persuasive economic picture for properly planned gardens. Both kinds cost the same to start, she showed, but over ten years, a properly planned and maintained garden will cost the homeowner $44,000 less.
                Instead of using Roundup to get rid of weeds, she recommends a spray of full strength household vinegar (7% or better), with some salt, and some household dishwashing detergent to help the vinegar solution stick to leaves.
                With climate change rushing upon us, water restrictions are coming. We might as well get ready now.

Food Bank Building

                We are still on track to have the Food Bank move its operations into the new building in November, in time for the Christmas rush.
                Bob Rymarchuk told us that one of the sub-trade bids (for heating and air conditioning, I think) had come in $24,000 less than the estimate, which provides a big boost to the remaining funds for covering other sub-trade installations.

Other news

                Last spring, the club voted to adopt a section of Bottom Wood Lake Road.  Member Glenn Downs as been patrolling the road regularly and cleaning up the garbage and litter. By making Bottom Wood Lake Road look good, Glenn makes us look good.
                Rotary district 5060 is thinking about re-aligning clubs within its area. There was some acid discussion about the merits – or lack thereof – of moving our club into the Vernon area. Stay tuned.
Rotary Bulletin Oct 22 2015 2015-10-26 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Bulletin Oct 15 2015

Posted by Jim Taylor on Oct 17, 2015

Three weeks of news

MLA Norm Letnick is always an interesting speaker. On Thursday October 15, he talked informally about his efforts to bring the Highway 97 bypass to completion, about being a new grandfather, about working with cabinet colleagues who don't always see things his way, about his work as Minister of Agriculture...
                In the near future, Norm assured us, there will be improvements to the intersection of the new highway section with Pelmewash Parkway. Also, Highway 97 will be six-laned from Highway 33 in Kelowna to Edwards Road, just north of Sexsmith, with a completely redesigned intersection at Rutland Road.
Catching up on past news, Bob Rymarchuk announced that the Food Bank's building fund had received an unexpected donation of $10,000 from Valley First Credit Union, and a $4,600 donation from the car show. "We're almost there," Bob said.
                He can't put a final figure to the completion costs, because some estimates are coming in a little lower than expected, others a little higher. But on the whole, we're on track for completion in November.
On Thursday October 8, treasurer Ken Guido led us through the club budget for the coming year.
                Very loosely, we're expecting to receive about $36,000 from Gaming Funds, which we will dispense in 14 donations to worthy local organizations. The largest sum currently is designated for WALC, the organization that builds hiking, biking, and walking trails throughout Lake Country.
                Some new organizations recommended to the club for donation are Camp Arrowflight (a Boys & Girls Club project); Project Literacy; the B.C, Schizophrenia Society; and Adventures in Tourism.
                Our own fund-raising efforts netted about $1800 from ArtWalk, which is a little more than we netted last year -- $1600. We also received about $1800 as donated food, bringing this year’s total profit to around $3600. Also, this year for the first time, we have a detailed breakdown on which foodstuffs brought in how much money, thanks to the Dewonck's passion for data.
And going back still farther, on October 1 Mayor James Baker gave us the inside scoop on the city's negotiations with the province on transferring Pelmewash Parkway over to the District of Lake Country. And the latest on negotiations with Canadian National Railways over the transfer of the rail line.
                At that point, the former professor of anthropology took over from the mayor, and we got far more information than we expected about how the "indian" people got moved, and moved again, and granted a lease on the Commonage lands, and had an easement imposed on their lease so that CN could build the rail line...
                Unfortunately, I couldn't take notes fast enough to get it all down.

Coming events

  • Wine and cheese night, Saturday October 23, at the meeting room in Margaret Brown's townhouse complex, 11290 Bond Road.
  • Christmas party on Friday December 5, 5:00 p.m. at our regular meeting room in Holiday Park. A sign-up sheet for Potluck contributions will be going around.
  • Because both Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve fall on Thursdays this year, the Executive propose that we have no official meetings those two weeks, but offer a casual breakfast for those who want to get together, at the Country Kitchen Store directly below our usual meeting room.
  • We need volunteers to sit on the Fund-Raising Committee, to help coordinate our events.
  • We also need a volunteer to lay a wreath on behalf of Rotary at the Remembrance Day memorial service, Nov. 11.
Rotary Bulletin Oct 15 2015 Jim Taylor 2015-10-18 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Bulletin Sep 28 15

Posted by Jim Taylor on Sep 28, 2015
Rotary Bulletin Sept. 29, 2015

Giving without fund-raising

                On September 24, Gayle Voyer, territory manager of Canadian Blood Services, talked about the need for whole blood donations.
                You may not know that blood has a shelf life. After 42 days, it has to be discarded, or re-processed for other blood products, so there’s a constant need for a fresh supply. Nationally, Canadian Blood Services collects about 10,000 units every month. The local operation normally maintains about eight day’s supply, but in high-accident periods that may sometimes drop to as little as three day’s supply.
                Although more than half of us know someone who has needed a blood transfusion, only one in 20 actually gives blood. “Give” is the important word. In Canada, you don’t get paid for donating blood, and you don’t pay to receive blood.
                Until recently, no one over 61 could become a new blood donor. As of this week, that age restriction has been removed. Which makes most of our club eligible to give blood.
                Gayle referred to what they call their “Partners for Life” program, where corporations and organizations commit to providing 15 units of blood per year. Perhaps this is something Rotary clubs could consider, a way to provide service that doesn’t require fund-raising?

Other club info

  • Six of the seven recipients of Rotary bursaries attended the club meeting September 17 for breakfast: Harman Brar, Lauren Kim, Tayla Krogfoss, Michelle Machalka, Taylor McRae, and Tyson Meraw.. Taylor Schilling, our seventh recipient, was unable to attend. Several of the bursary recipients brought along members of their families. We had almost as many guests as members that morning, so the singing of Oh Canada was unusually vigorous!
            The bursaries are based on a combination of academic prowess and community service work. Last year, Rotary made $8,000 available to graduates of George Elliot Secondary School for further post-secondary education.
  • Final figures are not in yet from Rotary’s participation in ArtWalk, September 12 and 13, but Bernard Dewonck estimates that we had a total revenue of about $4600, expenses of around $1000, and therefore a profit of about $3600.  Rotary ran an ad in The View to thank those who had donated food and/or supplies, especially Harlan’s Foods and Beverages, who provided the slushie machine.
  • Brenda Dewonck is now a full member of Rotary. She got tired of being only part of a “family” membership.
  • And just in case you wondered if you were still capable of driving safely, if your dog looks like this….
Rotary Bulletin Sep 28 15 Jim Taylor 2015-09-29 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Bulletin Sep 15 15

Posted by Jim Taylor on Sep 14, 2015
Rotary Bulletin Sept. 15 2015
Let’s see – we had a meeting on Thursday, an Aviva performance on Friday, ArtWalk on Saturday and Sunday… Monday was Recovery Day, a time to catch up on all the things we didn’t have time to do over the weekend. And now here it is Tuesday, and Monika is attending a meeting of the area presidents, and whoops, there’s another club meeting coming up in just two days, when the beneficiaries of our bursary program are expected to attend, and we’re all expected to look bright and lively. And the wheel goes 'round and 'round...

