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Okanagan foundation dishes out $200,000 in grants

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It’s a happy time of year for Herb Wong. Board chairperson of the Community Foundation of North Okanagan, Wong and other board members had the honour of handing out money to a lot of North Okanagan organizations as part of its annual Smart and Caring Program Community Grants Cycle. […]


It’s a happy time of year for Herb Wong.

Board chairperson of the Community Foundation of North Okanagan, Wong and other board members had the honour of handing out money to a lot of North Okanagan organizations as part of its annual Smart and Caring Program Community Grants Cycle.

A lot of money.

“This year, we are handing out $200,000,” said a smiling Wong at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre, where the grants were handed out.

READ ALSO: Community Foundation of North Okanagan doles out record grant amount

The CFNO’s granting committee of five – chairperson Brad Marsh, Sonja Gaudet, Catherine Lord, Annette Sharkey and Calvin Hoy – sifted through numerous grant applications before deciding on 30 worthy recipients, who will use the funds for building upgrades, signage, a farm cat program, to help with a new vehicle.

Receiving grants were:

1. Abbeyfield Houses of Vernon for some much needed upgrades – flooring;

2. Allan Brooks Nature Centre for replacing signage and upgrading the facility;

3. Archway Society for Domestic Peace (formerly knows as the Vernon Women’s Transition Society) to convert an underutilized room into a fully functional space;

4. BrainTrust Canada for brain injury counselling – unique approach that works;

5. Canadian Mental Health for community suicide education and family support;

6. Canadian Mental Health Association Men’s Shed for a fabulous program that brings men together to ‘get stuff done;’

7. Cycling Without Age to help fund a second tri-shaw cycle to make it possible for people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to see the Okanagan Rail Trail and other areas;

8. Enderby & District Arts Council to create a public art feature in Enderby;

9. Enderby & District Community Resource Centre the Harvest Sharing Hut;

10. FASD Okanagan Valley Assessment for the second FASD Conference in Vernon;

11. Hope Outreach for supplies volunteers distribute to women in need – simple act of caring – part of a larger goal of building respect and relationships, goal is to help exploited women get off the street;

12. Hullcar and Deep Creek Hall Society Hall improvements – bustling centre for the community – dedication of volunteers who are determined to keep this heritage building both useful and relevant for all ages, all groups

13. John Rudy Health Resource Centre;

14. Junior Achievement BC – work in the school system to deliver their Bright Futures Financial Literacy education to YOUTH;

15. Kindale Development Association for Warner House repairs;

16. Kingfisher Interpretive Centre First Nations – Pit House – floods every year – need to build it in a better location – education purposes;

17. Learning Disabilities Association of BC;

18. Literacy Society of the North Okanagan Books for Babies so successful -starting a Books for Pre-schoolers program;

19. Lumby Food Bank Society Move locations – costs $;

20. Maven Lane (North Okanagan Childcare Society) Transportation – Bus to get kids to and from school – School busing program discontinued;

21. Okanagan Humane Society – Spay and Neuter Program – Farm cat program;

22. Okanagan Quality Life Society Pontoon Boat that takes seniors out on the lake – needs new bimini and few upgrades;

23. Okanagan Regional Library – Storytime for deaf children – bringing that program to Vernon library;

24. O’Keefe Ranch New boiler for the mansion;

25. People Place Society – Outside signage – so people know what the People Place is;

26. The Bridge Education Society – Building an incredible daycare in Lumby;

27.United Way North Okanagan – Innovation – different ways of helping charities;

28. Vernon & District Association for Community Living – Help with costs for a wheelchair accessible van;

29. Vernon Restholm Association – BX Creek flooding potentially impacting three of its charities;

30. Vernon Public Art Gallery Expand their regional reach – bring more children into the gallery.


The pirate theme will be back again this year at the annual Discovery House Family Fun Day on Father’s Day. (Western News file photo)

It’s all about dad.

The annual Discovery House Family Fun Day on Father’s Day is back in a big way this year on June 16.

From noon until 3 p.m. at the Skaha Lake Park ball courts is a free (by donation) afternoon of activities for the entire family.

A true highlight of this year’s event, organized by the men’s recovery centre which has two locations in Penticton, will be the dunk tank.

Sitting on the cold seat this time around in the Artisans Pools tank will be none other than Penticton’s mayor, John Vassilaki.

For a donation those wishing to unseat the mayor will get several chances to do so.

Discovery House is also looking for other volunteers to sit in the dunk tank.

As in the past there will be a pirate theme to the afternoon with prizes for the best dressed pirate.

Among the other activities will be a bouncy castle, children’s pirate games and events, a community barbecue (by donation) the always-popular family road hockey game, music and dance, community market and a whole lot more.

Among those fathers who will be attending are many current and former clients of Discovery House, fittingly the facility’s motto is: Returning Fathers to Children and Sons to Families.

According to Jerome Abraham, executive director this is also an opportunity for people to talk to these men and learn about their struggles and accomplishments.

“That’s what our organization is all about, fathers back to their children, whether they be adult children or kids and that’s what this event is really focussed on,” said Abraham earlier. “Beyond removing the use of drugs and alcohol it’s cleaning up the wreckage of the past and mending those relationships with families.”

READ MORE: Family fun on Father’s Day in Penticton

This event is a critical fundraiser for the organization and helps pay for beds for men who would not otherwise be able to afford them.

For more information about sponsorship opportunities, to volunteer or just general info call 250-462-1388 or go to https://www.facebook.com/events/292997498083999/

Executive director Jerome Abraham of Discovery House exits the dunk tank during a previous Family Fun Day. Mayor John Vassilaki will be in the tank this year. (Western News file photo)
Etta McKenzie gives dad Aron a hug at the 2017 Discovery House Father’s Day festivities. This year’s event is June 16. (Western News file photo)

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