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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
Canada
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District Site
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Venue Map
 
Projects
 
Club Stories
Rob Whitelaw hosted Toby Frisk, Chair of the Okanagan Friends of Rail Trail (FoRT).  The Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative raised $7.8m to build 50kms of trail between the north end of Kalamalka Lake & Manhattan Point, just north of downtown Kelowna, on Okanagan Lake.  The trail is owned & maintained by the governments of the four jurisdictions in which it’s located, through the Okanagan Rail Trail Committee.  FoRT is the official liaison & society associated with the trail.  Their mandate is to enhance user experiences, protect the environment, inspire users & provide stewardship.  Trail ambassadors will be recruited & trained to help users, & to collect user data; fund-raisers will provide amenity infrastructure, & learning opportunities will be developed.  Eventually, it’s hoped the Okanagan trail will link with others, to provide “world class” facilities for walkers, hikers & cyclists.
Keith Johnston introduced Wendy Majewsky, who gave us an introduction to several aspects of her “Life Mastery” coaching practice.  This follows a varied career in teaching & working in different capacities for municipalities, including Transportation Demand Management in Vernon.  Her purpose is to help people identify & achieve their goals, by looking at four key areas: vocation, health, relationships & time/money freedom.  Wendy believes there are two “signals” for personal growth – longings & discontent.  By finding clarity in our vision of the person we want to be, we also find the power to help make it happen.    
Dave Weatherill hosted author, speaker & puppeteer Cindy Bertrand Larson, a former palliative caregiver, who now works as a therapist for the sick, aged, dying, & their supporters.  She described the five most common complaints, & two fears, of older people.  The complaints are 1 – constipation (drink more water), 2 – aches & pains (move more), 3 – depression (follow interesting or inspiring routines), 4 – loneliness (reach out, be reached, & maybe get a pet), & 5 – memory loss.  The two great fears are being a burden, and dying alone in pain.  Cindy’s animated & amusing presentation concluded with offers of her book, “End of Life Stories – Tips & Tools for the Souls Journey Home.” 
 