Aviva celebrates our Food Bank Building

                On Friday September 11, around a hundred Lake Country residents gathered at the new Food Bank Building on Bottom Wood Lake Road, next door to the Seniors’ Centre, to celebrate progress. Five representatives of Aviva Canada were there in yellow T-shirts, along with their own tame camera operator, to gather interviews and opinions. They wanted to use our story to kick-off their national Community Fund campaign.
                You can see the edited video they shot at
                Food Bank Founder Phyllis McPherson said it best at the end of her on-camera interview: “Miracles can happen. This is one of them.”

ArtWalk keeps people very busy

                Once again Rotary used the food trailer to serve hundreds of people thronging through the annual ArtWalk displays, September 12 and 13. As of the time of writing, I don’t have figures on ArtWalk attendance, or on revenues from sales of hot dogs, hamburgers, perogies and sausage, and coffee. This year we added two new money-making venues – a popcorn machine and a cappuccino slushie-making machine. Both were kept busy right through both days of service.
                A shortage of people covering shifts meant that many members (and their spouses) put in extra shifts cooking, serving, and cleaning up. Bernard and Brenda Dewonck in particular worked about 12 hours a day; after two full shifts at the trailer, they spent Saturday evening slicing up 40 pounds of onions!
                One exhibitor in the Community Complex atrium commented that it was hard to talk seriously about art with the aroma of frying onions wafting through the open doors….

District Governor gives us the thumbs up

                On Wednesday evening, September 9, District Governor Greg Luring from Yakima, at the south end of district, with his wife Jan, visited our club’s executive meeting. Then the two of them came out again Thursday morning for our regular club meeting.
                Jan took on the role of greeter, extending a hand to everyone who came in through the door.
                Unlike some past DG speakers, Greg didn’t spend much time praising Rotary International as an organization. “The place where things happen is at the local level,” he said, referring to our Food Bank project. “I use you guys as an example wherever I go.”
                He made some highly complimentary comments also about the Youth Exchange program which, although organized through RI, depends on local clubs to make it fly. He talked about his own daughter Kimberly going to India 25 years ago: “She wasn’t among strangers – they were Rotarians!” Youth Exchange, he said, is the kind of program that builds one-to-one relationships around the world.
                Currently the owner of 13 McDonalds franchises in the Yakima area, he drew parallels between Rotary and McDonalds. “There are 34,000 individual Rotary clubs around the world,” he said, “and 35,000 McDonalds franchises, in most of the same countries. And they both depend on local initiatives to thrive.”
                His final advice was to break the rules, whenever necessary. “Rules are just written on paper,” he said, dramatically ripping a page out of a fat Rotary manual. “There are no Rotary cops out there. If there’s something you want to do, and it will fit the Rotary Four-Way Test, you have my DG’s pre-approval to go ahead and do it.”

Looking ahead

  • This week, Rotary bursary recipients and their families will be our guests.
  • Saturday night, there’s a Games Night at the Okanagan Centre Hall. Elaine Gibbons writes, “The Hall will open at 7:30 pm, to friends and neighbours. Bring a board game, a musical instrument, a snack to share, and an idea for future Community nights. Coffee, tea and soft drinks will be provided...all at no charge. (But donations are always gratefully accepted.) We are hoping to have a ping pong table set up, along with a popcorn machine for hot, fresh, buttered popcorn. Would be nice if you indicated if you’re interested so we have some idea as to numbers.” If you’re planning to attend, call Elaine Gibbons at 250-766-2372.
Rotary Bulletin Sep 15 15 Jim Taylor 2015-09-15 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Bulletin Sep 7 15

Posted by Jim Taylor on Sep 06, 2015
Rotary bulletin Sept. 7, 2015

Food Bank building now insulated

                A work party Saturday morning September 5 got all the exterior walls of the new Food Bank building insulated. About 16 people showed up for the work party – 11 Rotary members and five friends. Tom Roth spent most of the morning on top of a scaffold, insulating the upper reaches of walls that go up, in some places, 14 feet. Towards the end of the work party, he was joined by Bernard Dewonck. Oxygen was not needed, but most workers wore masks to protect against inhaling fiberglass fibres.
                Even the north-facing wall of the ground floor, which is not part of the Food Bank operation, got completed.
                Coffee on arrival, hot dogs at lunch, and a general mood of conviviality kept the work moving along steadily, in good humour and harmony.

Not your ideal vacation spot

                Haiti has its exclusive all-inclusive vacation resorts, but if you leave their fenced-in environs, the rest of Haiti is not a pretty place to visit, according to Bob Charron, who has been there twice on RCMP missions. Speaking to the club on Thursday morning September 3, Bob traced a history of violence and colonialism that has rendered the nation almost helpless to improve itself.
                Since Columbus discovered the island in 1492, there has been only one brief outbreak of democracy. In a mere 55 years, the Spanish rulers wiped out the nation’s entire native population, and imported African slaves. When the slaves revolted – the first such revolution in the Americas – their own tyrants treated the people just as badly.
                As a measure of the island’s poverty, said Bob, the average Haitian family expects to have 12 children, of whom just two will survive to the age of 18. Haiti has the highest infant mortality rate in the world.
                Even so, the RCMP efforts to train local police and change the social climate had some results. When his group arrived, Bob reported, the area they were policing had 54 murders or violent deaths a day. By the time they left, they had that toll down to three a month.

Other notes

  • Margaret Brown won a free table at Health & Wellness Fair for the club to promote its programs and projects. The fair runs from 10-3 on October 3rd.
  • Everyone is needed to make a public presence on Friday Sept. 11 at noon when Aviva Canada kicks off its fall Community Fund campaign. Aviva has chosen our Food Bank as its flagship example of what can be done, and will make a video that will be seen all across Canada The Club trailer will be on site serving hot dogs & drinks. Please come out and be part of an enthusiastic crowd.
  • District Governor Greg Luring will be visiting the club this coming Thursday morning, Sept. 10th, and will meet with the club executive Wednesday evening.
  • Roger Brett was thanked for making a$1000 donation to theFood Bank Building Fund during last week’s meeting
Rotary Bulletin Sep 7 15 Jim Taylor 2015-09-07 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Bulletin Aug 27 2015

Posted by Jim Taylor on Aug 30, 2015
Rotary bulletin Aug 27, 2015

Aviva Fund thinks we’re the best!

