Father/Daughter Ball
 
 
2017 Athletic Awards Sponsors
Vernon Silver Star Rotary would like to thank all of the following for contributing towards the 2017 Rotary North Okanagan Athletic Awards :
 
 
Club Socials
Once a month, instead of the morning meeting, our club has an evening social.
(NB: No socials July and August)
Next Club Social
Date: 1st week of September (?)
Time: 
Location: 
Everyone welcome!  Bring a friend!
 
Club Executives & Directors
President
Immediate Past President
President Elect
Secretary
Treasurer
International Service
Membership
The Rotary Foundation (TRF)
BBQ Coordinator
 
 

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Vernon Silver Star Rotary

Vernon Silver Star

Service Above Self

We meet Tuesdays at 6:45 AM
for breakfast at
The Village Green Hotel
4801 27th Street
Vernon, BC  V1T 4Z1
Canada
DistrictSiteIcon
District Site
VenueMap
Venue Map
 
Projects
 
Club Stories
Louise Breneman spoke on behalf of a local group of hummingbird banders – these folks capture, identify, weigh & record details about these important pollinators, then place tiny numbered bands on them, which allow a monitoring network to track their movements upon recapture.  Here in the North Okanagan, we have Black-chinned, Calliope & Rufous, plus a few Anna's have recently been seen.  There are monitoring sites in Lumby, Vernon & Westside.  The purpose of this work is to collect data on species migration, return rates, reproductive success & population growth or decline.  Concerns include the impacts of climate change, loss of habitat, & toxins from agricultural sprays, etc.  Our local banders are working under the supervision of a Victoria, BC biologist, and receive financial support, for equipment, etc., from our North Okanagan Naturalists Club.  Louise came with some really beautiful pictures of these fascinating tiny creatures, & described how they’re handled, & how tail feathers are key to species identification.
Janet Green welcomed back UBCO anthropologist Dr Sandra Peacock & her Arusha, Tanzania based Vijiji Foundation partner, Amos Meyasi, for a progress update on the Moivaru School “Lunch for Learners” project.  In late 2014, our club donated money to help build new school washrooms.  In 2016, with a matching District Grant, our club donated more money to fund a kitchen, food storage area & covered dining area, where many of the school’s 1,000 students in Grades 1 to 7 may receive lunches.  Many of the students’ parents, typically subsistence farmers, are unable to pay cash for lunches, but willingly donate maize or other produce “in kind,” which directly supports the lunch program.  Once a final design is government approved, Amos believes the construction could be completed in under two months.  A clay-built wood-burning stove will be installed – electricity is unreliable, & therefore a poor choice for cooking. 
Dr Craig Goplen hosted Okanagan College economist Brad Clements for an update on the Okanagan Rail Trail.  Though the trail is not yet open or completed, lots of people are already using it, and there’s lots of support pouring in.  Last Tuesday was the first anniversary of the financial campaign.  There are 35 “trail ambassadors,” 16 campaign partners (including our club), 39 business partners, & over 3,500 individual donors so far! Over 60% of the $7.8m fund-raising goal has been collected.  Brad reported that municipal, regional district & First Nations partners have recently arranged for purchase of the abandoned CP Rail corridor north of Armstrong to Sicamous.  This is a huge step toward the eventual linking of a 260km rail trail from Sicamous to Osoyoos!
Cassandra Schwarz was our Queen Silver Star candidate in 2002.  She’s now a well-educated young lady, working as “Community Engagement & Fund Development Officer” for our local Canadian Mental Health Association.  Each CMHA office is independent, & runs their own programs.  Ours started in 1959, & now has a wide variety of programs supported by 76 staff & 30 volunteers.  Cassandra distinguished between mental health & mental illness, explaining most us move through our lives on a continuum – 1 in 5 of us will have a mental illness, & 1 in 3 are presently having a mental “issue” of some kind at any given time.  Unfortunately, 2 out of 3 of us will not seek help for our troubling issues.  Various stigmas prevent us from seeking or accepting help.  Cassandra talked about risk factors, & a couple of fund-raising initiatives to support local programs.  Of particular interest is their “Super Saturday” program for children of those dealing with mental health issues.  
Bev Rundell hosted well-known Vernon Wildlife Control Specialist Pete Wise, who spoke about numerous critters that keep him busy.  Deer kill more people in North America than any other animal.  Of course, people kill a lot of deer, too, and the carnage usually involves a highway & a vehicle.  In the Vernon area, Pete deals with an average of 15 – 20 deer per month.  He also catches about 1,000 marmots per year, relocating those he’s able.  He says anywhere we have flowing water, we also have beaver, which are difficult to deal with, as they suffer an 85% mortality rate upon relocation.  He reminded us that feeding pets outside often feeds wildlife as well, & that we’re well-advised to stock our birdfeeders (except hummingbirds) only through the winter.  Open composts attract rats & raccoons – the latter posing a threat through their droppings, which spread roundworms.  In addition to his wildlife control, Pete is also known for having recently celebrated 50 years of search and rescue work.   
