Final chance to support local grads through Penticton Secondary school Dry Grad 50/50

Last chance Dry Grad 50/50

The Penticton Secondary School Dry Grad 50/50 fundraiser is down to its final hours.

Dry Grad is an annual event where graduating seniors can have an incredible time while staying safe. It is a supervised all-night party that allows the kids to end one journey and begin another in style.

The Dry Grad Committee organizes a fundraiser each year, run by parents of the graduating class and other volunteers.

This year it is a 50/50 draw, and the lucky winner will get the thrill of both helping out local students and winning up to $10,000.

Tickets are $10 each and a maximum of 2,000 will be sold.

Sales end at 5 p.m. on May 23 so don't wait. Click here to buy your tickets.


Kids camp hoping for comeback post-pandemic gets boost from old friends

Old friends help save camp

A Scouts Canada camp near Summerland that struggled financially during the pandemic has gotten a huge boost thanks to a generous donation from some old friends.

The Penticton Kinsmen Disability Resource Centre Society (PKDRCS) read a news item on Castanet in April about the struggles of Camp Boyle, which has played host to a variety of youth camping opportunities through Girl Guides and Scout groups, hosting up to 250 kids at a time in it tenting sites and sleeping cabins over decades.

But the pandemic hit the camp hard, and the Friends of Camp Boyle committee was fundraising to be able to afford to reopen ?— fire protection systems, water well upgrades, septic systems and insurance all need upgrading.

After reading about it, the Kinsmen decided to help.

The club was instrumental in constructing Camp Boyle in the 1960s, and have supported it with donations ever since. They have continued that tradition by presenting a $5,000 cheque to Camp Boyle this week.

"Camp Boyle has served generations of youth and is not only used by local scouting groups, but many other groups from around the province and hopefully will do so for many more," reads a news release from the PKDRCS directors.

The group is just getting started giving back to the community. The PKDRCS decided last fall to gift the Kinsmen CPR Station on Hastings Street in Penticton to another local community group.

A Request for Proposals for the location, which is assessed at close to $2 million, was put out and multiple organizations responded.

"The Kinsmen Society is very pleased with the number and calibre of the proposals and will soon announce the gifting of this historical building and property to continue as a benefit to the community," the society said.

Penticton Police apprehended an 'extremely combative' man under the Mental Health Act Saturday

Man grabs officer's gun

Penticton RCMP officers struggled to apprehend an “extremely combative” man under the Mental Health Act Saturday.

In a press release from the Penticton RCMP Sunday morning, Const. Dayne Lyons said police were asked by a physician to apprehend a man and take him to the hospital for treatment.

Police did not disclose the reason why they were asked to apprehend the man, or where in Penticton the incident took place, but Const. Lyons said the man fought with police.

“During this call for service the individual was extremely combative,” said Const. Lyons. “During the altercation he kept reaching for the officer’s service pistol, and at one point had full grasp of the handle.

“Our officer followed, and relied upon, his training to a ‘T.' At no point did the male un-holster the pistol. The officer was able to keep his pistol secure the entire time.”

Four officers were needed to subdue and apprehend the man, and Const. Lyons says neither the man nor the officers were injured.

“Our officers (as first responders), regardless of where they serve, are called to mental health related incidences with increasing frequency,” Const. Lyons said.

“We recognize that while police are often engaged, the solution to mental-health related issues requires a greater societal response.”


The Critteraid Animal Sanctuary in Summerland has a bonded pair of playful kittens to adopt

Home for two playful kitties

Casey Richardson

After a Penticton business took it upon themselves to run a fundraiser for the Critteraid Animal Sanctuary in Summerland, their team got to name a group of rescued kitties, which are now coming up for adoption.

COBS Bread at Riverside Village raised $5,152.00 for the rescue.

Two of the COBS Bread kittens, named Cocoa and Slicer, are a brother and sister pair looking for a home together.

"Cocoa is our little lady and Slicer is a little boy and they are looking for a home together as they are very bonded," Critteraid Animal Director Jess Byer said.