                The Aviva Insurance Company has chosen our campaign to build a permanent home for the Lake Country Food Bank as the success story to launch its 2015 Community Fund contest.
                At noon on Friday September 11, Aviva executives and a video crew will be on site to create a video showing how the Community Fund can stimulate projects that benefit a whole community. Please plan to come out, and bring your neighbours and friends along. The Club will provide free hot dogs and drinks for lunch.
                As you know, the Food Bank project won the $100,000 grand prize in the Aviva Community Fund competition last year, thanks to a community-wide drive for on-line voting.
                Since then, Aviva’s donation of $100,000 enabled the Rotary Club to commence construction. Students in the trades apprenticeship program at Okanagan College (Vernon) provided 6,000 hours of free labour to erect the walls and roof. Since then, doors and windows have been installed and sub-trades are ready to begin electrical and plumbing connections.
                A work party this coming weekend will install insulation in the outer walls, starting at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday September 5. We need about 20 people. Wear long sleeves and long pants and eye protection ; masks, gloves, and instruction will be supplied.
                With the continued help and support of local individuals and businesses, the building should be ready for Food Bank volunteers to move supplies and services in by November, before the Christmas rush.

Hospital volunteers

                Nancy Wells came to talk to the club for the morning meeting Thursday August 27, about the volunteer program run by the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation. All of the shops in the hospital – the Perking Lot coffee shop, the flower shop, the engraving shop, the gift shop – are all run by volunteers. Cooperatively, they have raised $1.9 million that has enabled the hospital to install a CT scanner in the emergency area, so that patients no longer have to be wheeled through endless corridors to the diagnostic areas.
                The Foundation coordinates the work of over 300 volunteers, ranging in age from 14 to 97.
                “Not everyone can give cash,” Nancy said. “But if you can give us your time, we can turn it into cash.”

Club announcements

  • See the note above about a work party to install insulation in the outer walls of the new Food Bank building, Saturday 9:00 a.m. September 5.
  • September 2nd at 6:30 pm, at Ken and Judy Guido’s house, 4391 Eyles Road in Oyama, Tessa Derksen (a professional fundraiser) will lead a session on potential new ways of fundraising. The whole club is invited to brainstorm options for future fundraisers.
  • Art Walk is September 12 and 13. Please remember to sign up for shifts serving food from the Rotary trailer.
  • Norm Letnick will be speaker on October 15. Patty Garrett says it’s bring a friend day.
Rotary Bulletin Aug 27 2015 Jim Taylor 2015-08-31 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Bulletin Aug 20 15

Posted by Jim Taylor on Aug 24, 2015

Erasing the stigma of mental illness

            When someone gets cancer, or has a heart attack, everyone wants to help. When someone is diagnosed with schizophrenia, or bipolar illness, or even depression, everyone stays away.
            That's the stigma of mental illness, the subject of the speakers at last Thursday's club meeting. "Our goal is to remove the stigma from mental illness," April Butler and Eimert Koops said. "Mental illness is a chemical imbalance in the brain."
            April spoke about mental illness in her own family; Eimert spoke about his own experience. “The more I open up about my own situation,” they both said, “the more others open up to me.”
            But the message from both was the same – recovery IS possible. Mental illness affects about one in five Canadians directly; indirectly, it affects everyone. Fifty percent of people with a mental illness have never seen a doctor about it. Depression is, perhaps, the most common mental illness. Eighty percent of those who experience depression can respond favourably to treatment, but 90% of those people don’t know how to get help.
            The way to deal with mental illness is not to ignore it, or to deny it, but to get it out into the open and get treatment for it.
            The group they represented, Mental Health Individual & Family Support, used to be called the Schizophrenia Society, but has recently been renamed because schizophrenia is now seen as only a narrow band on the whole spectrum that encompasses mental health and illness. There are no hard-line divisions between one disorder and another.

Other club news

  • September 2nd at 6:30 pm, Tessa Derksen (a professional fundraiser) will lead a session on potential new ways of fundraising. The whole club is invited to brainstorm options for future fundraisers. Location to be announced.
  • Art Walk is September 12 and 13. Please remember to sign up for shifts serving food from the Rotary trailer.
  • Norm Letnick will be speaker on October 15. Patty Garrett says it’s bring a friend day.
Rotary Bulletin Aug 20 15 Jim Taylor 2015-08-25 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Bulletin Aug 13 15

Posted by Jim Taylor on Aug 16, 2015

Getting down and dirty

Don’t confuse these three terms: Community Gardens, Community Farms, and Incubator Farms.
                Bob McCoubrey helped clarify the difference at last Thursday’s meeting. Bob was a prime mover in helping to create the Community Gardens seen just east of Bottom Wood Lake Road. He was also the first mayor of Lake Country, a director of the Regional District of Central Okanagan, and the person largely responsible for establishing a Boys & Girls Club here in Lake Country.
                In a Community Garden, Bob told us, people rent individual plots of land, and grow whatever they want – vegetables, flowers, herbs… Community Gardens are now found in hundreds of places across the country.
                In Community Farms, volunteers work together to run a genuine farm. They provide their produce to community service agencies. The volunteers may keep one percent of the produce for their own use. Currently, community farms in this area deliver about 1200 pounds of food to local food banks.
                Lake Country has a community farm. So does Kelowna. Because, as Bob noted, one of the anomalies of geography is that it’s only a short distance for Lake Country residents to drive to Kelowna, but it’s much too far for Kelowna residents to drive to Lake Country.
                Incubator Farms – Bob’s latest project – are a way for people to try out farming without going broke first. They get a quarter acre of land, equipment, and advice to see if they’re suited to farming. They learn both how to work the land, and how to prepare business plans, etc.
                “When I started farming,” Bob admitted, “without mentors, neighbours, and friends, I wouldn’t have made it.”
                Small farms can work, Bob said. He cited one farmer who works small plots, even in back yards, and earns $80-100,000 a year by farming intensively – up to six lettuce crops a year, for example.
                Another key is replenishing the soil. The community farms use worm castings from Paul and Judy Shoemaker’s worm farm. The Shoemakers have also provided the land for the farms. “Worm guts,” Bob said, “have all the microorganisms needed for healthy soil. You just add those worm castings, and keep the microorganisms healthy y adding organic matter.
                The Shoemakers’ farm produces 15 tons of worm castings every day, from 15 million worms!

Club news

  • After having been a guest for almost six weeks, Eric Waymark finally got (re)inducted as a member of the club.
  • The club voted to purchase a popcorn machine, to supplement our food services trailer.
  • Trish Lugrin asked for suggestions for guest speakers. MLA Norm Letnick will be speaker on September 15.
  • A sign-up sheet will be circulated by e-mail, for shifts at Art Walk, from set-up on Friday evening September 11 to tear-down and cleanup on Sunday afternoon September 13. Please choose your shift and enter your commitments.
Rotary Bulletin Aug 13 15 Jim Taylor 2015-08-17 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Bulletin Aug 6 15

Posted on Aug 07, 2015

“My three wives”

                “I’m here this morning to tell you about my life and my three wives,” said Eric Sukkel, as he started his classification talk on Thursday morning.
                Eric had previous told us a little bit about his life when, as a six-year-old boy in Holland, he witnessed the Canadian soldiers arriving to end the six-year German occupation of his country. That first impression of generosity and kindness (especially with chocolate bars) later influenced his choice of Canada as a country to which he wanted to immigrate
                Oh, yes, and the three wives. The first decided motherhood was not for her. “I think I was the first man in Alberta to be granted full custody of my children,” Eric told us.
                The second died of colon cancer. It was a devastating experience. Eric used the phrase, “touch me and I cry.” He took part in grief counselling groups, where, eventually, he met his third wife. She also had two children by a previous marriage. This year, Eric and Beverly have been married 15 years. Together, they now have seven children; 31 members of their multigenerational family.
                Both are, naturally, strong supporters of grief counselling groups, and have themselves led some groups.
                Various jobs over the years led Eric to become a certified professional welding instructor at the Vancouver Vocational Institute, which later became the B.C. Institute of Technology. He retired in 1999, at the age of 60. He now lives out a study on retirement which found that, on average, those who retire at 65 collect only 18 pension cheques; those who retire at 60 collect their pensions for 18 years.

