Father/Daughter Ball
21st annual Father Daughter Ball
Friday, Sep 21st, 2018
Doors Open 5pm
Vernon Lodge & Conference Centre
3914 32nd St, Vernon, BC
2018 Athletic Awards
Club Executives & Directors
Past President
President Elect
Community Service
Club Service - Meetings
International Service
The Rotary Foundation
Public Relations
Sargeant At Arms

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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
District Site
Venue Map
Club Stories
After breakfast & business, Givonna DeBruin arranged a visit next door at Gateby.  She appreciates the day program activities & socializing, which her father has been attending.  Givonna introduced staff member Brenda,  who described the many programs & facilities intended to help transition hospital patients back to their homes, or support folks who are trying to stay in their homes.  The facilities include an activity room, a dining area, a large exercise room, & a lovely covered patio area for family & social gatherings.   
Former President Martin von Holst & Assistant DG Bev Rundell inducted new member Teresa Durning Harker.  Teresa started out in the healthcare field, before studying business at Kamloops’ TRU, & working as a licensed property manager.  She came to Vernon in 2008 to run our Visitor Centre.  When the City of Vernon took over the regional tourism function, Teresa became a private contractor, running our Visitor Services.  Past volunteer activities include positions of responsibility for 55 Plus Games, Toastmasters & Vernon Winter Carnival.  She’s currently involved with Vernon Golf Spectacular, Special Olympics & Kindale.  With her husband Harvey, she shares a blended family of five children & three grandsons.  She enjoys hiking, fishing & camping, but we suspect this lady rarely sleeps!
Our new President, Gillian Canniff, talked about her ambitious plans for our club, and introduced her Directors: Keith Johnston, Don Miller, Rob Irving, Teresa Bartel, Paul Philps, Martin von Holst & Bev Rundell.  Missing are Past President Geordie McLellan & Chris Hart. 
Teresa Bartel hosted Angela Yablonski, from the Vernon Rotary Club.  Angela operates our local “Curves” franchise, & is founder of the “Zimbabwe Project,” a volunteer-run organization helping local entrepreneurs to create change.  Visiting teams offer classes in business planning, accounting, mentoring, etc.  Sometimes they provide modest start-up funds for sustainable projects to provide clean water, libraries, gardens, poultry rearing, etc.  The Kamloops Rotary Club is planning a trip next year.
Bev Rundell hosted her former SD22 colleagues Kathy Wickum & Melanie Jorgensen, respectively District Principal for Career Education & Curriculum, & Career Program Coordinator.  This animated pair described how students are now encouraged to consider a wide variety of trades careers, many of which may be accessed while still in high school.  Subsidies are even available to offset tuition & other expenses for some trades.  They claim BC will need to fill roughly 1m jobs by 2025, that many current students will likely have 10 – 14 jobs in their first 20 years of employment, & that 65% of students will have jobs that presently don’t exist!  The current Grad Transitions program will soon be replaced with a “capstone” project, & students will be encouraged to use mentors to augment their career planning.
Dave Weatherill arranged for us to be hosted on-site at Tekmar Control Systems, designers & manufacturers of high quality controls for heating, ventilation, air-conditioning (HVAC) & snow-melt systems.  General Manager Greg Leupin described their history & product offerings.  Tekmar was founded over fifty years ago in Germany, by Kurt Knuever.  In 1980, Kurt established Tekmar in Vernon, with his daughter Ulrike & son-in-law Don Gibbs.  Greg joined in 1995.  The present building opened in 2003.  In 2012, Tekmar was purchased by Watts Water Technologies, a large U.S. supplier of a wide range of plumbing-related products.  The Vernon operation concentrates on the hydronic side of the HVAC industry – ie. radiant floor heating.  Tekmar has about 75 – 80 employees housed in a “state of the art” building, using horizontal-loop geo-thermal radiant floor heating.  They’ve recently introduced a “technology acceleration group” (TAG) to focus their innovative design capabilities on an expanding commercial market for Wi-Fi enabled controls.  Their new robots, assembling & "cooking" printed circuit boards, are really cool !
Teresa Bartel hosted her business neighbour Tina Cloutier, who collaborates with four others, including her two sons & marketing consultant Michael Strauch, running Web-Connection.ca , a website consultancy.  They offer a variety of website-related services.  Tina says first impressions are important.  It’s beneficial to own your website, so your audience can easily find you, working 24/7 to build relationships & create business success.  She enjoys teaching people how to build, maintain, & get the most out of their businesses, using up-to-date marketing & web tools.
