Posted by Colin Heggie on Nov 27, 2018
Don Miller hosted Dick Auty, a retired Kelowna fireman who leads the Freemasons of Kelowna in their partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society, to provide free round-trip transport for Okanagan cancer patients.  Patients receiving chemotherapy and/or radiation treatments at the Kelowna Cancer Centre are eligible, based on need & availability.  Passengers must be mobile, & flexible about pickup times.  This unadvertised program is jointly financed directly by Masons, & by donations.  The annual operating budget for the Okanagan area is about $375,000.  This supports four seven to nine passenger vans, plus unpaid volunteer dispatchers, drivers & a maintenance team.  Over the past twenty years, the Vernon part of this operation has served about 8,000 patients, through 28,000 trips, covering 900,000 kms!  Our former member, Brenda Erickson, who joined us today, is one of the volunteer drivers.