No, that’s not Marty in the picture.  In Jan 2017, Marty & Judy visited Costa Rica.  From the capital, San Jose, they took a Pachira Lodge tour of Tortuguero National Park, including boat trips in & out, to see sloths, howler monkeys, iguanas, ants, hummingbirds, toucans & a variety of flora & fauna.  The Volcano at La Fortuna was next, followed by a Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve hike, which included hanging bridges, crocodiles, hawks, monkeys, & a coffee plantation tour.  There are lots of options for tourists to design their own programmes, selecting from a variety of destinations, including both Pacific & Caribbean coasts.
Gillian Canniff joined our club in Nov 2016.  She was born in Calgary, then moved to Springbank.  Her childhood included downhill skiing, several other sports, show jumping (horses, that is), choir, building a barn, caring for a menagerie which included a Sardinian donkey, & helping her family host youth exchange students.  Upon high school graduation, she survived a challenging exchange year in Greece, then took a degree in English through studies at Mt Royal College, U of Lethbridge & U of Calgary.  This was punctuated by work with disabled skiers, Alberta Youth Choir, pony club & ongoing orientations of outgoing exchange students.  Following travels in Spain, London & Egypt, Gillian took a job with a Calgary law firm, beginning as a mail clerk, & finishing as a qualified para-legal.  Next came a law degree, with involvement in trial advocacy, corporate, personal injury & family law, through stops in the Fraser Valley, Lake Country & arrival in Vernon two years ago.  She now has her own law firm.  Though Gillian only joined Rotary a short time ago, she’s had many years of experience coordinating outgoing RYES orientations, & believes this work has colored every aspect of her life, including her joy in helping clients from different backgrounds & cultures work through both the best & worst times of their lives.
Bev Rundell hosted Wee Yee, President of the (Sep 12th to 16th) 2017 Vernon & Area 55+ Games.  A retired electrical engineer & project manager in Calgary’s oil & gas sector, with over 20 years of volunteer & Board experience with the Calgary Stampede, plus a recent stint as Funtastic’s Executive Director, this affable gentleman is eminently qualified to lead 1,200 volunteers through hosting 3,500 participants.  He noted the 2017 55+ Games started here in Vernon thirty years ago, so this anniversary may be celebrated alongside Vernon’s 125th & Canada’s 150th birthdays!  With a $400k+ budget, & a local economic impact of over  $3.5m, this event is a big deal.  Wee has a team of 12 Directors, each with a portfolio of responsibilities, & a support team of their own.  Plans include open & closing ceremonies, plus two dances – alcohol may be involved.  Club members were invited to consider joining the volunteer ranks.  
Neil Perry, PE of Kal Rotary, hosted our club at his “Wayside” operation.  Neil began working 29 years ago for Vernon’s “Wayside Press,” established by the Bartholomew family in 1921.  Along with co-worker Richard Finn, he purchased the company in 2007.  Now diversified into signs, displays & responsive marketing, as well as complex printing, the company has 60 employees & offers a wide variety of services.  With a $2.2m six color press, 2 flatbed printers, digital printers, CNC cutters, many other sophisticated technologies, & talented, resourceful staff, they produce everything from simple business cards to 9m pieces annually of direct mail for clients including Chrysler, Ford, Kal Tire & Tolko, plus a long list of other local & international clients.
Dave Weatherill thanked Chelaine McInroy for her inspiring talk about overcoming personal obstacles.  An Armstrong “farm girl,” she competed at a high level in downhill skiing & rodeo sports, in addition to pursuing a country singing & song-writing career.  She was also taking a welding course, so she had a vocation to help support her passions.  Chelaine cut her foot on a Mexican beach a couple of years ago.  Treatment for a lingering infection was unsuccessful, & 18 months later, she underwent an amputation.  She’s now being supported by a crowd-funding effort to help supply her with an athletic-grade prosthetic leg.  Her real interest, though, is to find a way to inspire & help others to overcome major life hurdles.
Bev Rundell hosted Doug Rogers, SD22’s long-time “Substance Abuse & Prevention Counsellor.”  He’s both a teacher & certified drug counsellor, seeing up to 300 students per year.  He creates “therapeutic alliances” between students, teachers, administrators & parents, looking to educate & foster good choices.  He believes rules, trust & testing are all key to successful harm reduction, & sees himself as a salesman for setting & achieving goals.  He regularly asks “What are you doing now to reach your goal?”  
Charlene Silvester was inducted as a new member by Dave Weatherill & Dan Rieb.  She grew up in Vernon, graduated from VSS, worked in our local tourism sector for several years, then earned a B.Ed from UVic.  Following a short teaching career, she returned to Vernon & worked as a notary assistant.  After completing the two-year Notary Public preparatory course, she was commissioned in the Supreme Court of BC as a Notary Public in May 2009, & now runs her own practice.  Charlene likes movies, gardening & travel, particularly where wine tasting is involved!  She’s also involved with Women in Business, Downtown Vernon Association & our Chamber of Commerce.
