Straight From DeHart – Dec. 11, 2019

Off the wall and out of the box thinking is what small businesses are doing these days. Well-known businessman, Jim Belshaw of Roy’s Shoes at 1627 Ellis Street is taking his customers’ requests to open other shoe repair locations to heart. Although he cannot open more locations, he has decided to do the next best thing. Trying to be more convenient for his clients, Jim has partnered with long-time business Eco Clean Dry Cleaning Centers and created a total of ten shoe repair drop off depots; Eco Clean on Water Street, (Moving to Mission area), Quality Dry Cleaners, 2670 Pandosy, Mission Cleaners, Spall Plaza Eco Cleaners, Kelly’s Cleaners on Cooper Road, Kelowna Crossing Cleaners on Hwy. 33 and Hwy. 97, Landmark Cleaners, 1625 Dixon and Vernon’s Toppers Cleaners. Add to those both Torino’s Men’s Wear (Orchard Park and Mission Park) and in Lake Country at Sole Revival Shoes next to Dairy Queen. Shoes will be picked up daily and brought to Roy’s. After they are repaired, they will be returned to the original depot drop off location. After a two year search, Jim has found another full-time shoe repair person to help with the constant backlog of repairs. That’s the downside of being the best at what you do.; Facebook –Roys Shoe Repair Kelowna.

Kelowna has been her home for the past 25 years and now Laurel D’Andrea has decided it is time for a change, and a rather major change at that. Laurel will be leaving her executive director position with The Uptown Rutland Business Association (URBA) at the end of February, 2020. Formerly Laurel was employed at TELUS and after that created and owned Beyond 50 Magazine as well as spending endless hours of volunteering with many organizations in our city. Laurel is heading to Kitimat and has accepted the position of executive director for the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce.  As a friend of Laurel’s for many years, I for one will miss her greatly as will her many business associates and friends. A loss for Kelowna and a gain for Kitimat.

After 20 years at 2575 Richter Street at the Hair Saloon and over 40 plus years in the barbering industry, well-known gals, Rhonda Rea and Delores Wilson are still passionate about their work. In October 2019, Rhonda sold the property on Richter Street to Wells Gray Tours. Now, both Rhonda and Delores have relocated to a new well-established salon, Thairapy Salon located at #103 – 1014 Glenmore Drive across from the Kelowna Golf & Country Club.  The location has changed but the ladies certainly have not.

With 43 years in the retail industry and the past 16-1/2 at Sleep Country, Patrick Comba is retiring on December 14th. Patrick, along with Ken Thompson volunteered and distributed the Serta numbered sheep to small children in the Maxine DeHart, United Way – Ramada Hotel Drive-Thru Breakfast for many years. Patrick is going to continue to volunteer and travel.

Congratulations to Tom Smithwick, Freedom’s Door founder and director of many other community projects on receiving the prestigious Medal of Good Citizenship which recognizes exceptional long-term community service, never with the expectation of compensation or reward.  The medal is given by the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture for British Columbia.

In light of the holiday season, the City of Kelowna is offering free weekend parking in December. All major street parking and parkades in downtown Kelowna will be free of charge every Saturday and Sunday until December 28th.

Congratulations to Darryl Reuter of Royal LePage Kelowna (Reuter Kotler Real Estate Team) on winning the 2019 Realtor Care Award. Kudos to Justin O’Connor of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada and Richard Deacon of Engel & Volkers Okanagan who were nominated. Michael Jones of Royal LePage Kelowna is the Chair of Realtor Care & Bursaries for OMREB Central Zone Executive Committee. I was delighted to be a judge for the Realtor Care Awards along with Karen Hill of the Kelowna Capital News (Black Press) and Dom Rampone of West Manufacturing and a director of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce.

Everpresent Giving founded by Vesna Hozjan is a new unique collection of beautiful gift bags that bring joy, ease and connection into gift giving. If you do not like waste, wrapping gifts or just have no time to wrap, Everpresent gift bags is definitely worth checking out. These beautiful gift bags are linen in material, come in different colours including shimmer linen, are beautifully presented with large ribbons which makes extradinary bows, and come in various sizes from wine to jumbo. Time permitting Everpresent can accommodate custom orders for businesses and create an amazing experience for your clients. They are also available at Kelowna Tourism, The Handmade Shoppe, Unhinged Boutique, The Green Vanity, HOST and Intrigue Winery. Check them out at   

The numbers have come in for Bell Media’s Stuff A Bus campaign, which included AM1150, EZ ROCK and Virgin Kelowna for the Kelowna Community Food Banks. A whopping 22,329 pounds of food equaling $55,821 plus $24,012 funds raised which in the hands of the food banks is over $72,000.00.

At 875 Theodora Road you will find a fun and beautiful Christmas Light Display as a fundraiser for the Salvation Army Red Kettle Fund, with a kettle onsite for donations. Ken Berry and his family started the project four years ago after doing a similar project in Williams Lake for 14 years. The lights at Theodora will be on until January 5th every day at 4:30 p.m. and off at 10:30 p.m. You will see a penguin express Christmas train, two stuffed penguin hockey teams playing on an old fashioned ice rink, Northern Lights Mining Company where penguins mine Christmas lights and much more. A new presentation is erected every two days right up until Christmas and after as well, so you can go by a few times during the holidays.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory runs Friday December 6th to 19th at Rotary Centre for the Arts. This unique production features an impressive slate of actors and puppets from the famed Old Trouts Puppet Workshop in Calgary. They will have a cool post-show candy room open and a golden ticket contest at each performance. Check out this delicious show and times at

Mark your calendars for the 2020 Hospitality Blood Drive. Only 45 days away, join in at the Kelowna Blood Donor Centre at 103 – 1865 Dilworth Drive from January 1st to 31st, 2020. This year, they have expanded the blood drive to include more hospitality partners so the competition is even greater. What is the challenge? Canadian Blood Services is asking you to help fill their beds, calling all hospitality industry companies to join them individually or as a team. Gayle Voyer is the Territory Manager. Visit

The Dine & Chat Single Seniors are celebrating their second Christmas Social on Saturday, December 14th at Deli City from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at 1889 Springfield Road. Enjoy a DJ, karaoke, ugly Christmas sweater contest and lunch for $15.00.  To reserve call Gloria Jean Seymour at 250-763-6495. Dine & Chat gathers every Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. at Deli City for a muffin break.

Birthdays of the week – Happy 85th Lois Bennett (Dec. 11); Happy 40th Eric Falkenberg (Dec. 13); Happy 90th RJ Bennett (Dec. 14); Anne Gilbert (Dec. 11); Anne Marie Kirby (Dec. 11); Gerry Fraser (Dec. 11); Bob Levin (Dec. 11); Ken Firkins (Dec. 13); Lucy Litz (Dec. 13); Melina Cunial (Dec. 14); Tim Allan (Dec. 14); Anna Stuart (Dec. 15); Frank Richter (Dec. 15); Sandra Sellick (Dec. 16); Peter Wannop (Dec. 16); Judy Hughes (Dec. 17); Lesley Pierce (Dec. 17); Rene Blanleil (Dec.17);

Maxine DeHart is a Kelowna City Councillor and local hotelier. Phone her at 250-979-4546 or 250-862-7662. E-mail and web-site