"They will be indoor only kittens, but they could learn how to do leash harnessing and of course they would enjoy their own 'catio.'"

It's been a busy kitten season for the rescue and many more young furry friends will be coming up for adoption in the next couple of months.

If you're interested in this sweet duo or learning about more of the kittens and cats available, send an email to Critteraid at [email protected]

Summerland residents push for upgrades, environmental protection in future of waterfront areas

Next steps for waterfront

The importance of keeping lakeshore areas and beaches well maintained to the Summerland community is expressed well in the feedback for the Waterfront Concept Plan, which will be presented to district council on Tuesday.

The feedback was collected in March ahead of developing a Waterfront Concept Plan by consultants from Lees & Associates, which included input sessions with Council, the Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee, environmental resources, youth, service clubs, park user groups, community organizations, neighbours, and local businesses.

This includes Peach Orchard Beach, Rotary Beach Park and Horse Beach.

The plan will follow aims set by council focusing on design and services promoting inclusivity and promotion of physical activity for healthy lifestyles.

It will set the future course of stewardship for park land, beaches, amenities, swimming and water activities and infrastructure in the areas of Peach Orchard Beach to Rotary Beach Park.

Initial feedback from the reports suggest that residents are passionate about maintaining opportunities for horses and dogs to enjoy the beaches and water is important.

Out of the online survey, which included 480 responses the public, residents want to see:

  • Improved swimmer safety, including reduced conflict between water recreation users (boaters, swimmers, etc)
  • Universal accessibility improvements, especially to the water, washrooms, and seating areas
  • Environment and sustainability included, protecting the waterfront environment
  • Parking is a challenge, but keeping park space is more important and improved bike infrastructure is needed.
  • A desire for more canopy trees and native planting

In the overall feedback from the survey, improving amenities and the landscape, improve trails for walking and biking, and enhancing the environment were prominent.

Respondents also want to see the washrooms made to be fully accessible with year round use and a Family wash and change rooms included.

On Rotary Beach, respondents want to see improvements made to:

  • Shelter from the sun (51%)
  • More trees (45%)
  • Fire pits (38%)
  • Amenities for food trucks (36%)
  • Larger open water swim area (30%)

On Peach Orchard Park, respondents want to see improvements made to:

  • Expand/ improve beach (52%)
  • More trees + habitat (39%)
  • Amenities for food trucks (31%)
  • Shelter from the sun (29%)
  • Accessibility at the Dog Beach (28%)

On Horse Beach, respondents want to see:

  • Keep it as it is - keep it natural and quiet, as a local’s beach (58 open ended responses)
  • Ensure horse access (52 responses)
  • Improve parking especially for trailers (27 responses)

Heading forward, the key improvements suggested are to include: A continuous bike path that provides cycling infrastructure, sufficient accessible parking, set up life saving equipment, add riparian planting and use nature-based solutions to protect and restore the shoreline, plant additional trees in the parks and along the Centennial Trail and clarify and communicate animal regulations.

The consultants are planning for an in-person public open House on June 16, 2022, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 pm, with a presentation at 5:30 pm, at the Arena Banquet Room to display draft concept plans and collect community input.

A second public survey will be issued and available from June 6 – 26, 2022, to gain further input from the public.

The consultants are targeting the beginning of August to have the Waterfront Concept Plan completed and will return to Council on August 22, 2022, to present the final Plan.

Council will review the Waterfront Concept Plan Update on Tuesday.

Fundraising started for Osoyoos Canada Day fireworks display, with a $95K goal

Raising $95K for fireworks

A small team of Osoyoos residents are gearing up to host their most spectacular fireworks event yet this July 1, for the return of the South Okanagan's biggest Canada Day festivals.

Annette Star is the co-ordinator for fundraising the Osoyoos Fireworks and this year is hoping to raise $95,000 — doubling the last celebration's budget — to really wow locals and visitors.