Paul Philps hosted Don Friesen, a member of the Vernon Pickleball Association.  Pickleball is one of North America’s fastest growing sports.  It’s an easy game to learn & to play proficiently.  It’s less stressful on aging body parts than tennis or other racquet sports.  Because play is in segments of typically 15 to 20 minutes, with breaks between sets, pickleball is very social.  VPA has grown within about five years to over 330 members.  The club is anxious to have their own dedicated courts, which are about one third the size of a tennis court.  The City of Vernon has offered a site for twelve courts, on the east side of the covered soccer facility at Marshall Fields, & VPA is now fund-raising to build their new facility, which they hope will be completed in time for the Fall 2017 BC Seniors Games.
Bernadette O’Donnell, Director of the “Spec-Team Assessment Society,” is seeking funding for the specialized training of multi-disciplinary FASD assessment teams in the interior of BC. The training will enable them to assess & diagnose youth & adults with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).  BC is well behind other provinces in recognizing & treating permanent brain damage caused by FASD.  Low skills in literacy, numeracy & social interactions limit FASD sufferers from leading functional lives.  These folks are innocent victims, vastly over-represented among our First Nations, homeless, impoverished & prison populations.  An important first step in addressing adult FASD is measuring the problem through accurate diagnoses and follow up supports.
Membership Director Dave Weatherill & President-Elect Geordie McLennan inducted new member Gillian Canniff.  She was born near Calgary & earned a BA from U of C, a Paralegal Diploma from SAIT, & her law degree from the U of Saskatchewan.  She articled and worked in the Lower Mainland.  In 2011 Gillian moved to the Okanagan and started practice with Davidson Lawyers LLP.  In June of 2016 she opened her own firm, Canniff Law. Gillian likes horses & singing, helped educate paralegals, is a past disabled skiing instructor, & as a non-member of Rotary, oriented outgoing RYES for District 5060’s Youth Exchange Committee. 
Our President-Elect Geordie McLennan, who also serves as our Rotary Youth Exchange Coordinator, introduced the Kalamalka Rotary Club’s 2016-17 Incoming RYES, Louise Lagasse, from Ciney, Belgium.  Louise explained Ciney is a small village about an hour southeast of Brussels, in Wallonia, the French-speaking part of Belgium.  She lives there with her mother & two older brothers.  She’s finding school here quite easy.  She speaks English effortlessly, & seems quite outgoing.
Johanna Grönlund, our incoming Rotary Youth Exchange Student (RYES) for 2015-16, comes from Sweden.  She arrived Aug 14th, 2015, following a grueling flight through Chicago & Seattle, & will be leaving next week.  Her parents arrive shortly & will take her to Calgary before heading home.  Johanna believes this was both the best & worst year of her life – coping with homesickness, & missing the birth of her god-daughter, but also making many new friends.  She got very involved in WL Seaton’s theatre program, enjoyed being a gypsy for Halloween, made the “Honor Choir,” had a family dog for the first time, & really appreciated her host sister Lakin.  She believes social media will keep her close to her many new RYES friends from all over the world, & leaves us with many thanks for a wonderful year.  “You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to leave sight of the shore!”  Our club owes a big round of thanks to Geordie & his family, who really took Johanna under their wings.
President Bev Rundell welcomed 20 members, 11 spouses, 1 visiting Rotarian & 14 other guests, including many past members.  Keith Johnston presented Paul Harris Foundation (PHF) awards to Geordie McLennan, Bev Rundell & Jim Kanester.  Bev presented membership milestone tabs to Sandra Ross (absent Wendy Hesketh) for 5 years, Bob Clarke, Janet Green, Colin Heggie & Martin von Holst for 10, Marty Armstrong, Givonna De Bruin & Leigh Hewer for 15, (absent Rob Irving for 20), Michael Wardlow for 25, & Ken Barton for 30 years.  Retiring Club Directors Colin Heggie, Dave Hoyte, Keith Johnston, Jim Kanester & Sandra Ross were thanked for their service, while new Directors Teresa Bartel, (absent Paul Philps) & Dan Rieb received their pins.  Bev then inducted our 2016-17 Directors, including President Martin von Holst & President Elect Geordie McLennan.  Past members Ron Burnham, Peter Dubetz, Sandie Glennie, Vic Lepp, Keray Regan, Keith Rydings, Dennis Windsor & Greg Wylie each spoke briefly, including comments about the friendships, laughs & community contributions they enjoyed during their tenures.  The picture above shows L-R Ken Barton, past member Keray Regan, Sandra Ross, Leigh Hewer, Janet Green, Martin von Holst, Michael Wardlow, Givonna De Bruin, Marty Armstrong, Bob Clarke & Colin Heggie.
Martin von Holst began his term as 2016-17 Club President with a photo montage background on the projector & new RI President John Germ’s “Rotary Serving Humanity” banner draped from the lectern.  He presented Paul Philps with his new Director pin – Dan Rieb had received his at our Celebrate Rotary! event last week.  At their first Directors’ meeting next week, Martin & his crew will assign duties amongst themselves.
New member Chris Hart is inducted by Membership Director Dave Weatherill.  This impressive young man has a list of interests & accomplishments long enough to exhaust most of us.  Let’s just say he seems quite smart & rather outdoorsy!
 
Dave also reminded members of the adventures he & Joanne had in India a few years ago, as part of 40-something members of District 5060 participating in an “End Polio Now” National Immunization Day.  
Colin Hamilton, manager of the Village Green Liquor Store, presented our Celebrate Rotary! evening with four wines from Langley, BC’s Backyard Vineyards -- Nosy Neighbour White, paired with two cheeses; Pinot Noir Rose with a margherita pizza; Cabernet Sauvignon with a mini steak sandwich; & Cabernet Franc with dark chocolate & blueberries.  Though Bev Rundell was disappointed not to receive a margarita pizza, everyone else was very happy with these delicious selections.  Colin told us that the Okanagan Valley is the most developed, but not the only BC wine growing region.  BC now has 10,260 acres planted in 929 vineyards, supplying 255 wineries.  Total BC wine production has grown from 4.9 million litres in 1995 to 21.4 million in 2015!  Sandra Ross has conducted exhaustive research, concluding that our VG Liquor Store has the best selection of BC wines in Vernon!
Drew Vincent, a graduate of Okanagan College & entrepreneurial / social justice organization “Enactus,” now heads “Okanagan Young Professionals”(OYP), a program owned by the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission (COEDC). OYP’s core mandate is to connect young professionals to personal and professional opportunities – addressing a need for 75,000 new skilled workers in the Okanagan by 2020.  Their activities include connections, events, resources, recruiting & recommendations.
 
