Friday, March 6th0.8°C

Speedway gives back

The Penticton Speedway Foundation fundraises year round and gives more than $30,000 annually to local organizations, initiatives and families in need.

For the second year in a row, the Speedway teamed up with the Penticton Vees and Neil Jamieson of Underwriters Insurance to raise more than $15,000 through “Wicked Wednesday” events at the South Okanagan Events Centre. At select Vees games throughout the season, various items were raffled off, including used cars, entertainment and furniture packages, and SOEC suites.

Cheques were presented this week to breakfast programs at local elementary schools as well as to the South Okanagan Women in Need Society.

PHOTO 1: CARMI ELEMENTARY - $2,902 (Johnny Aantjes, owner of Penticton Speedway, with principal Sharon Sola)

PHOTO 2: KVR MIDDLE SCHOOL - $1,500 (Johnny Aantjes with vice-principal Jennifer Wingham and principal Steve DeVito )

PHOTO 3: MEALS ON WHEELS: Queens Park, Columbia and West Bench Elementary Schools - $4,063 (Johnny Aantjes with Meals on Wheels volunteers Char Edwards, Erin Beck and Jennie Paquet, plus West Bench principal Allen Beckingham and members of the Vees)

PHOTO 4: PARKWAY ELEMENTARY - $2,944 (Johnny Aantjes with principal Kelly Jones)

PHOTO 5: SOWINS – $4,045.50 (Johnny Aantjes with Trudy Hanratty of SOWINS, as well as members of the Vees)

Covered in Kindness

The Anchor Society Thrift Store in Rutland is organizing a blanket drive for the needy.

From March 1 to 30, the store will collect blankets after being approached by Metro Church.

Organizers then contacted other local agencies that help the homeless and found a real need.

The Covered in Kindness blanket drive was born.

Good quality, warm, lightly used blankets are sought. They will be distributed to Metro Church Kelowna, Kelowna Gospel Mission, Houses of Mercy and others.

If you have a blanket you would like to donate, please visit

The thrift store opened nine months ago with a mission to provide shoes and school supplies to orphans in the West Indies and to assist in the local community.  

A team of people from the Kelowna area travelled to Montego Bay, Jamacia, in 2014 with 800 pairs of shoes donated from Soles for Souls and Kelowna Christian Centre.  

The shoes were distributed to school-age students, and two orphanages. Another trip is planned this May.

PacificSport receives $10K

PacificSport Okanagan recently received an RBC Learn to Play grant for $10,000 from the Royal Bank of Canada in support of PacificSport’s physical literacy after-school program.

RBC Learn to Play is a national program aimed at improving physical literacy (skills and basic movement training incorporated in sport and recreation programs) among Canada’s children and youth.

Physical literacy is the development of Fundamental Movement Skills that allow a  child to move comfortably and in control through a wide range of physical activity and sport situations.

PacificSport Okanagan, along with the City of Kelowna, provides the support and delivery of physical literacy education in schools and after-school programs through a variety of innovative seminars and workshops.

Gaming grants fund local groups

Eighteen local organizations recently received more than $576,000 in funding from the provincial government through the community gaming grant program.

Organizations receiving grants included:

Reach Out Youth Counselling & Family Services Society - $80,000

Braintrust Canada Association - $63,000 

Kelowna & District Society for People in Motion - $57,000

Seniors Outreach Services Society - $52,000

Central Okanagan Region Nutrition Society - $42,000

Boys and Girls Clubs of B.C. - $40,000

Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Central Okanagan - $36,000

Kelowna Okanagan Mission Lions Club - $30,000

Central Okanagan Science Opportunities for Kids Society - $30,000

Kinsmen Club of Westbank - $28,000 

Rotary Club of Kelowna Sunrise - $22,500 

Pathways Abilities Society - $22,000

Shrine Club #15 Kelowna - $20,000

Westbank Lioness Club - $15,000

Spring Valley Seniors Society - $13,200

Canadian Federation of University Women, Kelowna - $12,000

MS Society of Canada, Okanagan Chapter - $7,000

Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Okanagan Centre - $6,377

“These groups make life better for people of all ages in our community,” says Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick. “From the $80,000 grant supporting youth and family counselling to the $65,200 in grants going towards seniors’ activities, these funds will ensure these important services continue.”

“The social service organizations on this list work to identify needs in our community and fill them,” says Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson. “These grants will help them continue to assist individuals and families in Kelowna, making a great local impact.”

“Our community is strong because of its people. The staff and volunteers of these organizations work tirelessly to support those in need,” says Premier Christy Clark, MLA for Westside-Kelowna. “Thank you for your dedication to creating a better quality of life for us all.”

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