Osoyoos typically draws crowds of 30,000 people for the day-long celebration complete with the Cherry Fiesta, pancake breakfast, beer gardens and parade.

"It was supposed to be our 25th anniversary two years ago. So we're trying to raise double the funds of what we normally do...so that we can have a phenomenal show," Start said. "I'm thinking we're probably going to have 40 to 50,000 people watching the fireworks this year. "

The plan for this year's show is to really pack it with specialty fireworks.

"We have actual fireworks that go into the water and come up out of the water. We're hoping to beat Ottawa this year, but we're not going to tell them," Star added with a laugh.

The show is orchestrated by Frank Zandvliet, who's been working on the show since January for this summer. He's been planning music with one of the local bands, Rebel Luv, to synchronize the fireworks to the beat.

The entirety of funds raised go towards the show.

"It's all product, because Frank and his pyro crew, they don't take anything and our fundraising crew doesn't take anything. Every cent that we earn goes towards those fireworks."

The fireworks are ordered from Big Bang Fireworks in Alberta, which are supplied from Portugal. The crew starts placing orders at the end of May through June as fundraising comes in.

Star said that fundraising has basically just started, with the Town of Osoyoos supplying $8,000, the Elks Club donating $1,000, and a private donation for a $1000.

"We're starting to get out there and hit the businesses and things like that. And I mean, all I've been doing for the past two years is sorting bottles and going to the bottle depot because we couldn't go out to businesses with COVID. Businesses were hurting so you know, they're not likely to donate."

Star had also started a GoFundMe for their fundraising campaign, hoping it will get shared across the Valley and the border.

"It's crazy because people come from Kelowna, from Penticton and they come all the way up the mountain, from Christina Lake and things like that. The other way they come from Keremeos and Hedley, and even people from the states come up."

The long weekend already looks to be fully booked out in the town too.

"If people are going to come down, they better get here early. I think every hotel is booked already for that weekend...The beaches get packed so if they want to watch, they better get there soon."

People will line up their chairs starting around 7 p.m. for the 10 p.m. fireworks show.

Star shared that if you're booked into a hotel on the north end of the lake, they have perfect seats for viewing the show.

"A lot of people go up on Anarchist Mountain to watch, since there's lookouts there," she said.

The show will last for around 30 minutes.

"To stand down there and hear the crowd. It's amazing. I actually cry every time the fireworks go off. You know, you work so hard, but you bring something to so many people. It's absolutely fantastic."

Personal donations are tax-deductible and a receipt will be given if requested, which will be mailed out next January.

For further questions or to directly to arrange a donation, call Star at 250-495-6227.

The Penticton Salvation Army needs more volunteers

A need for more volunteers

The Penticton Salvation Army needs volunteers to come help work in every sector that their organization runs to give to the local community.

On Friday June 10, the Salvation Army will be hosting an information session for participants to learn more about becoming a volunteer.

The organization works through the generous amount of donations that came in from the community to run its food bank, thrift store and emergency disaster service.

The session will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information, visit their website here or contact 250-492-6494.

Penticton packed with in person events for Seniors Week in June

Lots to do for Seniors Week

There will be seven days full of events in June to support seniors reconnecting as the community emerges from COVID-19 health orders.

Seniors Week in Penticton, as proclaimed by Penticton City Council this past week, will run from June 5-11.

The City of Penticton, OneSky Community Resources, Penticton Seniors’ Drop-In Centre, and South Okanagan Seniors Wellness Society have partnered up once again to offer activities, celebrations, and workshops.

“As we emerge from the pandemic, we want to celebrate everything seniors have contributed to our community over the last two years,” Elmie Saaltink, the chair of the South Okanagan Seniors Wellness Society said in a press release.

“The full week of activities and events are meant to meet the diverse interests of Penticton’s seniors and support their reconnections to each other and the community.”

The week of free activities align with this year’s theme, Seniors Reconnecting, and includes a variety of approximately 30 activities.