Charlene Silvester reported another successful “Project Save-A-Life” -- CPR Knowledge & Awareness sessions held Sat, Mar 2nd at Fulton Secondary.  Vernon Fire & Rescue Services, who deliver the information, are keen to continue these sessions.  Charlene will meet with her committee soon to review & plan for next year.
Margaret Clark, a former correctional officer, now Executive Director of the Restorative Justice Society of North Okanagan, was hosted by Martin von Holst.  RJS-NO supports & advocates on behalf of persons affected and/or in conflict with the law.  RJ is for victims first & foremost, with a focus on the offender(s).  It’s an alternative to the criminal justice system, only where the victim agrees to the referral, & the offender admits to the harm.  Victims help determine the outcome they want, & at the end of discussions & restoration, a report to the RCMP outlines compliance.  Of about 300 referrals since 2009, Margaret has witnessed 3 ending in non-compliance.  Evidence shows RJ reduces recidivism, & costs substantially less than traditional “justice,” but a lack of funding, particularly from our provincial government, limits program capacity.
Bev Rundell hosted Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming (elected Oct 20th, 2018), who observed that inadequate spending on infrastructure repair has led to a need for substantial remedial work over the next few decades.  Municipalities look after their “5 P’s,” being Plumbing (water, sewer & storm drains), Protection (RCMP), Planning, Paving & Parks.  Other expectations include Promotion & Housing.  Smaller upcoming projects include an extension of the bike path to Village Green Mall, repair of the failed drainage on the south side of Vernon Toyota, & construction of a dedicated sewage line for the OK Springs brewery.  Large projects include redevelopment of the Kin Race Track & Civic Arena properties, plus a plan for the Cultural Centre approved by referendum.  Victor enjoys working with City staff, whom he feels are doing a good job.
One of our longest serving members, Ken joined SSR in July 1986, following clubs in Yellowhead, Prince George & Burns Lake.  He led committees for membership, community service, international service, District GSE, & was our President twice.  A consistent & reliable presence at countless fund-raisers, work days, BBQs, club events & socials, Ken exemplified all that is good about Rotary.  He was even able to calm our irrepressible Dr John on their travels together!  Ken was taken too soon, & will be sorely missed.  http://www.springfieldfuneralhome.com/obituaries/barton-kendrick/  
Club member Lt. Stefan Reid explained his recent absence, saying he recently returned from a Salvation Army assignment to disaster relief, following Hurricane Michael in Panama.  He came back in time to dive into their House of Hope kettle campaign, with a goal of raising $500,000 to support needy Vernon area families.  Kettle locations are all indoors, & we’re invited to sign up for shifts.  Red “Hope bracelets” are being handed out province-wide to donors, indicating their support of poverty relief.  Our Vernon House of Hope has hired a new men’s addiction counsellor who’ll start in Jan 2019.  On Wednesday this week, local realtors will conduct their annual food drive, hoping to collect 40,000 pounds of food to fill the Food Bank shelves.  For the second year, Christmas food hampers for needy families will be replaced by Save-On-Foods vouchers, which may be redeemed for the items most wanted.  Children’s toys, teen’s clothing & treats from Rancho Vignolo will still be available to supplement the food vouchers, & volunteer drivers will help transport people with their groceries, as needed.  About 600 to 650 families are expected to receive Christmas help.  Finally, Stefan has order a new moving truck, & work is progressing on their warehouse addition to the 24th St Thrift Store.
Paul Philps hosted City of Vernon Councillor (& recently retired Mayor) Akbal Mund, in his capacity as a Vice President of Special Olympics Vernon.  From Feb 19th to 21st, 2019, Vernon will host 8 events for children & adults: alpine skiing, 5-pin bowling, cross country skiing, curling, figure skating, floor hockey, snowshoeing & speed skating.  About 900 athletes are expected to compete, with the help of about 250 coaches, staff & volunteers.  A variety of local Special Olympic programs provide recreation & empowerment year-round, preparing competitors for these Games.  We have several world champion athletes in our area, including Josh Dueck, Ina Forster & Sonia Gaudet.  Akbal asked that we consider volunteering to help run the games, as individuals, or as a club project.  He believes we have the club resources to serve meals to athletes.
Don Miller hosted Dick Auty, a retired Kelowna fireman who leads the Freemasons of Kelowna in their partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society, to provide free round-trip transport for Okanagan cancer patients.  Patients receiving chemotherapy and/or radiation treatments at the Kelowna Cancer Centre are eligible, based on need & availability.  Passengers must be mobile, & flexible about pickup times.  This unadvertised program is jointly financed directly by Masons, & by donations.  The annual operating budget for the Okanagan area is about $375,000.  This supports four seven to nine passenger vans, plus unpaid volunteer dispatchers, drivers & a maintenance team.  Over the past twenty years, the Vernon part of this operation has served about 8,000 patients, through 28,000 trips, covering 900,000 kms!  Our former member, Brenda Erickson, who joined us today, is one of the volunteer drivers.