Tracking our Shelterbox

                Back in June, our club donated a ShelterBox to assist the victims of disasters around the world. Nepal had had two earthquakes; Malawi in Africa had had devastating floods; Vanuatu in the Pacific had been hit by typhoons….
                ShelterBox International has added a feature to its home page that enables donors to track where their relief kit has gone, or is going. President Monika explains, “Members can track our ShelterBox by going to: and clicking on the “Track a Sponsored Box” link. Enter our box number (11543) into the search feature for more information on when and where the box will be deployed.”
                The site says that our box is still “to be deployed.”
                It may not actually be a “box.” After Typhoon Haiphan in the Philippines, a ShelterBox speaker told us in a previous meeting, the organization realized that the people there didn’t particularly need housing (a tent) when the country was littered with building materials. So they now sometimes send shelter kits instead – basically, a huge sack that includes tarpaulins and other necessities for getting started again.
Rotary Bulletin Aug 6 15 2015-08-08 00:00:00Z 0

rotary Bulletin Mar 21 15

Posted by Jim Taylor on Mar 20, 2015

Food Bank project has started!

                Wednesday was the big day, the official ground-breaking for the new Food Bank building. Four years of fund-raising, four years of slogging, four years of seeming to get nowhere, all came to an end as seven gold-plated shovels dug into a pile of earth and officially started construction.
                In fact, construction had started the day before, when an excavator began digging out the basement for the new building, so that Okanagan College Trades students could get started on their 16-week program of practical experience. The curriculum requires five weeks of classroom study, 16 weeks of hands-on training, finishing with a final five weeks of theory.
                During their 16 weeks, Okanagan College expects that the students will have the walls up, the roof on, and doors and windows installed.
                The dignitaries wielding shovels included provincial MLA Norm Letnick, Lake Country mayor James Baker, and Food Bank founder Phyllis McPherson. Okanagan College and Aviva Insurance, whose community grant of $100,000 made Wednesday’s start possible, were also representated.
                Bob Rymarchuk spoke on behalf of the Rotary Club of Lake Country, talking about how a club of just 23 members could undertake such a massive project. Rotary District 5060 has, as yet, not made any grants to support the club.
                The new building will have about 2500 square feet of working space for the Food Bank, compared to the 800 square feet it currently has in the basement of a former elementary school that is now up for sale. An additional 2500 square feet in the new building’s basement level will be available for other community organizations.
                Using conventional estimates, a commercial building of 2500 square feet will cost about $750,000 to build. With current promises of materials and services from local individuals and businesses, Bob Rymarchuk estimates that the club is still about $100,000 short of the money needed to completely finish the building. Donations may be made to the Lake Country Food Assistance Society at UBR Services, 9618 Bottom Wood Lake Road in Lake Country, or by phoning 250-718-1156.

Wireless radiation

                Following Thursday’s club meeting, speaker Ted Archibald demonstrated some of the equipment that measures the amount of electrical radiation we are all constantly exposed to from wireless devices such as routers and cell phones, which work as mini-transmitters. He stressed that just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean you’re not being affected. But governments in Canada continue to apply a 30-year-old standard which measures only the amount of heating – as if all transmitters were microwave ovens. The acceptable level in Canada is currently about 600 times higher than many countries permit in Europe.
                Copies of Ted’s fact sheet are available by e-mailing him at

Sip Sample and Savour

                Bernard and Brenda Dewonck are running themselves ragged trying to get things organized for the April 18 annual fund-raiser, this year being called Sip Sample and Savour. They need more items for the Silent Auction. There’s no such thing as too many items!
                And Margaret Brown needs to know how ticket sales are going. Tickets are $50 per person. Please talk to (or e-mail) your friends and sell some tickets.

Hanging Baskets

                Kel-Lake Nursery opened up again for the spring this week. Once again, the Rotary Club of Lake Country is working with Kel-Lake to sell hanging baskets. The baskets cost $30 each, and you get your pick of any 12-inch basket in the entire nursery – hundreds to choose from! Trish Lugrin has coupons you can use to buy baskets for yourself, or to sell to friends and acquaintances.
rotary Bulletin Mar 21 15 Jim Taylor 2015-03-21 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Bulletin Mar 16 15

Posted by Jim Taylor on Mar 15, 2015

Food Bank construction starts

Join us Wednesday morning for the official start of construction on the new building for the Lake Country Food Bank. The actual construction started 24 hours earlier, on Tuesday, when the excavators moved in. But the official ceremony, involving gold-plated shovels and a variety of dignitaries, will be Wednesday morning at 10:00 a.m.
                Provincial MLA Norm Letnick will be the Master of Ceremonies for the event, with federal MP Ron Cannan, Lake Country mayor James Baker, and Food Bank founder Phyllis MacPherson also participating.
                Other key participants will be
  • Okanagan College’s Vernon campus, whose Trades students will undertake much of the initial construction as part of their training;
  • the Aviva Insurance Company, whose community project grant of $100,000 made this start of construction possible;
  • and the Rotary Club of Lake Country, which has headed up the fund-raising campaign for the new building.
All Rotarians who are available would be welcome at the ceremony. If possible, please wear something that marks you as a Rotarian.
                The site of the ground-breaking ceremonies for the new Food Bank is next door to the Winfield Seniors’ Activity Centre at 9832 Bottom Wood Lake Road. Visitors and spectators are asked to park at the east end of the parking lot for the curling rink to avoid conflicting with Seniors’ Centre programs.