Some of these activities include:

  • An in-person conversation with Isobel Mackenzie, BC’s Seniors Advocate on opening day, Sunday, June 5 at Okanagan College
  • Free activities with the City’s Recreation Department at the Community Centre
  • A workshop with Interior Health on medical assistance in dying (MAID)
  • Crime prevention tips specifically for seniors with staff from the RCMP
  • A full day of activities at the Seniors’ Centre on June 11 to wrap up the week
  • The City of Penticton and BC Transit are offering free transit for those 55+ for the entire week

“After two years of hosting virtual Seniors Weeks, we are very excited to offer many in-person events,” Tina Begg, Vice President of the Penticton Seniors’ Drop-In Centre said. “The organizing committee really looks forward to seeing seniors, grandchildren, and everyone of all ages celebrate and learn more about older adults. All are welcome.”

The full schedule is available on the South Okanagan Seniors Wellness Society’s webpage online here.

The group of organizers is asking members of the public to share information about Seniors Week with anyone that may not have access to the internet, media, or traditional communication channels.

More information will be shared as Seniors Week approaches.

Penticton's SS Sicamous reopens to the public after 2-year closure

SS Sicamous reopens

A buoyant museum on Penticton's Okanagan Lake waterfront has re-opened their doors to the public following a two-year closure, with crowds coming back in on May long weekend.

The SS Sicamous, the Okanagan’s last paddle wheeler, was retired nearly 85 years ago. It boasts a reinforced steel hull, and four decks. With 37 staterooms, one smoking room, four saloons, and a dining room, the ship could accommodate more than 300 passengers at one time.

The boat opens its doors to the public for a peek into Okanagan Lake history.

"It's exciting for everyone here and all the volunteers," Katie Pereira, administrative assistant at SS Sicamous said on getting to welcome people in again this weekend.

While the floating museum has been closed to visitors, Pereira said that they've had a steady flow of volunteers come in and out, still working on maintenance and the displays.

Changes have been made to the KVR model, as well as the display rooms, with a refurbished wheel house and upgrades to the ship's deck.

"The local history is a big thing and just to see the KVR Trail model and the look of it, it's really pretty unique," she said.

The Sicamous will continue to be open from Thursday to Monday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. until closing after September long weekend, including stat holidays. The ship will occasionally be closed on Saturdays to host weddings.

The SS Sicamous Society is looking to hire one student this summer for a paid historical interpreter role, helping with archival management, treating guests at the front desk, cleaning duties and looking after the gift shop and assisting with events and tours.

The role is a 40 hour work week position running from May until Aug. 31 and must go to a student returning to high school or post secondary. Interested applicants can drop off a resume at the Sicamous or email to [email protected]

Admission to the SS Sicamous is $10 for an adult, $5 for a youth, with those under six admitted for free, and $8 for seniors, which is ages 55 and up. A family pack for four family members is also available for $25.

Recently, the SS Sicamous Society has been looking for volunteers to help bring the Tug Canadian National No. 6 back into upstanding conditions.

The historic ships are always looking for volunteers, which can reach out to the SS Sicamous society online here or call 250-492-0403 or email [email protected]

Man arrested after allegedly asking teens for oral sex in Penticton

Teens asked for oral sex

Penticton RCMP arrested a man after receiving a report that he had allegedly followed two 14-year-old girls into a coffee shop on Main Street last Wednesday and asked for oral sex.

According to Const. Dayne Lyons with the Penticton RCMP, a charge approval is pending before the BC Prosecution Service.

The charge likely to be issued would be Invitation to sexual touching.

That charge involves: "Every person who, for a sexual purpose, invites, counsels or incites a person under the age of 16 years to touch, directly or indirectly, with a part of the body or with an object, the body of any person, including the body of the person who so invites, counsels or incites and the body of the person under the age of 16 years."

Lyons explained that in this type of situation, a call to 911 right at the time of the offence would be warranted and encouraged.

"Investigators would want to be on scene right away to locate any suspect or witnesses," he added.

Due to the age of the victims in this matter, no further information will be released by RCMP at this time.

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