Straight From DeHart – Jan. 3, 2018

In one year and out the other! Happy New Year. The best to all of you in 2018.

The Associated Canadian Travellers (ACT/UCT) Kelowna West Council #1003 has completed their Community Charity Donations for 2017.  With their motto “Giving Through Fellowship” and with the assistance of the Lottery Corporation of B.C., they donated $22,000 to many community organizations in 2017. These worthy organizations included the ALS Society B.C.,  Cancer Foundation, B.C. Family Hearing, BrainTrust Canada, Central Okanagan Bursary Society, Central Okanagan Emergency Shelter, Kelowna Gospel Mission, Harmony House, Jubilee Hospital Medical Foundation, KGH Foundation, Family Resource Centre, Vernon, Stroke Recovery Association of B.C.(Kelowna Branch), Kelowna and District Safety Council Tiny Tots Travellers Village, Salvation Army, South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation, and the Okanagan Humane Society.  Since their existence in 1976, ACT Kelowna West has contributed in excess of $1 million  to their communities along with many hours of volunteerism. Their final donation of 2017 was 25 turkeys to the Kelowna Gospel Mission for the annual Christmas dinner.

<who>Photo Credit: Contributed

After 33 years, well-known radio guy Don Huculak has retired. Don has worked for the Jim Pattison Broadcast Corporation (Power 104 and Beach Radio) since 2007. He joined the company when the stations were Power 104 and CKOV. CKOV then rebranded to B103, then Q103 and now to Beach Radio. Previously he was with SILK FM and Castanet for 10 years and going full circle, he was with CKOV back in 1984. Don says he is going to ski for three months, enjoy their cabin in the Shuswap and perhaps take a bike trip to Spain.

Heather Banham, CPA CGA well-known Dean of the Okanagan School of Business at Okanagan College has retired after 25 years with the college. Heather will not be completely retiring as she is the Chair of the Board of CPABC (Chartered Professional Accounts of BC) for a one year term, ending June 30/2018. After her term has ended, Heather will be helping on several committees for CPABC. William (Bill) Gillett is the new Dean, Okanagan School of Business at Okanagan College. He was formerly Dean of the School of Business at Southern New Hampshire University, a leader in innovation in higher education in the U.S.

The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) honoured four realtors for their abiding commitment to charitable and community causes in each of the three regional areas served by OMREB with the annual REALTORS Care Awards presented to individuals whose dedication to excellence has had a profound impact on the quality of life in the community they live.  2017 recipients are Michael Bate (Peachland to Lake Country), Rob McKibbon (Salmon Arm to Revelstoke) and Darcy Griffiths and Denise Dobie (Predator Ridge to Enderby). The 2016 recipient was Brent Pay of Kelowna in the Central Zone.

Kelowna Women’s Shelter Thrift Store will re-open for the New Year on January 2nd with a Boxing Week blowout sale that will see everything in the store priced at 50% off. The store is located at #6 – 368 Industrial Avenue and  is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Proceeds from the store support the Kelowna Women’s Shelter and also provides vouchers to Kelowna Women’s Shelter clients and others in need across the community can shop for free. Karen Mason is the executive director of the shelter. Call 778-478-7774.

Fun can be for all ages and the Ugly Sweater Contest that was held at the Parkinson Activity Centre was all fun. Winners for the Best Ugly Sweaters were 1st place Gloria Jean Seymour; 2nd place Don McIntosh and 3rd place Vince Bertucci. Judges were John Bohn and Corrinne Reid. At the activity centre you can enjoy Old Time Dancing every Thursday night for young and old by band Heart and Sole with Vic Ukrainetz and Jim Lowry, going on for 22 years. If you are thinking of joining them call president John Bohn at 250-762-4108. The Parkinson Activity Centre is a 55 plus age centre.

<who>Photo Credit: Contributed</who>(L to R) Don McIntosh (2nd place), Corrinne Reid (Judge), Vince Bertucci (3rd place), John Bohn (Judge), Gloria-Jean Seymour (1st place)

RE/MAX of Western Canada has launched an industry-leading pilot project which allows Kelowna and West Kelowna residents to discover estimated values of their homes on in partnership with Landcor Data Corporation. Consumers can find out the value of their home, or any home they are interested in, in less than 10 seconds by visiting typing in any Kelowna or West Kelowna address (that is not already listed by a real estate agent) and then selecting the desired address from the drop-down menu. The home value estimate will appear at the top of the searched property page. The company understands today’s consumers want as much access to information as possible. Eventually,  they hope to provide free home estimates for communities throughout the entire country. This tool gives their sales associates a huge competitive advantage. They also see the incredible value of empowering their clients by giving them as much information about the local market as possible. Elton Ash is the RE/MAX of Western Canada Regional Executive Vice President. Jerry Redman, Peter Kirk and Cliff Shillington are the RE/MAX Kelowna owner/managing brokers. RE/MAX is Canada’s leading real estate organizations with more than 21,000 sales associates over 922 independently-owned and operated offices nationwide.

Swim organizers of the Interior Savings Across the Lake Swim are looking for your help. They are asking people to send historical photos, stories, articles or pictures of past awards of the event or related lake activities. They would also like to talk to swimmers or their family members who were a part of the earlier swims. The Across the Lake Swim event began in 1949 and is now Canada’s largest and longest running open water swim. There is not any information about the inaugural swim, but it is assumed the number of participants would be very few, probably less than 20. This year they are expecting 1,500 swimmers to swim the 2.1 kilometres across Okanagan Lake on July 14.  This is part of Kelowna’s history and it is a story that the organizers want to tell as part of their 70th celebrations in 2018. Send your stories, articles and photos to [email protected] or call race director Peter Rudd at 250-470-0281 or Alexis MacMillan, media volunteer at 778-363-4733

A new Soroptimist club is being formed in the Central Okanagan with a free information session on January 9 for people to find out more and enjoy some wine and chocolate. The global dynamic volunteer organization Soroptimist ( works to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment. Soroptimist believes in helping women to live their dreams by providing them with the resources they need to change their lives. When you help a woman you also help her family, the Community and the world. Soroptimist is uniquely qualified to tackle the challenges facing today’s women and girls. For more details go to Eventbrite at Call Hayley Shaw at 250-300-9279

The Canadian Blood Services Hospitality Blood Challenge will run from January 1 – 31st this year. They would like to extend and invite hotels, restaurants and wineries and anyone in the hospitality industry to join the movement to save lives and fill their clinics in January. Book individually at or get the GiveBlood App for groups of three or more or email [email protected]. Ask about the life bus shuttle to bring your team to and from your office to the clinic. The team with the most participation will receive the coveted Hospitality Drive Trophy for one year. I am pleased to say that the Ramada Hotel has won this trophy in the past. For more information contact Gayle Voyer at [email protected] or call 250-979-8053.

The new Tree of Hope Pop-Up Christmas Market had over 5,000 visitors over the weekend of November 24-26 from the 16th floor of Landmark 6 and shopped the 42 local crafters. The synthetic ice rink attracted over 375 skaters and was free for all that brought their own skates. 100% of the $12,000.00 raised in donations was presented to Lenetta Perry of the Central Okanagan Food Bank by Dallas Gray of Al Stober Construction.

Kudos to the Interior Savings Sunrise Rotary RibFest event who has donated $10,000.00 to Shoe Bank Canada to assist with the collection and distribution of shoes to those in need in the Central Okanagan.

Birthdays of the week – Happy 97th Corny Pyne (Dec. 24); Laurie Paxton (Jan. 3); Carol Wardrop (Jan. 3); Austin Hawkins (Jan. 3); Stephen Fleming (Jan. 4); Cliff Shillington (Jan. 4); Monty Cordingley (Jan. 4); Cheryl McNaughton (Jan. 4); Christy Lovig (Jan. 4); Brenda Gray Geen (Jan. 5); Howard Morgan (Jan. 5); Mike Borg (Jan. 5); Barb Douglas (Jan. 6); Theresa Allison (Jan. 6); Vern Tompkins (Jan. 6); Paul McIntyre (Jan. 6); Bill Logan (Jan. 7); Cam McIntosh (Jan. 7); Bob Sindlinger (Jan. 7); John Tanasichuck (Jan. 7); Lynda Gibb (Jan. 9).

Maxine DeHart is a Kelowna city councilor and local hotelier. Phone her at 250-979-4546 or 250-862-7662; fax 250-860-3173, E-mail [email protected]