Mike Wardlow hosted Diane Bond, Kelowna based founding & Managing Director of the Okanagan Summer Festival Society.  Her background includes MA & MBA degrees, extensive work with high profile arts & performance organizations, founding a direct mail & internet business, & consulting on organizational planning, recruitment & marketing.  Her vision is to build an outdoor performance venue in the Okanagan, capable of attracting big-name orchestras, musicians, theatre companies, dance troupes & other performers.  She used the Bravo! Vail facility as a model for discussion.  Though the Okanagan College site in Coldstream has been recently rejected by our provincial government, her group will continue to seek a suitable site.  Her extensive background, ambition & contacts lead us to believe we’ll soon hear more about this exciting concept.
Martin von Holst hosted White House Mortgage’s Deb White, who chairs the Vernon Winter Carnival Society.  Though early winter carnivals were recorded in 1893 & 1945, it was 1961 when VWCS formed, beginning a continuous history of events.  Early carnivals were associated with minor hockey jamborees, speed skating races, the Vernon Girls’ Trumpet Band, alpine skiing championships, ski jumping & curling briers.  1966 saw the introduction of Carnival jester Jopo & a Sheriff, who was later named a Karnival Kop.  Jopette arrived in 1971.  Since 1961, about 650 young ladies have been Queen Silver Star candidates.  VWCS relies on about 700 volunteers contributing 10,000 hours per year.  There are a mix of about 90 events, sponsored by VWCS, other non-profits & businesses.  For 2017, the theme will celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.
In his vocational talk, new member Udai Singha told how he was born in Ontario, then as a baby was moved back to India with his family.  He completed undergraduate & law degrees.  After practicing law for a couple of years, he uprooted himself & moved to Vancouver on his own, not knowing anyone there.  Finding his Indian law degree unrecognized in Canada, he quickly found work at a Honda dealership, beginning with washing cars.  A weekend trip to the Falkland Stampede led to a meeting at Bannister Honda, where he must have impressed GM Pat Loehndorf.  Soon, he was Bannister’s top salesman.  Online, Udai met Toronto actuary Puneet Dhillon, who was convinced to come here in winter 2014.  Udai & Puneet went to India last month, where they were married in a traditional ceremony.  
Puneet Dhillon watched her new husband, Udai Singha, inducted by Dave Weatherill as our first "corporate" member.  Udai was sponsored by Pat Loehndorf, of Bannister Honda, who recently transferred to Kalamalka Rotary Club.  Following inductions, President Bev Rundell spoke about the recent District Conference in Yakima, WA.
 
 
Rotary Ride Vernon 2017
 
Member Volunteers Needed
 
Club Meetings