Straight From DeHart – March 18, 2020

How time flies! This month my column celebrates its 22nd Anniversary with the Kelowna Capital News. Huge thanks to all of you, our readers, friends, colleagues and clients for supporting the newspaper, this column and me. Your loyalty and continued support and encouragement have made our success. I appreciate all of you taking me into your confidence each week and certainly could not have made this milestone without your help.

Racks, racks and more racks. Over The Top Racks & Accessories has opened at #205 – 1891 Springfield Road behind Buckerfields. It is owned and operated by husband and wife team James Sawatzky and Megan Graham and managed by Jon Pullar. The store offers recreational racks and accessories for skis and snowboards, boxes, kayaks, bikes and roof racks. They also offer hitches, camping accessories, rooftop tents, vehicle protection, commercial racks and accessories (van shelving, partitions and ladder racks for trucks/vans, headache racks, and tool boxes), off road racks and truck accessories of tonneau covers and side steps. Over the Top does attention-to-detail custom installation on any passenger or recreational vehicle and custom fabrication. This company really knows their business as Megan has been in the industry for over 12 years and formerly managed Road Racks until the shop was bought by a large multi-national chain. James is a red Seal Autobody Technician and Jon is a Red Seal Welder, so customer installation is paramount and exceptional. Jon also constructs the coolest snowboard benches to display your old boards that you have been attached to, but cannot get rid of. Drop in and take a look.

The Central Okanagan Food Bank has appointed Trevor Moss as the new CEO. As the past executive director of Freedom’s Door, Trevor has 21 years of leadership and administrative experience in the non-profit sector. Trevor’s role begins on March 30th and he will be joining the newly appointed executive team consisting of Tammie Watson, Chief Development Officer and Adam Barker, Chief Operating Officer. Fraser Campbell is the Chair of the Board of the Central Okanagan Food Bank.

The Kelowna Visual and Performing Arts Society which runs the Rotary Centre for the Arts have appointed Colleen Fitzpatrick as the new executive director commencing immediately. Colleen was recently the director of Convocation/Associate Director Community Relations and Events at the University of Waterloo and managed community relations and events at the Centre for International Governance Innovation. Jin Park resumes her role as Deputy Director/Finance and Ed McLean is the RCA Board Chair.

In saying that, the following events have been postponed and will be rescheduled in the future.  Mission Rotary Trivia Spring Fling (Mar. 29); Staples Studio, Design Day (April. 4); City Band Concert (March 28th); One Girl Can (Apr. 26). Dine & Chat (Mar. 287); The Ladies Closet Cleanout has been rescheduled for May 31st at the Laurel from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

After serving as a pastor for 18 years at Willow Park Church and Kelowna Gospel Fellowship, Mike Penninga is embarking on a new chapter helping raise resources for the work of Compassion Canada as National Donor Relations Manager. Compassion’s goal is to release children from poverty in Jesus name, and plays a part in more than two million children being sponsored in 25 countries, helping them with holistic development in health, education and spiritual growth. Although Compassion is headquartered in London, Ontario, Mike’s role will be based out of Kelowna.

Out of eight, only two Air Cadets from the Okanagan Zone Effective Speaking Competition were selected to represent the Zone for the Provincial Championship this April. Effective speaking is a program sponsored by the Air Cadet League of Canada with help from Toastmasters International to help Air Cadets become confident and effective at communication and delivery of speeches in front of large crowds. Air Cadets had to write a five minute prepared speech on topics provided to them as well as make an impromptu speech after knowing the topic for only three minutes. I was honoured to be asked to be a judge on the final competition day. Sergeant Matthew Huston from 243 Ogopogo Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron won the competition and Warrant Officer Second Class Aimee Glaubitz placed second. Both will represent the Okanagan Zone at the Provincials. David Howell was the Chairperson 243 Squadron Sponsoring Committee.

Roberta Fidalgo, HR consultant/owner of YET Human Resources has won a prestigious award as a fellow of Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) one of only three awards this year from the BC Association which is 6,000 plus members strong.  There has been only 23 such awards made in the past 10 to 12 years throughout BC and is an honour. It is given to members who have made exemplary contributions to the HR profession.  A $50,000 donation to the Our Students, Your Health campaign will recognize a mother who survived and found lessons in the horrors of Germany’s concentration camps. John Sokolowski has donated $50,000 towards an Early Childhood Education classroom in the College’s New Health Sciences Centre in the memory of his mother Janina Sokolowski who was born in Poland.  While Janina was not privileged enough to receive a full education, her life experiences shaped the values her son wants to recognize. For more information on how you can help or donate contact Holly Routley, Development Officer at [email protected] or Helen Jackman at [email protected]

After spending more than 40 years working as a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Jean Redmond knows first-hand it is a rewarding career. Jean and her husband Bill are choosing to inspire the next generation of CDA’s by pledging $40,000.00 toward the construction of a new Health Sciences Centre at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus. The Okanagan College Foundation has set a fundraising goal of $5 Million to complete the building, purchase technology and equipment and provide scholarships for health care students. I am honoured to be the Campaign Ambassador for this project. For more information on how you can help or donate contact Holly Routley, Development Officer at [email protected] or Helen Jackman at [email protected]

Why prune and when? What happens to a tree when you prune and how do you prevent permanent damage to valuable trees?  Join legendary nursery local Don Burnett at Bylands Garden Centre for free pruning demos.  Don will cover shade and flowering trees, conifers, flowering shrubs, small fruits, fruit trees and more. Saturday, March 21st and Saturday, March 28th 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Congratulations to Master of Science Biology student Portiaa McGonigal who took home first place and $3,000.00 in the UBC Okanagan Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition. She will now attend the Western Regional 3MT Competition at the University of Alberta. Her presentation was “Crown Gall Disease of Grapevine: Investigating Management Strategies and Biological Controls.” Interdisciplinary Studies student Meg Yamamoto was awarded second place and $2,000.00 for her representation “Documenting Experiential and Artistic Interpretations for Local Flora and Fauna Online Archive.”  Abisola Kehinde, a master’s student in biochemistry and molecular biology was the crowd pleaser taking home $1,000.00 for the alumni UBC People’s Choice Award for her presentation “Developing an Infant Formula from Breadfruit.”

Due to the many event cancellations, I will not be announcing events in the column for a few weeks. If, perhaps, small events are going forward and need some press, please let me know. I will, however, be announcing cancellations and re-scheduling to help get the word out for the organizers of the various events.

Birthdays of the week – Happy 80th Jim Ross (Mar. 23); Happy 70th Richard Trager (Mar. 22); John Clarke (Mar. 18); Mike Koutsantonis (Mar. 18); Ryan Smith, City of Kelowna (Mar. 19); Corrie Meere (Mar. 18); Bert Gee (Mar.19); Rachel Renaud (Mar.19); Garry Benson (Mar. 19); Ian MacDonald (Mar. 19); Karen Beaubier (Mar. 20); Kent Molgat (Mar. 20); Frank Singer (Mar. 21); Matthew Jensen (Mar. 21); Tracy Gilbert (Mar. 22); Ariel Tyk (Mar. 22); Dave Greer (Mar. 22); Natasha Frappier (Mar. 23); Dale Safinuk (Mar. 23); Ryan Donn (Mar. 24); Jock Tyre (Mar. 24).

Maxine DeHart is a Kelowna City Councillor and local hotelier. Phone her at 250-979-4546 or 250-862-7662. E-mail [email protected] and website