January 1st 2019 Polar Bear Swim
The festivities for the annual Peachland Polar Bear Swim on Tuesday, January 1st started at 10:30 am with either a 2K walk or a 5K run from the Community Centre for children and adults. At 1.00 pm however, the scene changed and we were thrust into our humanitarian support role of providing and serving hot chocolate. The annual Polar Bear Swim attracts those who believe it is perfectly normal to intentionally want to immerse themselves in the frigid waters of Okanagan Lake. Misguided as they may be, we were able to provide assistance.
Our super premium brand of hot chocolate was brewed by our fellow Rotarians in the Community Centre kitchen and was ready for distribution as the misguided arrived back on shore. Additional Club members arrived at 12:30 pm, with a tray in hand, to join the fun, distribute the hot chocolate to the crowds and be part of our Club’s first event of 2019. By 1:30 pm the entire area was virtually empty. Click on the photos below to see larger size. The first photo is of Rotarians Shayn Moritz and Dan Albas, MP, exiting the cold lake after their swim. Credits to Chris Scowen for his write-up on the event.
Christmas Light-Up at Heritage Park
On Friday, December 5th, Santa arrived at Heritage Park in style aboard Peachland’s newest fire truck, accompanied by legions of bundled-up elves and would-be elves all waving glow sticks. It was Light-Up in Peachland and the weather could not have been been better – about minus 2, no wind with a skating rink lake as a backdrop.
Our Rotary tent was set up next to the Lions and at 5:00 PM we started serving our super premium hot chocolate, which the Lions complemented with their super premium hot dogs. At 6.15 the Mayor turned the switch – Heritage Park and beyond burst into a Christmas lighting spectacle, which even outshone last year’s efforts. The fire pit at park central was a great attraction with face painting, a bouncy castle, photo booth and popcorn stand receiving constant attention. There was also music throughout. All those who could prove their good behaviour during 2018 were given an opportunity to sit on Santa’s knee. By 7:00 the crowds had dwindled so we, and the Lions, downed tents, packed up and headed home.
Our Food Bank collection raised about $400 and the stuffed animal raffle resulted in three very happy Peachland youngsters. We served about 420 cups of hot chocolate, which is a little down from last year. Assistance from municipal workers was first class.
Kudos to Rod and Moyra, Wendy, Holly, Jane and Rick who ran all the front line activities and to Margaret, Ted and William who provided the rear guard brewing and delivery arrangements. Thanks to Peggy for providing the raffle animals.
Sufficient hot chocolate and cups were set aside to support our club’s first event of 2019 – the January 1st Polar Bear Swim!
Photos above are two of the lucky winners from our raffle – a brown bear is with Emerson and the moose is with Tristan. They seem very happy. Submitted by Rotary Member Chris Scowen
Charter Night Celebration and Unsung Hero Awards
On Wednesday, October 20th our Rotarians and their guests gathered at the Peachland Restaurant 19 to for an evening celebration our 1997 charter.
The highlights of the evening were the presentation of the Unsung Hero awards by Membership Chair Madeleine Nixon. The 2018 Non-Rotarian award is a volunteer or organization who has worked tirelessly in the Peachland Community. This year’s recipient is Peachland Fire Department – Station 21. Chief Dennis Craig, along with his wife, was our guest to receive the award on behalf of his Fire Department, Station 21.
The Rotarian Unsung Hero Award is presented to an individual who has gone above and beyond the call of duty. This is a hard working self-effacing Rotarian who epitomizes the true spirit of Rotary and volunteerism. The nominee has not received any form of compensation, praise or recognition for their efforts and truly exemplifies the Rotary motto of “service above self”
Nominations for the Unsung Hero Award are collected from the Club membership who submit nominations. All submissions are tallied. This year’s winner is Chris Scowen, who was one of the original 21 Charter members who signed up in June 1997 to form the new Rotary Club of Peachland. The list is too extensive to post in this article as to the worthiness of the above two recipients. Take a moment to read more about them here.
Here is a photo gallery from the evening, including the presentation of the Unsung Hero Award recipients.
JoeAnna’s House Groundbreaking Ceremony
JoeAnna’s House is a project spearheaded by the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation and will be a home away from home for families who need to come to Kelowna for medical treatment for a loved one. Several clubs in our District 5060 have contributed funds, including our club, and representatives from these clubs were on hand, along with District Governor Sherry Chamberlain at the official groundbreaking in October 23, 2018. Once the project is completed, the Rotary Gardens will be a place of reflection for those staying in the House. Representatives were from our Rotary Club of Peachland (Peggy and Chris Southin), The Rotary Club of Kelowna Sunrise, The Rotary Club of Kelowna, The Rotary Club of Kelowna/ Morningside, the West Kelowna Daybreak Rotary and the Rotary Club of Kelowna Ogopogo, Here are some photos from the ceremony. Just click on the photo to view the actual size.
Peggy Southin, our President, and Wolfgang Muhs presented a cheque for $8,617 to the KGH Foundation. This amount was matched 1:1 by the private foundation bringing our contribution to this worthwhile project to $17,324. As of September 28, 2018 BC Clubs Supporting JoeAnna’s House have received gifts/commitments totaling over $40,000.
World’s Greatest Meal to End Polio
October is Rotary’s Polio Month. There are only 2 countries left with the polio virus in the wild, down from 85 countries in 1987.
Our Rotary members were out on Hwy 97 with their red “End Polio Now” placards early on the 24th morning by the IGA. A friendly “toot” by cars horns passing by was welcomed and boosted our members’ spirits!
Polio is a terrible disease and many people still suffer from post-polio syndrome in the West. Unfortunately there are many more who live with the effects of polio: paralyzed limbs and constant pain. On October 24th, World Polio Day, our Club participated in a project that spanned the world: a fundraising dinner with the West Kelowna Daybreak Club, a “World’s Greatest Meal to End Polio” evening. This event was the brainchild of two Rotarian’s on either side of the world in 2014. As of this posting, 4,880 meals have been served, in 79 countries with almost 300,000 participants enjoying a unique Rotary event. $3,020,864 USD has been raised which will cover approximately 15,104,000 polio vaccines. Matching funds from the B & M Gates Foundation brought the total to $9,062,594
Karen Naumann, a polio survivor, was our guest speaker at this event. She gave a very entertaining and educational presentation of her life with polio and brought along two of her leg splints that she wore at such a young age. Many polio survivors experience post-polio syndrome as adults. Post-polio syndrome refers to a cluster of potentially disabling signs and symptoms that appear decades — an average of 30 to 40 years — after the initial polio illness including fatigue and progressive muscle and joint weakness and pain. Here are some photos for you to enjoy from this evening where approximately $8,000 was donated to the Rotary Foundation for Polio Vaccinations. Just click on an image to view larger image.
Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre
Our Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre event on Saturday, September 29th was a great success. Everyone had a fantastic time with 106 attending. Tickets sold out a week before the event and there was a waiting list. Maybe we could fit more in next year!
Cast members included our Rotarians Chris Scowen as Sherlocke Holmes, Moira Baxter as Camilla Perez, and Madeleine Nixon as Simon Decree. A big thanks also to the Master Organizer, our very own Wendy Howard.
Funds raised from this event will be used for the purchase of appliances and a TV in the common room of the Peachland new Seniors Centre residence. Here are some photos from the event:
Canada National Tree Planting Day
With the goal of helping achieve a healthy and resilient forest, 15 volunteers with the Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance celebrated Canada National Tree Day by planting native trees and shrubs along damaged Peachland Creek on September 29th. Our fellow Rotarian Constantine was hard at work helping to plant his share of the trees! Here are some photos from the event: