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Vernon Silver Star Rotary

Vernon Silver Star

Service Above Self

We meet Tuesdays at 6:45 AM
for breakfast at
Schubert Centre
3505 30th Ave
Vernon, BC  V1T 2E6
District Site
Venue Map
Club Stories
President Teresa introduced member Jim Kanester, who was late arriving and received the appropriate welcome. Jim had earlier teased us with an email telling us to listen to the song “The Girl from Ipanema’. Jim began by telling us of his early life and memories of growing up in Kamloops then moving across the river to North Kamloops and subsequently re-locating to Penticton. Stories of the fun he had as a child growing up and although times were not easy, they were fun.  Entertainment was self-made as they had no television early on and they didn’t spend much time listening to the radio. In addition he spoke how he would go out to play and show up in time for lunch then be off again, being dropped off for the 1st day of school by his Mom her staying there for a few hours then she left and his shock as he had to get home on his own. Obviously he made it, the walking to and from school unchaperoned through areas of no homes and the woods, going to the big library in Kamloops which was enormous compared to the North Kamloops one. To get to the ‘big” library he had to go across the new “Overlanders” bridge. He reminisced about the time he walked to town across the bridge to go to the theater to see the 1964 Disney classic animation “The Sword in the Stone” and to get there and find out it was sold out and he couldn’t get in. Jim then walked home only to return two hours later to get into see it. In Penticton riding his bike exploring and playing, delivering the Province newspaper and the freedom the earnings gave him, riding between the lakes and generally how enjoyable and different to was growing up in the 60’s.  Some (okay most) of the members related to Jim’s talk, his experiences and the simplicity of the time.
The teaser email, in 1963-64 Jim 1st   heard “The Girl from Ipanema” on the Ed Sullivan Show which was originally released in 1962. He became infatuated with the song its Bosa Nova and Jazz stylings. The song featured music by composer Antonio Carlos Jobin and the Portuguese lyrics by Vinicius de Moraes. English lyrics were written later by Norman Gimbel. There are numerous versions of the song but Jim’s favourite, that he played for the members present and available on YouTube, featured piano and Portuguese lyrics of Jobin, sultry sax stylings of Stan Getz and vocals of Astrud Gilberto. Astrud was watching the recording in the studio and she stepped in to do the English lyrics as Jobin was having difficulty. Astrud have not sung professionally previously. The “Girl” was Helô Pinheiro, a seventeen-year-old girl living on Montenegro Street in Ipanema. Daily, she would stroll past the Veloso bar-café, not just to the beach ("each day when she walks to the sea"), but in the everyday course of her life. She would sometimes enter the bar to buy cigarettes for her mother much to the delight on the male patrons (now politically incorrect). Later a version of the song was modified to “The Boy from Ipanema” being originally recorded by Ella Fitzgerald along with many others.
Jim’s favourite song and early life appears to have actually impacted his adult life as he has learned Portuguese, traveled to Brazil and Portugal as well as numerous other locations, the paper route gave him responsibility, handling of money and finance; Jim is a CPA.  Jim stated it was the 2nd most “downloaded” song next to “Yesterday” by the Beatles, Sgt-At-Arms Don corrected Jim as it was actually the 2nd most “recorded” song of all time, thanks for the $1.00 Jim.
Sorry Jim only photo I could find.
President Teresa (left) introduced newly appointed Assistant District Governor Dr. Carmen Larsen. Dr. Larsen was Kalamalka Rotary President 2019-20 and their Rotarian of the year in 2017 before taking on her new roll as ADG. Carmen became a Rotarian in 2014 after her family relocated to Vernon BC, she is married to Jacek Szudek (local otolaryngologist) and they have three daughters. Larsen is a family physician who works in Vernon and Armstrong as a locum physician, operating room assist, walk-in clinic physician, site director for the Southern Medical Program, Vernon Cadet Training Centre medical officer and training of 3rd year UBC medical students. Carmen initiated the Rotary Starfish Pack Program that provides a backpack full of food for underprivileged children in the area to take home for the weekend.
Carmen’s involvement in community began at a young age helping her parents with church fundraisers; she was a candy stripper at the local hospital in Courtney BC and was indirectly involved with Rotary through her Dad’s 24 year association with the Courtney BC Club (1986-2010). That involved hosting Rotary Exchange Students, car rallies and Rotary Group Study Exchanges etc.  Carmen was selected, after a competitive speech at the Courtney Club, to be their selection as a RYLA participant in 1988 in Tacoma Washington, 1990-91 she was selected as a Rotary Exchange Student to Belgium, later Carmen worked for a mining company in China, then after entrance to medical school Carmen. After each of these events she would return to speak at her Dad’s Club. Carmen also spoke one week after her fathers’ untimely death at age 65 of a sudden heart attack in 2011. In addition to Carmen’s Rotary involvement her brother is also a member of the Parksville Club.
Today Carmen spoke to us about heart attacks, the importance of being aware and not ignoring even the sometimes mild warning signs. Changes in one’s health, chest tightness, discomfort or pain, shortness of breath where three months ago there was no issue, pain in your arms or jaw, feeling of unusual indigestion or gas. Having to sit longer to catch your breath after activity, for women the feeling is often more a feeling of indigestion or gas. Do not wait to see if it will go away, do not wait because you might feel silly or embarrassed if it turns out that you are not having heart-related pain. Do not feel you are wasting the doctor’s time or health care resources or that it is unsafe to go the hospital in the time of COVID-19. Just go it is better to be wrong in the hospital than dead at home, your family, friends and community need you. In closing Dr. Larsen thanked Silver Star Rotary for our long association with our mass CPR initiative and the importance of its continuance.
Keith Johnston (right) introduced Russell Haubrich (left) as his speaker. Russell and Keith have known each other for over 60 years (they are cousins). Keith’s family moved to Calgary from Toronto in 1953, and the family would visit the Haubrich family farm in Saskatchewan during the summer months. After moving to Texas in 1960, Keith returned to Saskatchewan and spent the summer of 1966 with Russell and his family.   Keith and Russell became re-acquainted when Keith and his daughter would visit Silver Star Mountain for winter skiing. Russell is the longest residing permanent resident of Silver Star Mountain having moved there in 1983. Russell gave an interesting talk on the history or Silver Star Mountain Resort from its inception, growth challenges to the present day detailing some of the interesting stories of the various ownership groups over the years.
Silver Star Sports was started by Russ Postill, Mike Lattey, Bill Attridge, Joe Peters, John Kassa, Joyce Balestra and John Hindle in 1956-1957. Although Silver Star Mountain is located in a Class A Provincial park where no development is permitted, this group persevered and received approval from the Province of BC to build a ski hill within the park in the summer of 1957.  Modest beginnings with two rope-tow lifts and an A-frame day lodge were built in 1958. In 1959 a poma lift was installed replacing the rope tow. In 1964 new t-bars were installed replacing the slower rope tow; in 1965 a second A-frame structure was added to the day lodge. In 1967 and 1968 the Summit and Yellow Chairs (6,000 feet) were installed, making Silver Star Mountain one of the largest ski areas in Canada. A good portion of the village construction is attributed to local builder Pete Pasechnik.
In 1981 Silver Star Sports was purchased by Norm Crerar, Charlie Locke, John Hindle, Rob Marshall and John Gow and became Silver Star Mountain Resorts Ltd (SSMR). The first Nordic trails were also cleared. In 1983 the Putnam Station Hotel is built by Russell Haubrich and Shella Ledingham, it is Silver Star's first on hill hotel (Russell sold the hotel that became the Bulldog) which Russell managed for the foreign owners for a year after the purchase.
From 1984-1990 many new hotels and amenities are built on the hill. In 1990 the Silver Queen chair was installed and replaced by a doppelmayr quad chair, 1991 the original Putnam Creek and Vance Creek express quads were built and opened up extensive amounts of new terrain. In 2001 the Schumann family, owners of Big White Ski Resort since 1985, reached an agreement in principle with the Honourable Judd Buchanan the then major shareholder of SSMR on the purchase of the majority of the assets of SSMR. In 2002 SSMR invested heavily in new chair lifts and opened up new terrain that was followed by further expansion in 2005/06 to open up the Silver Woods ski area. 2005 was also the expansion of the Silver Star Bike Park.  Jane Cann (daughter of Des Schumann) had owned Silver Star since 2002.  She became president and 100% owner in 2012. In December 2019 the resort was sold to POWDR, an adventure lifestyle company based out of Park City Utah so the next chapter begins.
Bev Rundell introduced 22-year old David, owner of Vernon’s Fig Bistro  David dropped out of high school early, wanting real world experience.  He worked three years at Nature’s Fare, then purchased his restaurant across the street.  With the March 2020 onset of Covid-19, a sudden drop in sales, & operational rules changing daily, he quickly realized the key to his survival would be take-out meals.  He had to let half his staff go, then invested in Facebook marketing.  Facebook reached a different clientele, producing a 50% increase in sales volume – all take-out, or pick-up & heat at home.  Soon, he launched a “Free Meals for Seniors” campaign, & with the help of volunteer drivers, has provided over 1,000 meals for struggling seniors.  He feels his business has benefitted from this gesture, & his success in pivoting to a new model of operation.  Asked what advice he might offer start-up restauranteurs, he said “get a good bookkeeper early on!”  David has an interest in politics, which may play a role in his future.
Member Dominik Dlouhy & his wife Marilyn Courtenay, who opened her “Boarding House Café” early this year, hosted our club’s first “in person” meeting since March 10th.  The spacious layout allowed social distancing, & we appreciated the “no host” breakfast goodies & drinks.  Assistant District Governor Bev Rundell presided over the handover to our new Directors.  Shown above are Bev Rundell (President Elect), Penny Trudel (Public Relations), Keith Johnston (Membership), Don Miller (Sargeant at Arms), Gillian Canniff (International Service), Teresa Durning Harker (President), Paul Philps (Past President), Loredana Eisenhauer (Secretary), Jim Kanester (Rotary Foundation), & Leigh Hewer (Director at Large); missing is Michael Wardlow (Treasurer).  Teresa outlined her objectives for the next year, & presented outgoing President Paul with an impressive basket of goodies, & thanks for his leadership.
In respect of continuing Covid-19 restrictions, Silver Star Rotarians continue to meet online weekly at 7am on Tuesdays.  This week, Dr Craig Goplen discussed the cancellation of our annual Father Daughter Ball, asking for ideas about how an online or virtual event might be held in lieu of the real thing.  He also noted the Queen Silver Star Excellence Program is currently considering how they might operate through 2020.  In July, it's expected we'll begin trial meetings at the Schubert Centre, using their covered rear patio area.  Jim Kanester thanked participants in his vocabulary contest, held over the past few weeks.  He supplied definitions, & club members supplied the word he was looking for.  Scoring 10 out of 11, our champion was Janet Green, followed closely by Gillian Canniff & Dave Hoyte, each with 9 correct answers.
President Paul Philps hosted Dan Proulx, representing the Vernon Chamber of Commerce, to our online meeting.  The Chamber is a non-profit with over 600 members, supporting economic development of our region.  Funding comes from a combination of member investment & Chamber-hosted events.  During the current Covid-19 pandemic, events are cancelled, but the Chamber remains active.  Their regular work includes training & education for members, business advocacy to all levels of government, & support of local business through online listings & gift certificate programs.  An important new initiative: “Relaunch Vernon Toolkit,” at , gathers a wide variety of information & tools local businesses can use to help them survive the pandemic.  Components include creating a back to work task force, preparing your office or workspace, preparing your employees, & preparing to do business.  Members are encouraged to “Be Prepared” for a second wave of the pandemic, for the loss of government subsidies, for employees working at home, & to initiate or expand their online & virtual presence.  Everyone is asked to patronize local businesses when possible, remembering that, unlike Amazon or other multi-nationals, they in turn support our local causes.
Since March 17th, 2020, our weekly Tuesday meetings have been hosted on Zoom, from 7:00 to 7:40am, by Bev Rundell.  Jim Kanester has supplied a weekly definition of a word – members email him their guess to identify the word, & he promises wine prizes for those with good vocabularies (no dictionary or online searches permitted!).  Bob Clarke has continued with announcing birthdays & anniversaries; Don Miller continues to throw in weird trivia questions.  It’s not like meeting in person, but at least we’re staying in touch.
Sara Morgan (L) is Program Coordinator for Teen Junction in Vernon, & Sarah MacKinnon (R) is a Regional Director of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Okanagan.  BGCO “adopted” Teen Junction at the request of the Literacy Society in about 2017, bringing extensive experience & partnerships in running a wide variety of youth programs.  Teen Junction is open to 13 to 19 year olds, Monday to Friday, from 3:30pm to 7:30pm, with two staff members offering services, typically including kitchen prep instruction, a hot meal, employment & job search help, computer skills, games, discussions, individual support, & sometimes just a safe place to hang out.  From an average of 11 to 15 daily clients initially, attendance jumped to over 50, & has settled back to about 30.  Many attendees present problems with addictions, homelessness, etc.  Teen Junction aims to provide a refuge & learning opportunities for youth with minimal support elsewhere.  An example of a successful strategy is their “Youth in Residence” program, which gives selected participants responsibility for keeping others safe – they essentially take the role of staff members, intervening when trouble arises, & sometimes engaging outside help from first responders or parents.  This can quickly show them the burden of responsibility, & teach valuable life lessons, while being shadowed by real staff.  Our club’s connection with Teen Junction goes back to its beginnings, & we continue to help finance the 4,400 meals served in 2019.
All Silver Star Rotary Meetings & functions are cancelled due to the Coronavirus.  Our Club Directors are reported to be in discussions with other local clubs regarding actions we might take to help support those in our community in need of assistance.  Keep well !
Ward Mercer, with Community Futures, was Janet Green’s guest today.  Ward was recently hired to administer Vernon’s Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program, “designed to spread the benefits of economic immigration to smaller communities by creating a path to permanent residence for skilled foreign workers who want to work and live” here.  We’re one of 11 Canadian communities selected as a pilot.  The program will run for three years, beginning Feb 1st, 2020 & each of the 11 sites may approve up to 100 applicants.  Federal eligibility guidelines specify education & language requirements, at least one year of continuous work experience, an intention to live in the community, & proof of finances to support the transition.  Further, local program committees set additional requirements for qualifying employers, minimum wages ($25/hr in Vernon), & award applicants priority points for recommendation.  Our local committee is most interested in mid-career applicants with families, who have skills for “hard to fill” local jobs.  This program is not for family unification, or refugees – it’s intended to supplement existing routes to permanent residency & citizenship for skilled workers & their families who will add to the economic health of the pilot communities.   
Dave Hoyte hosted Doug Ross, the City of Vernon’s Director of Recreation Services, to tell us about their feasibility study for a new “Active Living Centre.”  Following a 2018 recreation master plan, a statistically valid survey of residents revealed that 59% want new facilities, 16% don’t, & 25% are unsure – perhaps until they know what’s on offer.  The top choices for indoor facilities are a leisure swim pool, multi-purpose rooms, a 50m pool, fitness rooms, a walking/running track, ice arena, gymnasium, etc.  68% of respondents were willing to pay up to $100 per year in additional property taxes to fund the capital cost of constructing facilities.  Proposed options will include replacing & adding to our existing Rec Centre facilities, or building new ones on the Kin Racetrack lands.  Three rough proposals range in cost from $60m to $90m.  A new questionnaire is being developed for distribution to a representative sample of 5,000 residents, asking for more detailed information about wants, needs, willingness to pay, etc.  The ongoing annual costs of operation & maintenance will also need to be considered, as will the timing of financing & construction vis-à-vis our proposed new cultural centre & needed improvements to our water system.  Doug noted that Vernon opened the interior BC’s first indoor ice rink in 1937, & first indoor civic pool in 1966.  He said it’s important to look at building efficiently for both present & future needs, & to provide amenities that will attract both new residents & visitors.
Member Bob France spoke today about the grasslands eco-system in Alberta and BC. The grasslands eco system in Canada is one of the most endangered eco systems in the world and is similar to the rainforests and coral reefs in other areas of the world. In western Canada less than 20% of the grassland are left and that is contributing to environmental damage with some 80% of species relying on the grasslands and the underground grassroots. Above ground the grasses pull carbon from the air with below ground providing a long term and stable eco-system. Cattle are extremely important to the grassland eco-system, previously it was the large bison herds that roamed the prairies before the arrival of the Europeans and cattle ranching. Grazing benefits grasslands by removing old growth for new growth in the spring, fire can be beneficial for removal of top growth as well. In approximately 1988, Grasslands National Park was established in southeast Alberta and was left as a park, without the previous grazing the grasslands were lost. Grazing has been re-established in the Park and the grassland eco-system has come back, providing strong evidence that the survival of the grasslands requires grazers. Bob noted that when grassland are tilled and farmed and then left to return a natural state it never goes back to natural grasslands. Other areas of the world where grasslands are present and have been farmed or the grazers removed, ie: elephants in Africa, the grasslands have been lost forever. We need to care for the grasslands be grazing so that they don't become extinct. Grazing not overgrazing is an important distinction as overgrazing can have very detrimental effects on grassland health .
In BC only 1% of the Provincial land base in classified as grasslands of which, 40% is private, 10% on reserve lands with 50% on Crown Land. Of the Crown land a very high percentage is with grazing tenures which are managed. 1/3 of the BC red and blue listed species live in the grasslands, so its preservation is very important. Closer to home with the development of housing, cultivation etc 39% of the grasslands in the Okanagan Boundary regions have been lost (45% in Vernon and 81% in the Kelowna area). Important grasslands in BC include Douglas Lake Plateau, White Lake Protected Area and the proposed National Park in the South Okanagan. Kal Lake Park is stated as grassland however based on historical photos and without active management it is being over grown with brush and trees effectively eliminating the grassland characteristic. The Grassland Conservation Council, Society of Range Management, Nature Conservancy and Nature Trust all play important rolls in the preservation of the grasslands.
Laurie Cordell is the City of Vernon’s Manager of Long Range Planning & Sustainability.  She was hosted by Lore Eisenhauer, to speak about composting.  A couple of trial compost collection bins, where residents could drop their organic waste, until Nov 2019, were overly successful, demonstrating a demand for some type of compost collection.  This demand was also reflected in a recent survey.  The City & Regional District, which operates our landfill, are motivated to explore efficient methods of composting, simply as a way to reduce landfill use.  A study is currently underway, to explore benefits & costs of more centrally located collection bins for organics, or possibly curbside pickups.  Local contractors, who would likely be involved in either scenario, are also looking at various alternatives.  Meantime, as we await a Fall 2020 report, the City intends to soon provide six collection bins, strategically located.  There were numerous questions about the efficacy of composting, as a method of reducing greenhouse gases, & about what is included/excluded in the definition of organic material.
Cindy Masters, Executive Director of the Vernon & District Community Land Trust, was hosted by Teresa Durning Harker.  The Land Trust seeks & manages public & private donations & purchases of land & buildings, which will contribute to a permanent supply of affordable rental housing.  They work with a variety of partner agencies, such as BC Housing, Habitat, Heartwood Homes, Okanagan College’s construction trade program, etc., to identify, acquire, design, build & populate modest housing for families & individuals whose income is insufficient to cover the market cost of housing.  Successfully completed projects include a 2010-built six-plex, & a 2012 major renovation of a 75-unit apartment block.  A new project is expected to be announced next month.  The Land Trust is always pro-actively working on a “shovel-ready” project or two, in anticipation of funding being made available.  They are also looking for new Directors, with experience, skills, & an interest in affordable housing.
This morning we met at Okanagan College’s Trades Building, opened in 2018.  Bob Clarke arranged a talk & tour with Rob Kjarsgaard, OC’s Program Administrator for Trades & Apprenticeships.  OC is BC’s 2nd largest trades trainer, after BCIT.  The Kelowna campus of OC recently received a $36m upgrade to their trades building, while Vernon, Penticton & Salmon Arm have new facilities to allow rotating intakes of various trades through multi-purpose shops.  The Vernon facility has a large classroom area, three shops & ancillary rooms.  High school students are invited to “Student for a Day” hands-on experiences, & there are several special programs, such as “Women in Trades.”  A wide variety of apprenticeship & foundation programs, leading to diplomas or Red Seal National Endorsements, include aircraft maintenance; automotive service, collision repair & refinishing; carpentry & joinery; culinary arts; electrical; heavy mechanics; metal fabricating & fitting; pastry arts; plumbing & pipe fitting; RV service; refrigeration & air conditioning; residential construction; sheet metal work; studio woodworking; & welding.  There are numerous options within most of these categories.  Rob claims an overall 97% employment rate among all graduates of trades training, most of whom alternate between classrooms & on the job experience, where they can be earning progressively better wages throughout their training.  He calculates a typical trades student can earn a good living through their four typical years of training, whilst a typical university student accumulates substantial debt.  Pictures show shops set up for plumbing & welding.
Leigh Hewer introduced Teresa Bartel’s speaker, pharmacist Gerard Kampman, owner of North End Pharmacy Remedies Rx.  He spoke about medical uses of cannabis, which contain over 450 compounds, including 80 to 100 phyto-cannabinoids, the best known being THCs & CBDs.  Cannabinoids are often used to treat chronic pain, especially neuropathic pain; spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis; chemotherapy triggered nausea & vomiting; & epilepsy.  Studies have shown that cannabinoids are less effective than most pharmaceuticals in treating neuropathic pain, but interestingly, these same studies show panaceas being more effective than any treatment!  Cannabinoids also present more side effects than conventional drugs.  Separating medicinal from recreational marijuana is complicated, but a clear danger of using non-medicinal grade product is the growing use of inappropriate anti-mildew or anti-fungal products in the growing process, leading to some highly undesirable results.  (This was attested to by Dave Weatherill, who knows about agricultural supplies.)  Where people are seeking medical treatment or pain relief, using a pharmacist to help with selection, dosage, monitoring, records & sourcing, is likely to produce better results.
Gillian Canniff hosted WorkBC’s Angie Fisher & her colleague Angela, who described their newly funded “Employ! Youth Centre,” a comprehensive employability skills program for youth 16 – 25.  The program is directed to youth who want to work, but face barriers such as anxiety, depression, FASD, poor literacy, or lack of family support, routine, transportation, housing, high school completion or confidence.  Each intake of 12 to 16 participants receives 6 weeks of classroom study, followed by 9 weeks of employment supported by a Job Coach.  Federal funding provides wages, help with barrier issues above, & may also include appropriate clothing for interviews, work gear, training, counselling & mentoring.  Mentors are sought, to job shadow, spend social time with youth, & provide practical encouragement.  Outcomes observed among previous clients include major improvements in confidence, hope, recognition of skills & abilities, coupled with a decrease in anxiety & depression.  Though an expensive program, many participants become valued employees, with better, more productive & balanced lives.
 Leigh Hewer, Bob Clarke and Jim Kanester
For today's meeting Members were to wear an ugly sweater, Xmas tie etc with prizes received after voting with best costume being awarded to Bob Clarke with Leigh Hewer, Janet Green and Jim Kanester receiving runner up prizes. Thanks to Gillian and Bev for arranging prizes and Gillian for unbiased selection of winners. President Paul tried to auction off a couple of plates/serving dishes that were left after Friday nights Christmas party to no avail, if they are yours please contact Paul.
There was lively discussion as to the future of the "Rotary Ride" in 2020 and beyond and there will be more to come in the New Year.
Our next meeting is January 7, 2020. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all and see you in 2020.
 Breakfast with Santa Dec 7, Hillview Elementary School.
Our Annual General Meeting was held today with 23 Members present. A full slate of officers was elected/appointed or reconfirmed for 2020-21. Our Directors and Officers for 2020-21 are President Teresa Durning; Past President-Paul Philps; Treasurer Mike Wardlow; Secretary Loredana Eirenhauer; Public Relations Penny Trudel; Membership Keith Johnston; Foundation Jim Kanester; Grants Bev Rundell; International Gillian Canniff and President Elect is Bev Rundell for 2021-2022. Thanks to all for your contribution and support of Vernon Silver Star Rotary.
Teresa Bartel advised that there was another successful "Rotary Exchange Student Weekend at Silver Star Mountain Resort" this past weekend with 23 international students attending from all through out District 5060. Shout out of Bev and Dave H for their assistance. Bob France stated that the Santa Breakfast at Hillview Elementary on Saturday Dec 7 was a great success with 275 breakfast served and thanks to all members for their support. Jim Kanester will be sending out a notification to members relative to his annual initiative in support of our scholarship program. Also members have fully subscribed to 2020 Scholarship presentation. Thanks Jim for your continued support and leadership of our Scholarship program.
North Okanagan Valley Gleaners board chair Brad Egerton was hosted by Marty Armstrong.  One of about a half dozen Canadian gleaner societies, the NOV group has now been operating for ten years.  In 2018, they collected 1.2m lbs of donated vegetables, which after processing, drying & mixing by 300 volunteers, produced dried soup mix for 7m meals, at a cost of C$0.02 per meal !  Large batches of soup mix are provided to a select group of vetted organizations, which organize & supply shipping to recipients in the Caribbean, Ukraine, North Korea & other needy destinations.  With the help of more mechanized processes, & more volunteers, NOVG hopes to increase production to 13m meals per annum.  The Canada-wide goal is 100m meals.  New gleaner societies are expected to open in Calgary & Montreal, but perhaps more importantly, a “test” society in Bolivia will hopefully begin production in a location close to where product is needed.  NOVG also collects serviceable used medical equipment for shipment overseas.  In the past five years, C$30m worth of used goods, at 20% of their original cost, have been recycled – again, using partner organizations to ship & distribute.  Both soup mix & medical supply operations, based in their donated rural Lavington facility, are partially funded by income from the Gleaner’s used furniture & appliance store, which relies on donated goods & volunteer labour.  The store also supplies free furniture & appliances to selected needy local families.  Our members may visit NOVG’s Lavington facility in the new year.  Meanwhile, any SS Rotarians interested in joining a small group of volunteers are asked to contact Colin.  
Dave Weatherill hosted Nuri Fisher, owner & CEO of Piscine Energetics (PE), a local “boutique” company which harvests, flash-freezes, packages & sells Mysis Shrimp, from Okanagan Lake, to feed fresh & saltwater fish in aquariums.  In the late 1960’s, our provincial government attempted to remedy seriously dwindling Okanagan Lake stocks of Kokanee salmon, by introducing Mysis Shrimp.  Unfortunately, the Kokanee couldn’t feed on shrimp that spent their days in deep, cool water, ascending nearer the surface at night to feed on phytoplankton – the Kokanees main source of food – so the introduction of the shrimp exacerbated Kokanee losses.  PE has developed trawling technologies to capture shrimp at night, ridding the lake of over-abundant “invasive” shrimp, & giving young Kokanee a renewed opportunity to prosper.  Their slow-moving small mesh nets, combined with a vacuum tube to a “catch boat,” is able to separate shrimp from other species.  BC’s Ministry of Environment sees this as a win-win situation, & is encouraging PE to expand their operation.  Mysis Shrimp provides excellent nutrition to young fish, but is not considered a viable competitor to those who sell fish food to more mature stock.  Over time, if stocks of Kokanee salmon in Okanagan Lake return to previous levels, a recreational fishing industry could be restored.  Our lake is the only one without a viable sport fishery, especially in relation to the size of our lake & population.
President Paul Philps showed a 2017 Rotary Foundation video, celebrating 100 years of contributions, & over US$3B in support for a wide variety of health, education, peace & leadership projects around the world.  Jim Kanester followed with an explanation of Foundation recognition awards & points.  Members can go to , click on My Rotary, login, click on Manage, Contributions, Donor History Report, View report, Individual Reports & Donor History Report, to see an Overview of contributions.  A second tab shows all your Transaction Details.  Jim moved on to a review of our scholarship program, where our Community Futures endowment fund has achieved returns of 3.67% & 3.5% in 2017 & 2018.  He presented Don Miller with a bottle of wine to recognize his continuing support of Vipers 50/50 Raffle tickets, with support from his wife Anne.  Jim is surrendering management of our 50/50 ticket sales to Gillian Canniff.  A discussion of membership retention & recruitment, through new & varied options, for busy people, ensued.
Long-time Vernonite Richard Hamilton was installed in 2018 as Honorary Colonel of the BC Dragoons, following a career including The Bay, Seymour Equipment & Kal Tire, alongside his decades of involvement with the Dragoons.  He was introduced by his friend Michael Wardlow.  His role is community outreach.  Richard introduced the Dragoons’ current Commanding Officer, LtCol Kevin Mead, who was raised in Kelowna.  Kevin joined the military in 1994 & has had three overseas tours.   The role of the BC Dragoons is to generate trained armoured reconnaissance reserve troops.  There are presently about 130 members, including many new recruits.  They receive extensive training in the use of armoured vehicles, such as our Coyotes, Leopards & Light Armoured Vehicles.  These come in a variety of specifications, with sophisticated weapons, navigation & reconnaissance tools, but they definitely aren’t built for comfort!  Committed reservists really have a full-time job in addition to their civilian jobs.  Following an active (overseas) engagement, where they bond tightly with each other & with regular troops, they often find the return to civilian life challenging.  The Vernon Military Camp originated with 1884 Okanagan meetings, the return of Boer War soldiers, & the 1914 Military Act.  Dragoons participated meaningfully in both World Wars, & still play an important role in the Canadian Army.
Martin von Holst introduced the Kelowna Rotary Club’s Carol Eamer, who serves as International Service Director for both her club & District 5060.  She spoke about the extensive & chronic problems the people of Haiti have with lack of potable water, due to poverty, deforestation, corruption & other factors, all exacerbated by the 2010 hurricane.  She explained “HANWASH – Haiti National Clean Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Strategy – is a collaborative national initiative to provide thoughtfully managed & sustainable clean water & sanitation to all citizens of Haiti, along with the associated health, community & economic benefits.  The initiative is led by (Caribbean) Rotary District 7020 & DINEPA (The Haitian Government’s National Water & Sanitation Agency), along with other NGOs.”  Current RI President Barry Rassin, of Nassau, Bahamas, is a supporter of HANWASH.  To begin, four of Haiti’s 145 communes have been selected for pilot projects.  Meillac, a small village in the Ferrier commune, in the northeast, next to the Dominican Republic border, will be supported by our District 5060, led by the Rotary Club of Wenatchee.  They’ve asked all 5060 clubs to help.  The initial goal is to raise US$15,000 for engineering studies.  About 80% of this goal has been pledged.  Members approved a motion by Martin to contribute C$1,000.
Penny Trudel hosted Queen Silver Star Excellence Program Committee member Celine Grosch, Queen Hayley Rakos, Princess Madison Barrett & our club’s current candidate Jessie-Leonia Knight.  Our Dr Craig Goplen & Martin von Holst have been involved with QSSEP for many years.  Celine told us this is the 60th anniversary year of the program, which has graduated 692 candidates.  The program has evolved significantly from a beauty pageant, to include training in automotive maintenance, dance, etiquette, financial awareness, fitness, hair care, health, interview skills, local history, make up/skin care, modelling & deportment, nutrition, resume writing, self-defense & speechcraft.  Being a candidate is like a half-time job for these girls, who are kept running to a wide variety of local events, plus travel as Vernon’s ambassadors.  Media nights, speech competitions & talent shows supplement the debut & fashion show, proclamation & coronation events, in coordination with our annual Winter Carnival.  Candidates are all matched with at least one 6 to 8-year old “Little Miss.”  Scholarships are offered to candidates, dependent upon the generosity of program sponsors.  
Charlene Silvester hosted WL Seaton French Immersion teacher Stephanie Hewson, who spoke about her Okanagan Learning Foundation.  Seaton’s “feeder” elementary schools have “Starfish” programs, providing food to needy students each Friday, to supplement their weekend diets.  It occurred to Stephanie that these students’ needs don’t disappear when they move to secondary school, so in 2017 she began offering Friday food supplements to selected Seaton students.  At present, the Okanagan Learning Foundation serves 25 Seaton students, plus 10 at Fulton Secondary.  Plans are afoot to serve VSS, & in the future, more schools.  Proteins, carbs, fresh fruit, vegetables, some snacks, hygiene products, & clothes are offered on Fridays to one student at a time, to maintain privacy.  Students are involved in purchasing the food, & receive hints on meal preparation.  Teachers, counsellors & administrators make referrals to the program, then parents are contacted to complete annual applications.  OKLF also provides scholarships to students, & professional education grants to teachers.  About $35,000 has been spent since 2017.  Funding comes from private & corporate donations.