Planning for Annual Rotary Conference proceeds

                As you know, our club is providing dinner and entertainment for the opening evening of this year’s  Rotary Conference, which is being held in Kelowna June 18 to 21. Incoming  pres. Monika Jatel sends the following information:
  • 214 paid registrants to date, with a max. goal of 525
  • Volunteer drivers needed to shuttle conference participants
  • Volunteers needed for billets; minimum two exchange students per family. Note: attending conference events and driving billets will conflict 
  • Home hosting; Jerry Urquhart to visit remainder of clubs in the area (including Lake Country) in the next few weeks to discuss and sign up hosts
  • Volunteers needed for the following positions: Saturday coordinator (the day’s project manager) and Speaker hosts (personal assistant to event speakers)
  • Volunteers need for Wednesday evening to power wash the UBC Okanagan parking lot; this may be a BYOP (bring your own power washer) 

Electronic radiation

                The speaker this Thursday morning will be Ted Archibald, a retired engineer who has taken an interest in the radio-frequency waves that immerse us every day – everything from cell-phones to wireless routers to smart meters monitoring and broadcasting your electrical use. About five percent of the population is highly sensitive to electromagnetic radiation, and that proportion is predicted to rise as the levels of radiation increase along with allergies to it. At the same time, government regulation of EMF radiation is based on standards that haven’t been reviewed in generations.

Sip Sample & Savour

                Yet another reminder:
1. Sell tickets, and let Margaret Brown know
2. Solicit donations for silent auction, and inform Bernard Dewonck
3. Talk to Judy Guido about your volunteering duties
Rotary Bulletin Mar 16 15 Jim Taylor 2015-03-16 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary bulletin Mar 10 15

Posted on Mar 09, 2015

Food Bank construction starts March 16

Construction for the new Food Bank building for Lake Country suddenly rushed forward. Excavators go into the ground March 16. Two factors have driven the agenda ahead.
                The Aviva Insurance grant of $100,000 requires that the money must be spent within the calendar year 2015.
                The second factor was the commitment by Okanagan College in Vernon to use the Food Bank as practical training for their Trades Apprenticeship program. Students get five weeks of theory in class, 16 weeks of hands-on training on a project, and finally another five weeks of classroom work. To get in the 16 weeks of practical experience, Food Bank construction has to start March 16.
                Representatives from a variety of organizations who made construction possible are currently being lined up to take part in the ground-breaking ceremonies. These will probably include the Food Bank itself; the District of Lake Country, which provided the land; Aviva Insurance; Okanagan College; the province of B.C.; other major donors; and the Rotary Club which has spearheaded development this far.
                Building plans are now complete, and have been submitted to the engineer for approval. The municipality is expediting the building permit process. Jerry Lay is co-ordinating the first stages of excavation and levelling. Tom Roth, when he returns from Thailand, will be Project Manager.
                Okanagan College’s students expect to take the building from concrete foundations to lockup – roof on, doors and windows installed – before they return to their classrooms.
                The only missing element is funding to complete the building project. There’s still an estimated $200,000 needed to finish the building inside and out. Donations can be monetary, or in services and/or materials. All donations over $25 will receive a tax receipt.
                Donations should be directed to Lake Country Food Assistance Society and designated for the Building Fund. Please call 250-766-0125 for details.

Special people are back!

                Sharon Brooks is back from hospital, looking good and preparing our sumptuous breakfasts again. Her blood pressure is under control.
                Jerry Lay is back from South-east Asia, and Gerry Morton is back from Mexico.

Sip, Sample & Savour moving ahead

                Bernard and Brenda Dewonck have been working hard at paring costs and organizing every aspect of the annual fund-raiser, to be held Saturday April 18 at the Community Complex in Georg Elliot Secondary School. The working committee – Brenda and Bernard Dewonck, Judy Hodson, Monika Jatel, Gord and Trish Lugrin, Ken and Judy Guido, Patty Garrett, Jim Taylor, Sharon Downward, and Margaret Brown – met Monday evening March 9 to check progress and assign responsibilities.
                At the moment, it looks as if we will have up to 12 wineries participating, and up to 8 food or cider vendors.
                We need more items for the Silent Auction, a major money-maker for the club. Bernard has a list of everything that has come in, and a master list of businesses and individuals who could be approached for donations. If you know any possible donors, please speak to Bernard.
                The other shortage is ticket sales. Margaret says that she has not received one report yet – not one! – of ticket sales. Please, please, please, get busy selling those tickets!
                Judy Guido will coordinate volunteers – before, during, and after the event. Most of Saturday will be required for setting up the rooms. Then everything has to be taken down and at least moved out of the foyer the same evening.
Rotary bulletin Mar 10 15 Jim Taylor 2015-03-10 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary bulletin Feb 12 15

Posted by Jim Taylor on Feb 16, 2015
Rotary Bulletin February 12, 2015

Three announcements…

1. Monika Jatel would like remind you about the Chamber of Commerce “Business After Hours” event on Wednesday February 18th. She’s looking for Rotarians to bring their Sip Sample & Savour tickets to sell to representatives of the business community, and to make a good impression for Rotary. 

2. Marsel Ahmedzadegan occasionally speaks about the persecution of members of his Baha’I faith in Iran/Persia. Even as Iran starts establishing better relations with the western world (uniting against the common enemy, ISIS), the persecution of Baha’is intensifies. Marsel invites you to see the evidence for yourself at a showing of the film “To Light A Candle,” Friday February 27 at UBCO, Room 336 in the Arts building, at 7:00 p.m.

3. Gord Lugrin says that the telephone number shown for him on the Donor Form sent to you earlier this week is incorrect. It should be 250-766-1649. Before you hand out forms, please make the correction – even if you just write the correct number in. 


… and several bags of shoes

The speaker at last Thursday’s club meeting was Jim Belshaw, the Rotarian who started Soles For Souls here in Kelowna. Jim explained that the inspiration for him was the Haiti earthquake of 2010. “I saw those people climbing over the rubble of their buildings in bare feet,” he said, “and I knew I had to do something.”
                    Since then Jim has been to Haiti three times to deliver shoes from Canada. The shoes have not only gone on people’s feet, they have enabled a number of Haitians to qualify for microcredit businesses, thus building prosperity in the poorest country in the Americas. 
                    Soles For Souls has distributed over a million pairs of shoes around the world. 
                    A lot shoes have gone to Africa, but Jim has realized that a lack of proper footwear prevents many Canadians from getting a job. They need workboots, or dress shoes. He’s now working with ShelterNet BC and Food Banks BC to make shoes available here in our own province. Last year the Kelowna Food Bank gave up some of its space so that his team could open a shoe store for the homeless and needy. 
                    He is going to Ottawa soon, to set up a similar enterprise there. 
                    David Purdon, Jim’s guest at the breakfast, attested to the value of this new program. He has seen people wearing only flip-flops, in January. Since August last year, the shoe store has supplied 1829 pairs of shoes. 
                    “With a decent pair of shoes,” David said, “a person feels so much better about himself that things become more possible.”


Rotary bulletin Feb 12 15 Jim Taylor 2015-02-17 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Bulletin Feb 05 15

Posted by Jim Taylor on Feb 04, 2015
Lots and lots of information to share in this bulletin, even a couple of attachments (assuming they go through)

1. Clean-up Work Party this coming Tuesday

                We are doing a clean -up of our storage container located on the side of Beaver lake Road (just beyond, east of,  the former tracks) on Tuesday Feb 10th. We will meet there at 10:00a.m. (unless the weather is totally inclement in which case we will send an email to cancel).
                We need willing hands with gloves, trucks, as this will involve trips to the dump, and some light sources. Lanterns would be best as it is quite dark at the back of the container.
                At this point we are just getting rid of all the 'old' unused stuff that has accumulated for years. On a different day we will organize and catalogue what remains.
                Any help would be appreciated. At this point we have 3 trucks and 9 volunteers. The more hands the less time it will take!!

