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BMO Donates to OSNS

It was an exciting day at the OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre Friday, April 8th, as the Bank of Montreal made a sizeable donation.

$4,000 was graciously donated by BMO to refurbish the play structure in the Kinderplace outdoor area.  The foundation of the structure is aging and needs replacement.  

OSNS will use the $4,000 donation to make some much needed improvements to the space.

OSNS Executive Director Manisha Wilms says, "We are so appreciative of the generosity from the Bank of Montreal. OSNS' 'Relentless Pursuit of Excellence in Care' demands that we update our equipment to ensure we are supporting children in the best way possible. We see more than 1,000 children a year from communities across the South Okanagan and Similkameen. Donations, such as this one from BMO, are crucial to our vision of all children reaching their potential.”

BMO has kindly committed to donating further funds next year.

BMO Vice President of Commercial Banking South Okanagan and Kootenays, Ian Teetzel says, “We are glad to help repair the playground and maintain an ongoing partnership to assist in the incredible work being done at OSNS. BMO is giving $2,000 today and guaranteeing $2,000 for next year as well.  It’s important to give to local organizations and I know there are lots of ways we can help moving forward.”


Bannister wins award

Bannister Honda in Vernon has won the Community Driver of the Year award for the Okanagan/Interior region from the New Car Dealers Association of B.C.

The awards recognize automotive dealerships in B.C. that exemplify business strength and community excellence, with a significant focus on making a tangible contribution to the growth and livability of their community or region.

"To be singled out amongst all the various dealerships throughout the Okanagan, and Interior of B.C., is truly amazing," said Pat Loehndorf, Bannister's general manager. "We take great pride in making a tangible contribution to the growth and livability of the Greater Vernon area."

Loehndorf called Bannister a family business with family values. "We have worked very hard as a team to be part of the community, and I salute our staff members who have  dedicated time and effort to make a difference."

Bursaries for students

The Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen  has expanded its educational awards program and is now offering bursaries ranging from $250 to $6,000.

Bursaries are financial-need based awards that do not rely on academic achievements, nor do they have to be repaid.

“There are five different endowment funds that will be offering bursaries to local students of all ages. These endowment funds have been created by local donors who believe in the value of education and its power to improve quality of life for an individual and their family," said Aaron McRann, executive director of the community foundation. "Each endowment fund has certain specifications about who they want their funds to be awarded to."

The Sharon Amos Legacy Fund for the Arts was established after the death of well-known community leader, Sharon Amos.

The fund awards bursaries to students pursuing education in music and arts, preferably performing arts.

The fund has awarded $8,400 to local students since its creation in 2010.

The Dr. John & Kathy Scarfo Bursary Fund awards to students who live an active and healthy lifestyle and who are pursuing education in an effort to improve life for themselves and their families.

In 2015, this fund awarded four $6000 bursaries to local students who are in financial need.

The South Okanagan Aboriginal Education Fund was established in 2013 by anonymous donors from the area.

Shortly after the announcement of this new fund another anonymous donor came forward and donated an additional $10,000 to the bursary fund.

The fund has awarded $2,190 in the past three years to local aboriginal students pursuing an education.

The Thea Haubrich Legacy Fund was created after the death of Thea Haubrich in 2013. Haubrich was a leading practitioner and promoter of encaustic art.

The endowment fund was established with the goal of providing ongoing financial support to artists, with a focus on encaustic art, wanting to further their education.

The Okanagan Fest-of-Ale Bursary Fund provides bursaries to students pursuing second year of post-secondary education in the brewing industry or intermediate level, accredited online courses in the brewing industry.

Preference is given to those in financial need and students who demonstrate determination and willingness to work hard.

Additional consideration will be given to family circumstances that add extra burdens to the student.

This fund will offer multiple awards with a minimum value of $500 each.

For more information, specific funding criteria and application forms, go here.

The deadline for applications is April 18, 2016.


Kelowna 'WOWs' CLBC

A Kelowna woman and a local Rotary group have both been named recipients of this year’s CLBC Widening Our World, or ‘WOW’ awards for their efforts to support the needs of individuals with diverse abilities in our community.

Shelley DeCoste, who works with Pathways Abilities Society in Kelowna, is being recognized for launching a unique ‘Diversabilities’ campaign to shift attitudes towards people with disabilities while Sunrise Rotary is being honoured for its support of efforts to develop skills and find employment for people with diverse abilities.

“We are extremely proud of Shelley and the work she does to help build more inclusive communities and we’re thrilled to see Sunrise Rotary being recognized too!”, says Charisse Daley, Pathways’ Executive Director.

“Shelley and Sunrise Rotary have contributed so much to this community. Sunrise is doing a great job of helping break down social and employment barriers while Shelley continues to be a powerful voice of advocacy for all individuals with diverse abilities. It’s terrific to see them both being recognized in this way”, adds Daley.

Community Living BC has been presenting WOW awards since 2009, recognizing British Columbians who are helping build community inclusion for those served by CLBC.

This year, over 50 nominations were submitted for consideration by the award’s evaluation committee. Following review of all the nominations, DeCoste and Sunrise Rotary were named as being among the winning award recipients for 2016.

CLBC CEO, Seonag Macrae was impressed by this year’s contenders. 

“I want to congratulate this year’s WOW Awards winners and all of the nominees... It is clear from the nominations received that there is a wealth of innovative ideas, activities and initiatives being spearheaded by community champions across the province”, said Macrae.

Both DeCoste and Sunrise Rotary will receive their awards this Friday.

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