Martin von Holst thanked retired teacher/counsellor Pam Fournier for her talk about “Roots of Empathy,” a non-profit whose mission is to build caring, peaceful, & civil societies through the development of empathy in children & adults.  Founded in 1996, & now in 12 countries, this program has been offered in Vernon schools since 2006.  Elementary school children are taught to observe, recognize & reflect on their feelings, & feelings of others, by having a baby (& mother) in their classroom.  Babies readily show their emotions, & few people are inclined to be mean to a baby, so this is a simple & effective way of teaching “emotional literacy.”  The idea is to show vulnerability, followed by ways to see & reduce aggression & bullying.  Pam is hoping funds will soon be made available to train more instructors in this program, so it may be offered to more children.  She believes this is an effective way to combat high & increasing levels of anxiety.  Dave Weatherill suggested many adults, including corporate & political leaders, could benefit from this training.  Pam replied that scarce resources are thought best to be applied to our future leaders.
BC Hydro’s Southern Interior Community Relations Officer, Dag Sharman, explained the crown corporation has 4m customers, 30 hydro-electric power plants, 79,000kms of transmission lines, & delivers 98.4% “clean” (non-fossil fuel) energy.  The Vernon plant is Hydro’s largest facility outside the Lower Mainland.  Major upgrades in the past couple of years include a new 85,000sf office building, & new shops.  Over 300 local employees work all over BC.  The Kalamalka Rd site includes one of three provincial control centres, a call centre, engineering & other staff involved in design, construction & maintenance of transmission & distribution assets.  Two new 500 megawatt generators were recently added at the Mica Dam, & plans call for addition of a sixth similar generator at the Revelstoke dam by 2026.  The West Kelowna Transmission project will add a secondary line to serve West Kelowna.  Hydro works with Emergency Management BC to manage power supplies through extreme weather events, & with provincial biologists to protect pesky ospreys building nests atop power poles! 
Dr Craig Goplen, our Queen Silver Star Excellence Program liaison, introduced our 2019 candidate, Madison Barrett.   A 15-year old Seaton French Immersion student, she’s keen on soccer, drama & riding (horses, we presume!).  Madison aspires to be a forensics specialist, & hopes to study at Simon Fraser University’s Criminology Faculty.
Rob Irving hosted Jane Lister, Regional Dean at the Vernon campus of Okanagan College.  OC currently has about 1,200 students, including 200 aboriginal & 50 international, plus 112 faculty & support staff.  Students are eligible for about $45,000 in annual awards & bursaries.  OC markets its smaller classes, good instructors, & lower costs to students.  Their new trades building is now operating – it will cycle through several different trades by semester, & offers “samplers” of several trades, particularly to women & aboriginals.  A new residential insulation course is offered in response to an industry shortage of trained workers, & a pilot “aboriginal support worker” program is coming.  Early childhood education is another popular program.  More “technical” courses are being planned.  OC is always seeking opportunities to partner with businesses, to provide applied research & job-related training.  Upcoming OC projects include a deck off the cafeteria, & construction of a +/-100 bed residence.
Assistant DG Bev Rundell hosted District Governor Sherry Chamberlain & her husband Jim, from Kamloops, BC.  Sherry is a commercial account manager for Chubb Fire & Security.  She has a long list of interests & accomplishments, headed by golf, motorcycling & a strong commitment to Rotary.  We’re all invited to Kamloops, May 2nd to 5th, 2019, for our District 5060 Conference.  Sherry suggested we think of our Rotary Club as a home, & challenged us to make sure it’s warm, inviting, inclusive & supportive – a place where new (& long-term) members have a job, a place to learn, grow & be valued.  She’d like to see a Rotary Peace Garden in each of our communities, & encourages us to tell our Rotary stories, perhaps through open houses.  Sherry told us a little about her rewarding volunteer work in Thailand, where she built friendships over many years.  “Eagle” pins were presented to Martin von Holst & Colin Heggie for helping attract new members, & to Gillian Canniff, Keith Johnston & Bev Rundell for their District leadership work.
Through his consultancy, True North Leadership, Keith Johnston offers a variety of training programs, including “The 8 Dimensions of Leadership,” a personality assessment tool based on the DiSC® model of human behaviour.  Club members filled out his online questionnaire, which produced a short individualized report, identifying our Primary Leadership Dimension as one of “Pioneering, Energizing, Affirming, Inclusive, Humble, Deliberate, Resolute or Commanding.  Keith discussed the four DiSC® characteristics --Dominance, Influence, Steadiness & Conscientiousness & their relationships.  DiSC® training is intended to help understand & improve communication skills.  This exercise produced numerous questions & laughs!