2. Only two months left before Sip Sample & Savour night

                We need to get donations coming for the silent auction. You’ll find a donation request letter attached to this bulletin (I hope). If not, get in touch with me, Jim Taylor, at either or, or both, and I will send you the attachment directly.
                The file is in Microsoft Word docx format. I can also provide it in the older doc format, or in Open Office odt format if you prefer. Because it is in a word-processing format, you can add your own “To” addresses if you want.
                Gord Lugrin has a master list of potential donors. You can check it to see if there are any companies or individuals where you have a personal contact.
                If you do send out letters, please let Gord know, so that he can check off the master list with your name, to avoid having companies and businesses badgered by multiple solicitation letters. And please note that all donations must be received by April 1.f

3. Ethiopia project

                On Thursday morning Gord Lugrin showed a DVD about the project started in Ethiopia by our 2011-2012 Exchange Student Thomas Scheuba.
                The DVD identified some of the reasons why Ethiopia needs our help. Among other things, it is the only predominantly Christian country in north Africa, entirely surrounded by Islamic nations. The present population, around 100 million people, is tripling every 30 years – by 2045 it will be 300 million. In very rough figures, about 80% of that population has no safe drinking water, no latrines or other sanitation, no nearby firewood, no electricity so that people can read and study in the evenings, etc.
                Thomas is trying organize an integrated system that will address all of these interlocking needs and concerns. Our Rotary club has budgeted $2000 to support Thomas – and because he will be there, on the ground, we can be sure that the money will go to the purposes we choose. We can, in fact, designate money for specifics, such as tree planting, solar panels, etc. Gord has the list of possible expenses.

4. Don’t get envious, now

                Mary Docherty sent along the attached picture of herself at a Rotary Logo in the sun.
Rotary Bulletin Feb 05 15 Jim Taylor 2015-02-05 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Bulletin Jan 22 15

Rotary bulletin from Thursday January 22, 2015

Tuesday’s the day!

                On Tuesday, January 27, we expect to hear how much we will win in the Aviva Fund competition. That’s when we have been told they will let us know the results of the judging of the finalists for the merit of their project. We think we have the inside track on merit. A Food Bank will matter much more to a community than, say, a dog park or a water garden. And we seem to have done much more in developing a business plan, etc., than some of the other projects have.
                But we are, necessarily, somewhat biased on this subject. Who knows what a panel of judges will decide?
                We can be sure, however, that we will receive $5000 from Aviva as a finalist in the competition.
                In the meantime, Bob Rymarchuk and friends have made a presentation to Lake Country Council, asking the District to cover any shortfall in funding up to $250,000. If we get the $100,000 from Aviva, and if the actual construction costs come in lower than the official estimates (as everyone forecasts), and if donations come in as we anticipate once construction actually starts, it might not cost the District anything. But we can’t sign contracts for construction if it is even possible that we might run out of money part way through.
                Bob feels optimistic about getting approval from Council. On this too, we can only wait and see.
                He passed around a set of the latest plans for Rotary members to examine.

Second time lucky.

                Exchange Student Maria Julia Garcia made two tries at making a presentation on her native country of Brazil.
                The first time, her PowerPoint slides couldn’t be fed through the projector, because the previous week’s speaker, Pam Prentice of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund, had taken the VGA cable with her when she left. So Maria gamely answered questions from the floor.
                Last Thursday, Marsel had found a VGA cable, and was able to project Maria’s presentation.
                She first expressed thanks to her host families – at this point Margaret and Richard Brown,  and Virginia and Peter Palma. We were rather surprised to learn that Brazil has 200 million people, making it about six time more populous than Canada, and has a larger land mass that the lower 48 United States.
                It also has the world’s longest river, and the most fresh water in the world going down that river into the Atlantic Ocean.
                Most of the people speak Portuguese, because at some point in the past, Spain and Portugal decided to split the new world between them – even though most of South America still remained to be discovered. Brazil lay on the eastern side of that imaginary line; it turned out that all the rest of South America was on the Spanish side of the line. But in some parts of the south the people speak only German.
                Maria’s slides of favourite Brazilian foods had all our mouths watering.
                She also showed slides of Rio de Janeiro, often called the most beautiful city in the world. And we all winced at pictures of people, looking about as big as fruit flies, walking out along the arm of the gigantic statue of Christ that stands on a hill overlooking Rio, 98 feet above the ground.
Rotary Bulletin Jan 22 15 Jim Taylor 2015-01-25 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Bulletin Jan 9 15

Insights into diabetes

Dana was 12 when she was diagnosed with Type One diabetes, the kind often called “Juvenile” diabetes to distinguish it from Type Two or “Adult Onset” diabetes.
                Type Two diabetes usually results from lifestyle choices – overeating, lack of exercise, stress – plus some genetic factors. Type One diabetes is an auto-immune disease; the person’s immune system destroys the islet cells in the pancreas that create insulin to control blood sugar levels.
                The primary difference between the two forms of diabetes is that Type Two is reversible. Change your lifestyle, lose ten pounds, and you may be able to avoid insulin injections. Type One is not reversible. Once you have it, it becomes your life.
                Dana was athletic, played sports, was trim and fit – until April 18, 2011. “It was the worst day of my life,” says her brother Reid, who came to talk to us last Thursday. (I haven’t given Reid’s last name, because the names of juveniles – his sister -- should not be published.) “On that day 12-year-old sister had to realize that her life was totally changed.”
                Dana’s life now revolves around constant blood monitoring, and up to eight insulin injections a day. At an age when other teens gorge themselves on greasy burgers and poutine, she needs the self-discipline to watch her diet. If her blood sugar levels fall too low, Pam Prentice, the main speaker on behalf of the Diabetes Research Foundation, she could die in her sleep.
                There are about three million people in Canada with diabetes. About ten percent of those are Type One – incurable. But research is now finding better ways of monitoring and delivering insulin; ways of transplanting islet cells and stimulating the pancreas; and ultimately preventing the pancreatic breakdown that causes diabetes.
                The complications caused by diabetes can include blindness, kidney breakdown, loss of feeling in fingers and toes, poor circulation resulting in amputations…
                Some families rise to the challenge of having a child with diabetes. “You do what you have to do,” said Pam, whose son was diagnosed at the age of two. He’s now 16. “Other families just cave to the stress.”

Food Bank news

                Bob Rymarchuk spoke about his presentation to the Lake Country Council on Tuesday night, asking them for bridge financing of up to $250,000 to enable construction to start this spring. “I don’t expect them to have to pay that,” Bob said. “It’s like a loan guarantee. I’m quite sure, once the shovels go into the ground, that the community will rally behind this project and provide the donations. But we need to know soon if we can proceed with the project.”
                At the moment, about $140,000 has come in as donations. On January 27, we should know if we have won $100,000 from the Aviva Fund. Until then, everything is in a holding pattern.
Rotary Bulletin Jan 9 15 Jim Taylor 2015-01-10 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Bulletin Dec 16 14

Posted by Jim Taylor

Christmas may come in January for Food Bank

The Lake Country Food won’t know if they got a Christmas present until January 27. That’s the date when the Aviva Fund will announce the winners for its $100,000 grand prize.
                They are already a winner, in a smaller sense. As a finalist, the Food Bank is guaranteed to win $5,000 towards funding for its building project.
                The finalists were announced last week, after voting for the semi-final round ended December 10.
                The decision now rests with a panel of judges, assembled by the Aviva Insurance Corporation, to decide on the merits of the finalists’ proposals.
                “I think we stand a very good chance,” said Bob Rymarchuk, who has been heading the fund-raising drive through the Rotary Club of Lake Country. “We are far further ahead in our planning and development than most other projects. We have a business plan. We’ve already raised more than half of what we need, in direct donations or in commitments of materials and services.”
                In the meantime, the Food Bank Building Fund continues to solicit direct donations. Donations of over $25 can receive receipts for income tax deductions for the current tax year.
                At their annual Christmas concert Friday December 12, at the Creekside Theatre, the Lake Country Big Band raised $1576.35 in additional donations.
                The Lake Country Food Bank normally provides essential supplies to between 600 and 800 families every month, out of two small rooms in the basement of a former elementary school. During the Christmas season that figure rises to 1000 families.
                The urgency for a new permanent home for the Food Bank increased when the School District put the school and property up for sale.
                Construction for a new building could start as early as March, 2015, if there’s enough cash in the building fund to start signing construction contracts.

Christmas party success

                Everyone enjoyed the Christmas pot-luck dinner and party held at our Holiday Park meeting room December 6. Former member Jim Crockett (and his wife Joanne) came back to assist Brenda Dewonck in playing Christmas carols for us to sing.
                Somebody won the game that Judy Hodson distributed, but I don’t think anyone cares.

Looking back

                On the December 4 meeting, Gord Lugrin brought us up to date on the Rotary Fund. Like all else about Rotary, it started small, when a friend of Paul Harris opened an account for international service in 1917. It is now the largest non-governmental aid fund in the world.
                Gord gave some examples of the way that working through the Rotary Foundation can multiply a club’s efforts. Rotary Clubs in the Lower Mainland of BC started the polio project in 1985, raising $12,500 for a pilot project in the Philippines. That got leveraged up to $350,000, and now, 30 years later, is now over $2 billion worldwide.
                Gord talked up the value of making donations before the end of the year. Those of us who buy pre-paid meal tickets, with a $3 donation from each meal ticked off, will be putting about $150 a year towards the Rotary Foundation (if we have perfect attendance, that is!).
                The Rotary Foundation does not siphon off anything from personal donations to cover salaries, overhead, etc., Gord emphasized. All the money, from every donation, is invested for three years. The income from that investment covers all expenses.
                And at the December 11 meeting, three representatives from CrimeStoppers talked about their work. Weldon LeBlanc brought along CrimeStoppers’ president Dino Cabaltin, and vice-president Gerry Guiltenane.
                Weldon called 2005 the year that Kelowna “came to terms with the crime in our city.” That was the year of the assassination at the Delta Grand Hotel. As a result, the local RCMP chief Bob McKinnon persuaded his hierarchy to base 18 members of the Organized Crime Task Force here in the Okanagan.
                Kelowna is apparently a high-crime location because it’s a transfer point – a “filter” Weldon called it – for moving the proceeds of crime into and out of the country, and from the Lower Mainland gangs to Alberta and the rest of western Canada.
                Thanks to the work of the Task Force, and the publicity given through Global Okanagan since the program started in 1987, there have been 22,000 tips, $84 million worth of narcotics recovered, and $178,000 paid out in rewards. Last year alone, 53 people were apprehended.
                The program offers anonymity, Weldon stressed, “because it can be dangerous to stand up and identify yourself as a CrimeStopper.”

Looking ahead

                This Thursday Dec. 18th is our official Annual General Meeting. We must have a quorum to stay in business. President Elect Monika Jatel will present her proposed slate of officers for the Rotary year 2015-2016. And Treasurer Ken Guido will bring us up to the date on the state of our finances.
                There will be no meetings on Thursday Dec. 25th (MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!) & January 1st (HAPPY NOO YEAR!!!!).
Rotary Bulletin Dec 16 14 Jim Taylor 2014-12-16 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary bulletin Dec 2 14

Posted on Dec 02, 2014
Rotary Bulletin Tuesday December 2, 2014






Have you voted on Aviva? Have you voted every day? Wednesday is Day 3 of this semi-final round of voting, and as of Day 2, our Food Bank Project was running #6 over all. We need your votes; we need your friends’ votes; we need your distant relatives’ votes….
                So tell everyone you know about the Food Bank’s needs. CHBC has now run two stories on its news programs, showing foods stacked to the roof, volunteers falling over each other to get around in the cramped space, people standing around outside waiting to get in.
                And if the old Winfield School gets sold, the Food Bank won’t have even these inadequate facilities to work out of.
                On your computer, go to
                Register. And vote. If you’re afraid you might forget to vote, send a message to so that you can get an e-mail reminder every day

How to get lit

The Capri club is seeking volunteers for the annual Christmas Light Up in Kerry Park (downtown Kelowna). Volunteers needed for:
Dec. 9th 8-10 pm
Dec. 16th 8-10 pm
Dec. 23rd 8-10 pm
For more information or to sign up please contact Rusty Bracken at: 250.869.1451 

Coming programs

Trish Lugrin has been gathering speakers for our weekly meetings.
Dec. 4th, Program on Foundation by Gord Lugrin
Dec. 11th, Program on Crime Stoppers by Weldon LeBlanc
Dec. 18th, The Annual General Meeting for the rotary Club of Lake Country. This is your official notification of that event.
                Trish also wants to remind you to bring donations for Now Canada to our meeting on Thursday Dec. 4th,  or at the very latest, to the Xmas party on Dec. 6th (being held at our usual meeting room in Holiday Park).

Sip, Savour, and Sample planning

                Last Thursday’s meeting was devoted to advance planning for next spring’s big fund-raiser. The name changes each year – for 2015 it is “Sip, Savour, and Sample”.
                Bernard and Brenda Dewonck are chairing the many committees that make this event possible.
                For example, Gord Lugrin is gathering the companies that will display their wares. He estimates that we may have 15 wineries, 6 cideries, several cheeseries…
                Sharon Downward and the other Interior Savings members, along with a collection of their tellers, will handle receiving the tickets and taking payments for auctioned items.
                Judy Guido has taken on the task of coordinating volunteers – especially those who join us from the wider community.
                From now until April 18, the night of the S,S,&S event, one meeting a month will be devoted to the developing plans and commitments.
Rotary bulletin Dec 2 14 Jim Taylor 2014-12-03 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary bulletin Nov 25 14

Rotary Bulletin Nov. 25, 2014

Get ready… Get set… Vote!

The next round of voting for the Aviva grant towards the Food Bank project begins this coming Monday, December 1.
                When we voted, earlier this fall, we got into the top 15 in our group. This time we have to do better, and we have stiffer competition. So please do the following:
First: go to and register.
Second: send an e-mail to so that you can get a daily reminder to vote for the Food Bank.
Third: tell all your friends to do the same.
                In the last round of voting, about 800 people voted for our project, but we got only 3200 votes – which means that many of those people only voted once. (Some, of course, voted every day.) We need everyone to vote every day from December 1 to December 10.
                The need for a permanent home for the Food Bank is getting more urgent. In the last month or so, Phyllis MacPherson says, the number of people depending on the food bank has risen from about 600 to about 800. Because of the limited space, only one or two Food Bank clients can come inside at a time; the rest have to line up outside in the cold, the rain, and the snow.
                The School District has put the building up for sale. The Food Bank could find itself out in the cold, too.
                If we win $100,000 from Aviva, we should have just about enough reserves to start signing contracts for construction next spring.

Leaves of Absence

                Trish Lugrin asked me to put this notice in the newsletter.
                When you go away for more than four meetings, please request a Leave of Absence. With a small club, any absences reflect poorly on our club attendance record. In a club of 100, one member's absence makes only a 1% difference; in a club of 25, any member's absence drops our attendance level by 4%. During the winter, we may have, at any time, 6 or more members away on long-term trips to sunshine and warmth -- which means, from Rotary's perspective, that our club attendance is down by 25%. Rotary expects every club to maintain a certain attendance level. By granting Leaves of Absence, we lower the attendance threshold that's required of our club, and can continue to generate favourable attendance records.
                We encourage make-ups, of course. It's good for the member, and good for Rotary as a whole. But make-ups entered into the records three or four months after they happen don't update attendance records retroactively. Each month gets "closed off" for Rotary's official records soon after the month ends; later corrections apply to the individual's attendance records, but not to the club's.
                That's why we ask you to register you for a Leave of Absence. You'll still get credit for the make-ups you do, wherever you are, but in the meantime it will help to keep our club from looking as if attendance has been slipping.

A murmuration of starlings

                “Murmuration” is apparently the correct name for those huge swirls of starlings in the sky – just before they strip your orchard, vineyard, or mountain ash tree bare!
                Last Thursday we had Karen (whose last name I didn’t get entered onto the Attendance Sheet) tell us about trapping starlings to reduce the population of this invasive species. Starlings are not native to North America. They were introduced to New York by a well-meaning Shakespeare fanatic who thought America should have all species of birds referred to in Shakespeare’s plays. Since then they have spread everywhere, and often drive out the native songbirds.
                Karen explained that the birds are live-trapped, and then euthanized by carbon-dioxide – quick acting and painless.
Rotary bulletin Nov 25 14 Jim Taylor 2014-11-25 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary bulletin Nov 11 2014

Posted on Nov 11, 2014

Evening meeting this week

Don’t go to the Holiday Park meeting room Thursday morning! (Holding a meeting all by yourself doesn’t qualify for a make-up.) This week’s Rotary meeting has been moved to 6:00 p.m., same place, so that we can present Paul Harris Fellowships to a few deserving recipients who simply cannot make it to a morning meeting.
                Our special guests will be:
  • Shani and Chris Wendell
  • Holly McNeil and Jeff Hay
  • Jamie and Alaina Podmorrow
  • Shannon and Stacy Jorgenson
                For this special occasion, spouses and partners are welcomed. Well, they’re always welcomed, but for many of those spouses and partners, an evening meeting is more feasible than getting up at 6:00 a.m. However, Trish Lugrin ( or 250-766-1649) needs to know how many are coming so that she can arrange the catering with Sharon Brooks.
                Trish would also like to know who’s coming to the Games Night, Friday November 21 at 7:00 p.m., to be held at the meeting room at Margaret Brown’s condo complex, 11290 Bond Road.

Other matters

                Last week’s speaker was Sharon Marshall of the Reach Out program that tries to put people back on their feet, often when they have given up on themselves. Sharon shared some stories of people they have helped, working one on one.
                Young people are especially vulnerable, she said. In the 15-19 age group, suicide is the second highest cause of death among young men – because they have given up.
                In a startling statistic, 38% of those that Reach Out helps have suffered some history of abuse. “People don’t cite it as a cause of their illness or disability,” Sharon said, “but it’s there just the same.”
                Asked if the young man alleged to have stabbed a bus passenger could have been helped, with early intervention, Sharon noted that our society is still uncomfortable dealing with mental illness. We seem to consider it shameful. The man in question had a longer history of criminal offences, some of which he committed specifically so that he could be sent to jail, where he might get some help. Otherwise, she added, the waiting list for help is at least six months long – in which time a person seeking help spirals deeper and deeper into trouble.
                Reach Out has been working for 30 years. It currently owns its own building on Ambrosi Road in Kelowna. It spends nothing on advertising and self-promotion. “That’s why we come to you, to tell our story and seek your help,” Sharon finished.
The previous week, new District Governor Bruce Falkens visited our club. He said we were the “very last club in the district” – he and his wife Donna had been to 59 other clubs before finishing off with us. Now he was looking forward to relaxing for a while, before starting up again in the new year.
                Along with talking up the values of Rotary, Bruce presented three awards to members who had done the most to bring new members to the club: Dan Sigal, Rich Gibbons, and Patty Garrett. Unfortunately, on Rich was present. The others will get their rewards later.
                Every club has membership concerns, Bruce said. There are people coming in the front door, and others going out the back door. He suggested we need to work hard at keeping members, as well as attracting new ones. “They may not be ready to consider joining when you first invite them,” he advised. “Don’t give up. Ask them again. And again.”
                Bruce also challenged us to make sure we wear our Rotary pins every day, not just on meeting days.
Remember that the semi-final round of voting for the Food Bank on the Aviva Fund competition begins December 1. We had 800 or so supporters in the last round, but many of them only voted once. We need to get each person to vote all ten days.
                If your friends and acquaintances are willing, Shannon Jorgensen will enter their e-mail addresses into a program that will contact them every day, to remind them to vote. (Make sure you’re on her list, too!)
I think it was also that week that Glenn Downes moved that our club take on the regular clean-up of Bottom Wood Lake Road, as a community project. The club voted to do it. Now we need volunteers.
Rotary bulletin Nov 11 2014 2014-11-12 00:00:00Z 0
Food Bank success Jim Taylor 2014-10-21 00:00:00Z 0
Rotary Bulletin Oct 21 14 Jim Taylor 2014-10-21 00:00:00Z 0
A short history of Rotary in the Central Okanagan Holly McNeil 0