Gerard Kampman, pharmacist at North End Pharmacy Remedy’s Rx in the Railway Plaza, was Teresa Bartel’s guest.  He spoke about BC’s Pharmacare & Fair Pharmacare plans, beginning with a graph showing how the number of beneficiaries, compared to total population, increases substantially with age.  Pharmacare was introduced in the early 1970’s, with the publicly-funded income-based “Fair Pharmacare” program beginning in 2003.  For 2019, deductibles will be reduced or eliminated for those with low incomes, meaning they’ll have better coverage.  Gerard believes most low-cost generic alternatives to brand name drugs are reliable, with some exceptions, particularly for those suffering from allergies, or reactions to some non-pharmaceutical components.  He encouraged everyone to be sure they’re registered for Fair Pharmacare, if they qualify.
Retired accountant Rob Whitelaw was "pinned" by his sponsor, Martin von Holst, at his induction on April 10th.  Rob isn't new to Rotary, but we welcome him to Vernon, & to our club!
Our District 5060 Convention, held this past weekend in Prosser, WA, was attended by Dr John Wheeldon & President Elect Gillian Canniff.  Dr John was recognized for over fifty years of Rotary service.  He & wife Rina did their best to support (& embarrass!) our RYES Rachel.  He reported that speakers included former Ambassadorial Scholar Steve Solomon, the ever-entertaining Richard King, & incoming DG Sherry Chamberlain.  Gillian attended a membership session, & met up with friends from previous conferences.  The concept of a “World Peace Plus” project, to follow Polio Plus, was discussed.
Long-time member Marty Armstrong and his wife Judy have a travel problem -- they can't seem to get enough of it !  Marty shared photos and stories about their recently completed tour of China, commenting that it was very well organized by Sinotour, and quite affordable, compared with other destinations.
Inclusion of our Rotary Grace & the Rotary Four Way Test in our weekly meetings was discussed, along with business pertaining to upcoming events.
Dave Weatherill hosted Armstrong's Tahn Towns, President of Healthy Horses Ltd, an advocate of probiotics for both humans & their animal friends.
David Burns was invited by Mike Wardlow to describe country music star Dolly Parton's long-held interest in literacy, & her "Imagination Library," which expanded to Canada in 2006.
Martin von Holst hosted Kelowna’s Wendy Wright, of the Heart & Stroke Foundation.  Globally, heart disease is the #1 killer of women.  In Canada, one life is taken every seven minutes.  The Heart & Stroke Foundation has invested heavily in research, significantly reducing the heart disease and stroke death rate.  Their mandate is to prevent disease, save lives and support recovery.  They help place automated external defibrillators (AED’s) wherever there are crowds of people, and in workplaces, etc.  Wendy was able to smooth-talk Martin into organizing our club’s participation in a May 11th “Big Bike” ride, to support their work.  See www.bigbike.ca  “Life.  We don’t want you to miss it.” ™ 
Charlene Silvester hosted Abbeyfield Vernon’s Board Chair, Judy Maile, who enjoys working with seniors, following a long career in various forms of social work.  Our Abbeyfield is a purpose-built residence for ten single seniors, which opened in 1999.  Eleven of Canada’s nineteen non-profit Abbeyfield houses are in BC.  They provide affordable independent living, usually for ten to twenty residents, in a “home-like” atmosphere, with meals & personal safety provided by live-in staff.  Local boards of directors recruit volunteers & community sponsors to help reduce overhead through provision of maintenance, activities, entertainment, etc.  The Vernon group has plans to convert a guest room to use by another resident, & also to add another four residential suites, to help maximize efficiencies.
Keith Johnston led a review of our Club Vision & strategic planning.  A couple of weeks before, President Elect Gillian Canniff had asked members to complete a questionnaire about their satisfaction with various aspects of our club, & give thought to improvements.  Responses to this questionnaire informed some of the discussion.  More to come ....
Jim Kanester hosted Leanne Hammond, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of North Okanagan, where our club has an endowment fund to support our local school scholarships.  Today, Leanne described CFNO’s participation, every second year, in VitalSigns®, a national program to measure the vitality of communities, & support action towards improving the quality of life.  With sections on demographics, income, employment, arts & culture, belonging & leadership, environment, getting around, health, housing, income gap, learning, work & economy, & safety, VitalSigns® provides a comprehensive overview of about 65 Canadian communities on a periodic basis.  They use existing data sets from various sources.  Our local report, along with many others for multiple years, may be found online at http://communityfoundations.ca/vitalsigns/reports/  These are an impressive resource!