Anneke Sauer was our club’s outgoing Rotary Youth Exchange Student for 2017-18.  She talked about her experiences in Austria.
Jordan Bateman is the Communications Director for the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association, a group that represents more than 2,300 B.C. businesses and 50,000 employees. ICBA is a major public policy force in B.C., advocating for free enterprise issues, as well as a third-party administrator for group benefits for hundreds of companies, and the single largest sponsor of trades apprentices in B.C., with more than 1,100.
Tannis Nelson, RDNO Community Services Manager, was hosted by Leigh Hewer.  She described the proposed Greater Vernon Cultural Centre, intended for the City of Vernon’s former Coldstream Hotel site.  The emerging plan is to accommodate our museum, art gallery, & a +/-150 – 200 seat multi-purpose performance venue (& perhaps other features) in a +/-57,000 gross square foot three-story building using roughly one-third of the site.  The remainder of the site would be intended for mixed residential / commercial development.  The projected $40m cost would be split between $15m in government grants, donations & partnership funding, plus $25m in borrowing approved through an Oct 20, 2018 referendum accompanying our civic elections.  A loan of this magnitude is expected to increase taxes for a residential property with an average assessment by about $12 net per annum, following the 2020 retirement of debt associated with Kal Tire Place & the Performing Arts Centre.  Questions were raised about costs to non-residential taxpayers, the additional or competing costs of a new pool & RCMP building, the suitability of the downtown site, & whether there’s a “vision” to go along with the proposed new facilities.    
Martin von Holst pins new member Calvin Reich, a commercial insurance broker with Capri CMW Insurance.  His work includes aviation insurance, & he holds a commercial pilot licence.  Calvin was involved in youth sports when his children were younger.  He mountain bikes, snowboards, & works with the VSS Panthers Football team.  He’s also a Director with “Unmanned Systems Canada,” a non-profit representing the interests of unmanned aerial, marine & ground vehicles.  Welcome Calvin!
Colin & his wife Barb recently spent five weeks in England & Scotland.  They visited Roman forts, Hadrian's wall, & many cathedrals & castles -- both those in ruins, & those still occupied by aristocrats.  He talked a bit about how the invention of steam-power & the industrial revolution allowed wealthy investors to create huge fortunes, which in turn were used to finance railways & other infrastructure through the Commonwealth.  The design & manufacture of ships, locomotives, bridges, etc., in the great UK industrial centers -- Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield, Newcastle & Glasgow, etc., brought immense wealth throughout the 19th & first half of the 20th century.  By the 1970s, these industries were in serious decline, & now they're gone.  Gradually, these cities are transforming themselves, redeveloping old industrial sites to residential & other business uses.  Colin & Barb enjoyed a two-week home & car exchange near Newcastle, & had three two-night stays with Servas. 
Chris Hart, President of the Literacy Society of the North Okanagan, introduced their Executive Director, Wendy Aasen.  Our club has a history of periodic support for their programs.  Wendy explained they work with a variety of local partners to fill gaps in literacy services, mostly to children, but also to adults & seniors.  Funding comes from government grants, donations, & the popular annual Adult Spelling Bee.  The proven One to One reading program for youngsters is now “Reading Together.”  “Skills Boost” uses teachers for more intensive tutoring & after-school reading practice.  Adult Computer Support is aimed at seniors, to build their competencies.  Other programs include Financial Literacy for Families, Screen Smart Tools for Families, & Books for Babies.  The Literacy Society is planning to expand their offerings through a New Learning Centre at the People Place, which will be partially funded through some fee for services programs.  
Janet Green hosted Chris Smith, who works with seniors, including dementia patients, at Heron Grove.  With 131 residents in several different unit types, & forms of tenancy, Heron Grove is one of 31 BC & Alberta sites operated by the non-profit Good Samaratin Society.  Chris & his team of recreational therapists fund-raise for “extras” like a duet bike, pergola, glide swing, sound system & iPads to keep residents active, engaged & healthy.  Tours of their facility are held each Thursday at 1pm.  Our club members are welcome to attend an Oct 13th fundraiser.
Dr Craig Goplen hosted the North Okanagan’s newly appointed RCMP commanding officer, Supt Shawna Baher.
 
Bob France hosted Don’s daughter, Robyn Miller, who attended Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) North America in Washington, DC, July 1st to 6th.  Of 125 participants, Robyn was selected “Ms RYLA,” earning her free registration for the 2019 event – now she just needs to figure out how to get there!
 
 
Member Volunteers Needed
 
Club Meetings
 
2018 Athletic Awards
 
 
 
Father/Daughter Ball
21st annual Father Daughter Ball
Friday, Sep 21st, 2018
Doors Open 5pm
Vernon Lodge & Conference Centre
3914 32nd St, Vernon, BC