Bev Rundell introduced District Governor Peter Schultz who addressed Club and spoke of his involvement with Rotary and some of changes in Rotary. In Kelowna they have formed a “Chapter One Club” based on the first chapter of Rotary Procedures Manual; the Club is for those interested in Rotary but can’t commit to a full time membership for various reasons. They follow Rotary’s guiding principles and the moral compass of the 4 Way Test, they meet twice a month in a non-formal setting with their focus on Fellowship and Service. The Vernon Rotary Clubs are collectively working toward the establishment on a “Friends of Rotary Club” along the lines of the Kelowna based “Chapter One Club”. Peter spoke of Rotary’s core values of Fellowship, Service, Integrity, Leadership and Diversity and asked the question of members “You joined Rotary but when did you become a Rotarian?” Discussion took place and for Peter is was a two week Rotary trip to Ethiopia with 20 people including 3 plastic surgeons, nurses and support people to assist burn victims. Peter had roles of stewardship, quartermaster and photo journalist and this was when Peter became a “Rotarian”. Peter spoke with emotion of the trip and stated “truth leaks out your eyes” as he wiped his eye.

DG Peter and President Paul awarded Anne Marie Kanester a "Club Supporter of the Year" award, graciously accepted by Jim Kanester. On behalf of the club thank you Anne Marie for your ongoing support of Vernon Silver Star Rotary.

Reminder: District Conference in Kelowna, BC April 23-26, 2020, for registration and details go to the District 5060 website.

Calvin Reich introduced his wife Allyson, Lieutenant with Vernon Fire Rescue (VFR). When Allyson was approximately 12 a neighbour suggested that she should look to become a fire fighter as she was tall and athletic. Without any further thought as to becoming a firefighter life continued for Allyson. She eventually moved to Sun Peaks outside of Kamloops to help her parents with their convenience/liquor store and was also working as a ski-instructor; the thought of being a fire fighter was rekindled as a volunteer with the Sun Peaks Fire Service where she received training and experience. In August of 2005 Allyson applied for and was accepted as the 1st female fire fighter for VFR and has risen to the position of Lieutenant and is relief Fire Chief (when the Fire Chief is absent). There is considerable time spent training as each piece of equipment requires 30 hours of operating experience (ladder trucks, engines etc). People are surprised when they see a woman driving the ladder truck!! In addition to firefighting, VFR is 1st responder for motor vehicle accidents and medical assistance and are often at the scene prior to the ambulance which may be delayed. As a Lieutenant, Allyson is in charge of the truck and rides in front right seat. Vernon Fire Rescue covers a large geographic area and also assists on responses to Falkland as necessary. Fire Hall 1 is across from Vernon City Hall, Fire Hall 2 is the Okanagan Landing Hall and the Predator Ridge location is an Auxiliary Hall handled by Auxiliary Staff (in conjunction with Hall 1). VFR has 28 fulltime firefighters and are supported by 25 paid auxiliary members. Public buildings are set up with a lock box with VFS for emergency access. Allyson challenged SSR members to check their smoke detectors and reminded us that “the most important factor in fire prevention is YOU”.

Our Teresa Durning Harker described her contract work with Tourism Vernon Visitor Services.  Their office at 3004 39th Ave, on the north side of the former Civic Arena site, is on the evolving bike path through Vernon, & may soon be part of a newly developed park.  Though walk-in tourist inquiries remain an important part of their work, they’ve dropped significantly, as travelers make more use of online tools to plan their trips.  It’s no longer good enough to wait till tourists come to us – we must find & interact with them, if we want to remain competitive.  Teresa & her staff make extensive & growing use of social media tools to monitor inquiries & comments about the Vernon area, responding to questions, & posting comments.  Hootsuite, a social media management platform, is used daily to work with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube & other tools, to build & maintain a positive online presence.  Their work includes visitor surveys & regular local promotional events. Vernon Visitor Services work for stakeholders (hotels, motels, tourist attractions & businesses) in an unbiased, inclusive manner throughout the Greater Vernon, believing they only succeed if everyone succeeds.
Our Queen Silver Star Excellence Program candidate for 2019-20, Jessie Knight, was introduced by Dr Craig Goplen.  Jessie is a Grade 11 student at Clarence Fulton Secondary School.
Jim Kanester hosted Steve Fleck, who became the new Executive Director of our Greater Vernon Museum & Archives in March 2019.  He’s had a long career in education, including time spent in southern China.  These experiences have increased his awareness of the impact & importance of culture in our lives.  Following approval of a spending referendum to finance a new museum & art gallery, Vernon, neighbouring municipalities & provincial & federal partners are considering how best to develop a new “cultural facility.”  Steve described culture as “an integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief & behaviour -- the outlook, attitudes, values, morals, goals & customs shared by a society.  Culture is the myriad of stories we learn & share that tell us who we are.  It is created & reborn every day.”  He feels it’s important to engage people through providing space for different groups to share their stories.  He also envisions opportunities for other local attractions & groups, such as the O’Keefe Ranch, Mackie House, & Science Center, to collaborate & share resources.  
President Paul Philps & ADG Bev Rundell announced our three Vernon Rotary Clubs will each donate $200 to seed a local “Friends of Rotary” group, catering to people who’ll support our projects.  They’ll meet less often, less formally, & at less cost than a traditional Rotary Club.  There’ll be no “poaching” of current club members.  Our club members are encouraged to provide names of prospective “Friends” to Paul, Bev, Teresa Durning Harker or Martin von Holst.  The first meeting of Friends of Rotary will be 5:30pm, Thu, Sep 5th at Wings Vernon, 5200 Anderson Way.
Jim Kanester asked members to support Vipers 50/50 Raffles scheduled for Sat, Sep 21st & Sat, Oct 19th.  Both games start at 6pm, so members should arrive by about 5pm to begin sales.
Dr Craig Goplen reported good pre-sales of tickets for our Fri, Sep 20th Father Daughter Ball.  He expects a surge of sales with girls returning to school & chatting up the event on social media.  Members are asked to help with set-up on the Friday morning, through the event on Friday evening, & with take-down on Sat AM.  Craig will also be bringing our Queen Silver Star candidate to an upcoming meeting.
Other upcoming events include school BBQs:  Harwood on Sep 11th, Mission Hill on Sep 17th; RLI training in Kelowna Oct 5th & 6th; & a Polio Night Dinner on Wed, Oct 23rd.
The REAL Inconvenient Truth About Climate Change
Our own Keith Johnston spoke about the other side of and still unsettled controversy that recent (last 120 years) of human activity has contributed growing amounts of carbon (CO2) into earth’s atmosphere. This is suggested to have increased green house gasses in the air effectively warming the global atmosphere and is the cause of disturbing changes observed in earth’s climate.
Climate, as we know has been evolutionary cyclical since the beginning of time and there is no denial that it will continue to be so. Keith contends human involvement amounts to one CO2 molecule in over 86,000 or little more than 0.001% in the air that conceivably cannot influence nor change climate. He backed his conclusion with a powerful, science based, power point showing numerous graph’s indicating that there is no correlation between increased carbon and global warming.
CO2 is a building block of life. Increasing it hugely benefits all plant life as witnessed by the increased greening of the earth and generating oxygen essential to human and animal survival.
His opening remarks refuted a recent insulting quote by David Suzuki that one would have to be uneducated, with no common sense and invested in the oil industry not to believe that humans, by burning fossil fuels, have caused extreme climate changes. Well over 37,000 US accredited scientists of varying disciplines would disagree with Suzuki.
The first short video from Australia demonstrated the .04% carbon fact to make the successful case against the imposition of a carbon tax. Keith followed with a series of slides featuring 6000 years of climate cycles lasting in various lengths from 100 to 1,000 where the highs coincided with historically successful civilizations such as the Egyptians, Romans etc., who prospered in climates much warmer than we have presently.
Proponents for reduced carbon emissions champion conversion to wind and solar power.  Keith demonstrated not only the inefficiency of wind and solar, working only when the wind blows and the sun shines, but also the devastating environmental damage, including radioactive waste, caused by the need for magnets and rare earth metals (controlled 98% by China) in manufacturing windmills.
Hurricanes and cyclones, contrary to popular belief, are not increasing in frequency and intensity. The worst hit Galveston, Texas in 1900 with 6,000 killed. Despite visuals of melting glaciers and icecaps, NASA photos from space indicate that Antarctic and Greenland ice is actually expanding. Finally, Keith quoted Dr. Judith Curry whose studies indicate the probability the earth is entering a cooling period.
Ross & Fiona Harris of the Salmon Arm Rotary Club talked about their most recent polio immunization work in India, as two of about 80 Rotarians, in January 2019.  Ross was diagnosed with polio in 1950, so this work holds special significance for him.  He’s one of about 25m post-polio sufferers.  Polio eradication by Rotarians started in the Philippines in 1979.  Drs Jonas Salk & Albert Sabin invented polio vaccines in the 1950s -- neither made any money by patenting their work, but both received a Presidential Medal of Freedom.  From Jan 3rd to 5th, 2020, the Rotary Club of Tajmahal Agra is hosting a Mega Polio Campaign.  Conditions & practices for Indian vaccinations are basic, but the program is successful, & the recipients grateful.  Food supplements supplied by the Indian government, for needy people in rural areas, are also distributed.  Costs for Rotary participants in the 2020 Agra campaign will run from +/-US$1,800/pp for the basic program (without airfares), to about US$6k/pp, including airfares & about 3 weeks of hotels, food, touring, etc.
Dr Craig Goplen reported that plans for the Fri, Sep 20th Father Daughter Ball are coming along well.  He asked members to be available for one or more of the Friday morning setup, Saturday morning take-down, or the Friday evening event.  Craig enjoys running this annual event, but would like to mentor a replacement or assistant.
Upcoming BBQs include Venture Training on Wed, Aug 21st;  Harwood Elementary on Wed, Sep 11th; & Mission Hill Elementary on Tue, Sep 17th.  Colin will deliver the BBQ trailer for the Venture Training event, & possibly the two schools as well.
Bev Rundell is meeting with our three local Rotary club Presidents to discuss their support of “Friends of Rotary,” a program to attract younger professionals to participate in periodic social events & community projects.  These are folks we’d like eventually to attract as full members, but for now, they’re typically not able to participate in traditional weekly Rotary meetings.  Each year, about 10% of our global Rotary members are lost, & replaced by new people.  To increase overall retention & new memberships, Rotary International is looking at various models of “non-traditional” participation.
Jim Kanester has applied for us to run Vipers 50/50 Raffles; if we’re assigned one over the Thanksgiving weekend, he’ll be away & need someone else to coordinate.  Jim reported that we’ll no longer be able to participate in the selection of recipients of our Okanagan College business student bursary, as the Community Foundation sees that as their role.

