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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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Club Stories
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.
Bob France took our meeting to Hillview Elementary, where we were welcomed by Parent Advisory Council member Marina, Principal Brian Smyth, VP Ken Wandeler & teacher librarian Tracey Barrie.  Hillview currently has 368 students & about 40 staff.  Through their PAC’s annual December “Breakfast with Santa” program, which our club cooks for, about $10,000 has been raised in the past three years.  These funds support their school library, which is morphing into a “Learning Commons.”  Tracey explained that BC’s two-year old curriculum changes have introduced more collaborative & team-based learning.  Teachers now assess more “competencies” & less “content.”  PAC-raised funds have added furniture to the library, & most importantly, “virtual field trip technology,” supported by BC’s “Educational Resource Acquisition Consortium” (ERAC), offering a huge variety of interesting & popular low-cost “visits” without leaving a classroom.  Future funds will likely help purchase or replace iPads & other learning tools.
Kelly Fehr is a City of Vernon Councillor, & Co-Executive Director of Turning Points Collaborative, a local non-profit involved in support services, temporary shelter, housing, addictions recovery, harm reduction, interventions, etc., for less fortunate people.  With an annual budget of about $4m, & about 90 full-time & casual employees, they have a big impact on our community.  Most of their funding comes from government grants, but there’s never enough money to serve the many needs.  A particular short-coming is funding for addiction recovery – an average of 20 people per month are turned away, for lack of funds.  Private recovery program costs are measured in many thousands of dollars per week, but more modest publicly subsidized programs, costing much less, are hugely over-subscribed.  Turning Points believe a key strategy in helping their clients is to bring services to them, as opposed to asking disadvantaged people to find their own way to services.
Sid Adams, a former member of Vernon's Tri Lakes Rotary Club, received a kidney transplant in Nov 2017.  He & his donor are both doing well.  Along with several other locals, Sid formed a North Okanagan Chapter of the Kidney Foundation of Canada in January of this year.  He shared his experience, & encouraged everyone to consider being organ donors.
Long-time 1st Coldstream Scouts leader Glen Dick brought four of his charges to explain their upcoming July 6th to 13th Pacific Jamboree at Camp Barnard, on Young Lake, near Sooke, BC.  This event will include about 3,000 15+ year old participants from near and far – an opportunity for meeting other scouters from many places.  The 2019 theme is “Myths & Legends.”  1st Coldstream has long been sponsored by the Coldstream Ranch, with additional help from the Coldstream Fire Dept.  About 25% of members are female.  About 60% of the estimated $10,000 cost of attending the Jamboree has been raised.
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.    
 
 
Member Volunteers Needed
 
Club Meetings
Host: Teresa Bartel
May 21, 2019
Host: Loredana Eisenhauer
May 28, 2019
Robert Spraggs -- Cybersecurity
Host: Bob France
Jun 04, 2019
Club Business
Jun 11, 2019
Host: Dr Craig Goplen
Jun 18, 2019
Lyle Enns -- Vernon Men's Sheds
 
Rotary Athletic Awards 2019
 
 
 
 
Father/Daughter Ball 2019
22nd annual Father Daughter Ball
Friday, Sep 20th, 2019
Doors Open 5pm
Vernon Lodge & Conference Centre
3914 32nd St, Vernon, BC