Gillian introduced Jaye Coward, owner of Vernon’s “Farm Bound,” a supplier of sustainably produced, local and organic food.  She builds relationships with BC farmers & in winter months, supplements her supply with organic produce from the western USA & Mexico.  Members of Farm Bound may have scheduled deliveries, or shop at the warehouse-style store at 1935 11th Ave.  Jaye is all about helping clients connect to their food, using social media tools to promote healthy produce & delicious recipes.
Gabriel Newman is a storyteller, actor, director, writer & teacher, who operates “Ghost Tours of Vernon,” & serves as Public Education Coordinator for the Greater Vernon Museum & Archives.  At Don Miller’s invitation, he shared his story, exclaiming “we are the stories we choose to tell about ourselves.”  Gabe believes “when you know the story of a place, you have a different attachment to it.”  He sees himself as an actor, whose sets are a series of interesting backdrops around town.  A museum’s job is to tell the stories of its community, & his job, as an education & outreach coordinator, is to gather & learn those stories.  A new facility to replace our outdated & under-sized museum should offer storage, programming, archives, research & community exhibits to tell our stories.
Dennis Windsor, former SS Rotarian, outlined the history of the Royal Canadian Legion, which recently opened membership to all.  His feature story was about Tommy Prince – Canada’s most-decorated Aboriginal War Veteran, who received 11 medals during WWII and the Korean Conflict.   Beginning as a member of the Canadian Parachute Battalion, he was among a select group of Canadians who joined an American unit to form a specialized assault team, later known as the "Devil's Brigade," adopted as the name of a 1968 Hollywood movie.  Prince received medals from King George VI, & though his later years were spent in poverty at a Salvation Army shelter, his 1977 funeral in Winnipeg was attended by 500 people, including Manitoba’s LGov, & consuls from France, Italy & the USA.
Kathy Butler, Mike Tindall & Jane Lister, of Okanagan College, were hosted by Dave Hoyte.  They described the new $6.2m, 13,450 square foot, Trades Training Centre scheduled to open August 2018 on the Vernon Campus.  Carpentry, electrical, plumbing, pipe-fitting, residential construction and welding will be the core skills taught, though there will also be opportunities for other industry specific programs.  Aboriginals, women & high school youth at risk will be encouraged.  OC is looking to raise an additional $1m, for a combination of equipment, fixtures, and scholarships for needy students.  Our club is asked to consider being part of the community support toward this $1m goal.       
Geordie McLennan, Marty Armstrong, Bob Clarke, Donna Irving, Leigh Hewer, Dave Weatherill & Rob Irving came to our AGM ready to party!
Janet Green hosted Gord Leighton, a self-described “radio junkie,” & President of Vernon Community Radio Society, which aspires to create a new over-the-air FM broadcast, with programming “materially different” from our current private broadcasters & the CBC.  Gord has long experience as a manager and sales manager in private commercial radio, most recently with Sun FM.  He described the evolution of the radio industry, leading to commercialization and homogenous programming.  There are about 200 community stations in Canada, including about 40 in BC – but Vernon is one of the largest remaining populations without one.  Gord & his Directors (including our Dave Weatherill) believe they need about $100,000, plus 4-5 radio professionals, & 50-60 volunteers, to build a viable broadcast, offering our community new voices & new opportunities.
Seba Al-Faouri is a 17-year old Seaton Secondary student.  In January 2016, she & her family were among the 25,000 Syrian refugees resettled in Canada.  Seba described how as a 12-year old in a small northern Syrian town, she & her family experienced the beginning, & then the progression of war in her country.  Soldiers, policemen & ordinary citizens from different backgrounds initially thought the political & military problems in their capital would be over in a few days, but gradually hostilities grew & freedoms were lost.  As killings & bombings increased, people were unable to work, told to stay home, & eventually had to hide in basements.  Years later, after having fled to neighbouring Jordan, where their activities were restricted, Seba’s family first rejected an offer of resettlement to the USA, then months later accepted Canada’s offer.  Seba feels it is her duty to share her story, & her sense of loss.  She still cannot understand how her peoples’ wealth, diversity & hospitality has been lost to a senseless war.
Rotary Ride Vernon 2018
Member Volunteers Needed
Club Meetings