Jim Kanester introduced Dawn Charles and Carly Suddard of Brain Trust Canada. Dawn is the Resource Development and Community Engagement Manager and Carly in the Marketing and Events Coordinator. Carly spoke movingly about her own personal experience with brain injury this summer due a recent motor vehicle accident. SSR has donated to Brain Trust in the past and this year they were the named benefactor for our Rotary Ride. 1986 marked the beginnings of BrainTrust Canada which took shape under the direction of a small group of committed people who recognized a need for greater support and resources for those affected by brain injury.  It's their mission to bring the issue of brain injury to the forefront, maximize the potential of those who have been affected by brain injury, and reduce preventable brain injuries, especially among youth. Brain Trust provide direct service to persons with acquired brain injury.  The needs of those with brain injury are as varied and unique as the people themselves. Approximately 1.5 million people in Canada are living with a brain injury. The incidence of acquired brain injury outnumbers breast cancer, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, and HIV/AIDS combined.  There is a growing number of brain injuries coming from those drug users who go into overdose. Naloxone may bring them back but there is very significant costs associated with the resulting brain injuries from having no oxygen for a prolonged period.
Dawn thanked members for the support, provided through Rotary Ride 2019, and look forward to expanding their involvement next year and improving how we can work together to increase participation. This would include utilizing their existing Kelowna and Vernon partners and their direct association with Kelowna area Rotary Clubs, in addition to supporting the Ride anyway then can.

Dave Hoyte introduced Zee Marcolin, General Manager Utilities with the Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO). Zee briefly reviewed water quality history in our area and stated that the results of Walkerton in May 2000 led to BC Legislation  in 2001 and 2003 for water quality and standards. RDNO uses a multi barrier approach to ensure water quality is safe. Moving to a regional water source was started in 2003 with RDNO taking responsibility for supply and distribution of domestic and agricultural water in the Vernon area with the total costs since 2003 of $106 million. The focus now is on infrastructure renewal.  Zee also spoke of some of the challenges with the  Kal Lake source resulting in 3-7 shut downs a year for turbidity and milfoil cutting etc. 
The Master Water Plan is a living document to ensure present and future water needs are met. In 2017 a request for borrowing was turned down by the electorate (for approximately $68 million) for a 5 year improvement that has now be re-scheduled over 20-30 years due to the costs of these improvements. Duteau Creek Water Treatment Plant did not qualify for conventional treatment credits and was non-compliant with  provincial health guidelines for surface water treatment and with the request to borrow the required $30 million for a filtration plant mandated by Interior Health being defeated (2017) another solution was required. RDNO with WSP came up with an innovative, economical and sustainable solution of UV disinfection. The total cost was under budget of $7 million versus $30 million for the filtration plant and of the $7 million $5.8 million was funded by grants with no borrowing as the balance was funded through user rates. This technology was developed and eventually approved by Interior Health. Our regional water system serves more than 58,000 residential, commercial, institutional and farming customers with both domestic and agricultural water.
Colin Heggie hosted Dr Brian Guy & Bill Darnell, co-chairs of Vernon’s Climate Action Advisory Committee.  Brian was a founder of Summit Environmental Consultants; Brian was a teacher & founding member of Greenpeace.  Their Committee is tasked with providing a report to City Council in Sep 2020, following a process including public input.  Brian distinguished between climate change adaptation & mitigation.  He pointed out that climate changes are more evident in higher latitudes – Canada, Russia & the Scandinavian countries.  One in eight flora & fauna species are at risk.  Costs of repair, following serious weather & fire events are skyrocketing, so insurance industry professionals are among those best informed about climate change.  There are substantial short-term benefits from taking steps now to mitigate against future impacts.  We were invited to send our thoughts about how to adapt (prepare for change), & mitigate (reduce sources of greenhouse gases), to the Committee through  

2019/20 Silver Star Rotary President Paul Philps presented a video from District Governor Peter Schultz outlining district goals and resources available at District 5060 website. All are invited to circle the dates of April 23-26, 2020 to make plans to attend the District Conference in Kelowna, BC.

Paul briefly talked about his Club goals to attract new members, make “life easier” for members and ensure Rotary is accessible, with more information to come.


Janet Green introduced Murray Wilson who is a woodlands manager with Tolko Industries. He spoke about forest management and the 2017/18 wild fires in B.C. In British Columbia Tolko has a woodlands management team in the Cariboo and the southern interior area, covering a total area of about 3,000,000 hectares.  The Woodlands Teams are held to the highest standard in planning forest management. They develop comprehensive plans guided by our Sustainable Forest Initiatives (SFI) forest certification, along with Federal, Provincial and local principles. These plans are then subject to extensive review involving Indigenous peoples and stakeholders in our communities. This is the key to success in managing our forests. The  2017/18 wild fires created a huge negative economic impact on forestry, tourism, ranching and business in the local communities adjacent to the fires not only during the particular year but effects are longer lasting. He stated that current years’ vacation numbers are showing decreased bookings  for the July and August periods and are attributable to recent years forest fires.

Some 60% of the burned timber from a fire is not recoverable according to Murray and government and stakeholders need to do more to improve forest conditions, forests are dynamic and go through a life cycle and need to be rejuvenated. Post fire recovery needs improved urgency with harvesting and replanting, when forest companies are allowed to harvest the burned stands they are responsible for the re-planting and management for some 20 years whereas if the stands are not harvested there is no action on replanting consequently the forest is not restored. It was noted from aerial photos that when wild fires reach new younger stands of replanted forests the spread of the wild fire is curtailed.

The Tolko website will provide much more information about their business and how they handle forest management -

Dr Craig Goplen introduced Ray Verlage, a founder of Men’s Shed Vernon.  Rays says retirement means different things to different people, but it doesn’t mean stop!  He prefers the term “redeploy.”  Some people get lonely after retirement, particularly those who’ve worked hard at jobs involving a lot of people contact.  Men’s sheds focus on building projects & healthy social interactions amongst members, & with local non-profits.  New members are warned that if they’re not careful, they might learn something, or feel better about themselves!  There are three types of projects: 1) self-financed for individuals or groups, 2) enterprises for selling goods or services, & 3) community service.  There are presently about 6,500 Vernon men over 65 – a demographic growing at 15% annually.  The Vernon Men’s Shed started in 2018.  It aims to capture 5% of those men as members, & to acquire a suitable meeting place of 3,000 to 4,000 square feet.  They presently meet 9am to 1pm, Tuesdays & Thursdays, at Elephant Storage, 6136 Okanagan Ave.  Visit
Our member Eric Gombrich travels North America for his marketing job in the healthcare industry.  Today, he talked about trends in healthcare.  An aging population translates to a gradual increase in healthcare spending as a % of GDP.  Compared to the USA, Canada has fewer physicians per 1,000 people, but we use them more.  This is largely a function of the remuneration model, which encourages doctors to see more people, particularly for simple complaints.  Eric believes how we pay for, & how we deliver healthcare, need to be split, to facilitate systemic improvements.  He thinks our Canadian single-payer system is good, but more options in delivering care would allow innovations & cost-savings.  The way doctors are paid is inefficient & obstructs a re-alignment of resources.  Politics & our own delusions also prevent positive change.  Treatments need to become more preventative vs. acute; we need “decentralization,” & “consumerization” of care.  He talked about the growth & impact of technology, through telemedicine, use of robotics in surgery, & “polyclinics,” where patients, even in small communities, can see multiple practitioners under a single roof, in a single day.  Advances in technology, & investments in integrating pharmacies, health clinics & major grocery chains is moving the healthcare agenda into the hands of consumers & business, away from governments either unable or unwilling to make changes.
Bev Rundell introduced Holly Vanjoff and Jennifer Glen from Interior Health Overdose Prevention to speak about the overdose crises in BC and their rolls in prevention and education. The goal is to reduce overdose fatalities by providing awareness and training to the public, both those who use drugs and people who can help victims when they are in crisis. This is achieved through group presentations, one on one with drug users on the streets, concerts and anywhere there is potential drug use. Illicit drug fatalities have increased significantly since 2015 and are in direct correlation with the use of fentanyl in the production of illicit drugs. This has led to the overdose crisis not just with street drug users but recreational user as well. Prior to 2015 fatalities from drugs were relatively consistent.
There is no part of our population that is unaffected by this crisis and Naloxone is effective in the reduction in deaths when administered. Naloxone can restore breathing within 2 to 5 minutes. When someone takes an opioid, it affects certain receptors in your brain. Naloxone works by kicking opioids off the receptors in your brain and binding to those receptors instead. This reverses or blocks the effects of opioids on your body. Naloxone only works if you have opioids in your system, such as:
  • fentanyl
  • heroin
  • morphine
  • codeine
While naloxone is only active in the body for 20 to 90 minutes, the effects of most opioids last longer. This means that the effects of naloxone are likely to wear off before the opioids are gone from the body, which causes breathing to stop again. Naloxone may need to be used again, depending on the amount or type of opioid taken. Naloxone is safe for all ages. It only works if you have opioids in your system. You cannot use naloxone improperly and does not create dependence. It is safe to keep a naloxone kit on hand.
Naloxone kits were made available and a review of how to use the kits was provided. In addition members were given hands on training on how to administer Naloxone including loading the syringe and injecting in the thigh or shoulder. Kits are provided free to the public in BC.  Anyone can administer Naloxone, you are not required to be licensed and are protected under the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act.
For more information visit: ,
Loredana Eisenhauer introduced local computer security contractor Robert Spraggs, COO of Aegis Systems Canada, which provides cybersecurity for a variety clients.  He claims that in 2018, 40% of small & medium-sized businesses were attacked, because 1 - protection is expensive, 2 – security is often outsourced, & 3 – remote access increases risk.  Hackers will access your files, encrypt them, then demand a ransom for an encryption key.  Even in cases where a ransom is paid quickly, typical downtime is at least a week, so the cost of downtime is added to the cost of the ransom, & all the resources needed to solve the problems.  Windows 10 allows some protection from ransomware, through use of OneDrive, but all files then become subject to US law & NSA scrutiny.  One’s best protection is through daily off-site or off-line backups, testing your preparedness, & ensuring your protection software is always up-to-date, including firmware on routers & firewalls.
Teresa Bartel introduced her Railway Plaza neighbour, pharmacist Gerard Kampman, owner of North End Pharmacy Remedy’s Rx.  Gerard provided an update on shingles, the herpes zoster, which is the same virus as chicken pox.  Chicken pox in children is very contagious, but relatively benign, whereas shingles in adults is painful, & can have a significant impact on quality of life, particularly if a chronic phase produces ongoing pain.  Risk factors for shingles increase with age, lack of previous chicken pox or the vaccine, a compromised immune system or co-existing medical conditions.  Since the mid-1990’s, vaccines have been available for children, to prevent chicken pox.  In 2006, the Zostavax® vaccine was introduced to help prevent shingles in adults.  A new, more effective vaccine, “Shingrix,” is now available.  It requires two intramuscular injections, several weeks apart, with some local discomfort &/or fever, at a total cost of around $300.  Neither Zostavax® or Shingrix is guaranteed to eliminate shingles, but they will reduce the severity of the condition, & the likelihood of an ongoing painful chronic phase.  
Givonna DeBruin hosted Ruth Hoyte, elected for the first time as a District of Coldstream Councillor in October 2018.  Though Ruth had no previous political experience, she was well-known for her work with the Downtown Vernon Association, the insurance business, dance instruction, & her outgoing personality.  Appointed to the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee, & alternate to the Regional District of North Okanagan Board, being a Councillor is serious business, requiring a lot of reading, preparation & research, aside from being a patient listener.  Ruth is enjoying her new role, & the daily challenges it presents.
Bob Clarke hosted Kai Rogers, 2017-18 outbound Rotary Youth Exchange Student to Santa Cruz, the largest city in Bolivia.  Kai learned that about 60% of Bolivia’s 12m residents live in poverty.  The government provides an annual subsidy of about US$28 per child, to help parents pay for school supplies, in hopes of encouraging all children to stay in school through at least grade six.  Most schools are fenced, both to keep students in, & non-students out.  He noted cultural & attitudinal differences between indigenous people, & those descended from European stock.  Throughout Bolivian history, political coups, both successful & unsuccessful, have been frequent.  Kai had two host families, & enjoyed them both.  Rotary arranged for he & other RYES to do a 2½ week tour of the country.  He participated in Carnaval (3 festival days over Lent), navigated his way through visa & border challenges following a few days in Argentina, & also visited Machu Picchu.  Kai is very grateful for his RYES experience.
On Sunday afternoon, Apr 28th, 2019, a large gathering at the Allan Brooks Nature Centre honored the life & legacy of our long-time member, Ken Barton, who left us Jan 10th.  Over a dozen of our current & past members attended.  The first part of the program, hosted by our club's Dr John Wheeldon, included contributions from Dave Weatherill, President Gillian Canniff, & past members Dennis Windsor & Keray Regan, about Ken's long & distinguished membership in Rotary.  ABNC Board Chair Jim Popowich, Director David Guscott, & past Director Ken Finch then spoke about Ken’s 24 years of contributions to their organization.  He held many positions, including Treasurer, Chairman, & most recently Director Emeritus.  It would not be an exaggeration to say Ken’s work with ABNC, in a wide variety of ways, was integral to its success.  In honour of his work, & particularly in recognition of his interest in educating youth about nature, ABNC has named their educational facility the “Ken Barton Learning Centre.”  A scholarship in Ken's name is also being established, to support a worthy student in an environmental field.
Father/Daughter Ball 2021