This week’s column is dedicated to a long-time friend, Marilyn Mathison, who passed away March 28. The Mathisons and DeHarts go way back to the early 1970s when my husband Chris DeHart and Darwin Mathison worked together. Personal condolences to Darwin, their family and many friends.
How time flies! Guess what everyone? I am celebrating my 15th year as a business columnist for Capital News—and I’m still here!
Thanks to all of you, our readers, friends, colleagues and clients for supporting the newspaper, this column and me. My editor, Barry Gerding, and I figured out (give or take) that I have written about 40,000 people/businesses/events/articles/birthdays combined over the past 15 years. Your loyalty and continued support and encouragement have made this column a success. Thanks for all the leads, faxes, emails, phone calls, letters, Facebook messages, LinkedIn messages, referrals, stops on the street and visits to the Ramada Hotel (where I hang my hat). Keep them coming. I appreciate everything, especially all of you taking me into your confidence and trust each week. I certainly could not have made this great milestone without your help. In celebration of my 15th anniversary and many other Capital News milestones, continue to stay tuned for upcoming events this year.
Wink-i-Wear has opened at 7-605 KLO Rd. (in the Mission Shopping Centre between CIBC and TD/Canada Trust). Owned and operated by licensed optician Laura Draycott, the shop provides a luxurious environment, tailor-made for trying on endless looks. Most of the designer frames in the shop can’t be found anywhere else in the valley and their own line of eyeglasses has classic shapes and edgy sensibility. Wink-i-Wear carries eyeglasses available worldwide, including Drift, Face a Face, Orgreen, J.F. Rey, Etnia Barcelona and Lerocher New York. If you are looking for the Johnny Depp look, Win-i-Wear is also the sole retailer for Tart Optical in Canada, offering the Tart Arnels worn by the star. Fashion colours for this year are anything bright and colourful with frames getting bigger and rounder. Wink-i-Wear is a Varilux exclusive dealer, featuring the cutting edge optical technology of Essilor’s Visioffice. The store also supplies period eyewear for commercials, photo shoots and theme weddings. You will also find a good selection of sunwear featuring stylist patented sport sun wear by Kaenon, along with fashion forward prescription sunglasses. Call 860-862-WINK (9465) or check out the website www.winkiwear.ca.
Congratulations to Dustin and Gina Kearns on receiving the RCMP Detachment Commander’s Commendation for Outstanding Service. This award was received in recognition of their outstanding volunteer contribution to the RCMP and the citizens of Kelowna, relating to the recovery of stolen vehicles. Between 2009 and 2013, they identified and located a total of 25 stolen vehicles in Kelowna. Their commitment to community policing is truly exemplary.
It’s a 20th anniversary celebration in business this year for Keloka Auto, 1-2755 KLO Rd. While many mechanics dream of opening their own shop one day, Mike Simons took that jump in 1993. Now, one step and one day at a time has added up to 20 years of success, supplying good, honest knowledge and service to his customers, mainly servicing BMW and Mercedes. Call 250-868-2325.
Tourism Kelowna has undergone a few staff changes. Jenny Rutherford, formerly in sales, has gone back to her communications background as the new communications coordinator. Alexa Creelman, who has worked in the Visitor Centre for the past year, will step in for a few months as sales coordinator. Pat Gappmayr, Chad Douglas and Jennifer Horsnell will focus on generating leads and lead room nights for Kelowna. Jennifer will handle the B.C. and Alberta market, while Pat manages Eastern Canada and Chad will continue to sell Kelowna as a sport and event destination. They will be hiring a sales manager who lives in Calgary. Call 250-861-1515; www.tourismkelowna.com.
Jim Murphy, formerly of Okanagan Life Magazine for eight years is now an account executive for Absolute Okanagan, an upscale magazine showcasing the very best of the Okanagan. Cynthia Denyar is the publisher.
Good Earth Coffeehouse, 102-2949 Pandosy St. in the Mission, has a new owner. Formerly owned by the Sapiehas, the new owner is Paige Bannerman. The coffee house has been completely renovated, is licensed, has a new patio and now features entertainment every day of the week. It will also feature local artists, changing every three months. On display right now is the work of artist Debra Martin. Open until 10 p.m. daily, and 11 p.m. in the summer months. Call 250-448-7768.
Uptown Rutland Business Association has a new 2013 board of directors. Serving on the executive will be Crystal Hansen, president (Benson Law LLP); Nicholas Aubin, past president (Aubin & Associates Notaries Public); Shawn Swail, 1st vice-president (Penty & Company); Dawn Thiessen, 2nd vice-president (Aphrodite In Me Spa) and Al Kirschner, treasurer (Black Mountain Irrigation District). Sitting on the board as directors are Joe Iafrancesco (property owner); Aron Meier (Valleyview Funeral Home); Mike Koutsantonis, Olympia Greek Taverna; Shawna McCrea, Valley First Credit Union; Frank Pohland, appointed (CTQ Consultants); Kevin MacDougall, appointed (community policing coordinator for Rutland); and Kelowna city councillors Gerry Zimmermann and Andre Blanleil (alternate). Laurel D’Andrea is the office administrator for URBA.
Buck LaRoche has renovated the exterior of his building and added new signage to reflect that his two businesses, Auto Trim Line Detail and Downtown U-Haul, are under one roof at 264 Leon Ave. in Kelowna. Auto Trim completely details cars, trucks and SUVs including outside, inside, shampoo, polish and the application of 3MClear film paint protection. His sign company offers custom graphics, vehicle lettering, pin striping and window tinting, along with coroplast signs and sandwich boards. His U-Haul rental centre also offers packing boxes. Call 250-860-4130 (U-Haul) or 250-899-5833 (Auto Trim).
Blair Lischeron has left Project Literacy. With his help, the society has a good transition plan in place with Bonnie Girouard, Project Literacy’s education coordinator acting as interim executive director for now. Anita Boehm is the president of Project Literacy Kelowna Society, 250-762-2163.
Melcor Developments Ltd.’s Black Mountain residential development now has officially launched BlueSky at Black Mountain. Take a look at www.blueskyatblackmountain.ca for more information.
The provincial Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire Independent Order celebrates its100th birthday this month, while the local chapter (Dr. W. J. Knox) also celebrates its 70th birthday on April 12. The local chapter, with only 16 members, volunteered an unbelievable 29,034 hours in 2012, including running the IODE thrift store, knitting, sewing and visiting schools. The members have donated items to hospice and many camps. The ladies have sponsored the Safety Village, high school bursaries, junior arts awards, an RCMP award and help the cancer clinic. They also supply hand knitted toques, and scares to schools each year. Two of the charter members, Gertie Johnston with 70 years of IODE service and Kay Pettman with 68 years, are still very active in the organization. Happy birthday to Gertie Johnston will turn 100 on May 5. I am honoured to have been asked to attend the 100th birthday celebrations on April 13.
Greg Kornell, owner of Regency Retirement Resorts presented a cheque for $26,952 to the KGH Foundation from the sales of Regency’s Hotties for the Hospital calendar. The 24-bed medical in-patient unit at KGH was redesigned to become the F-I-T (Function-Independence-Transition) unit in September 2012. This unit delivers patient and family centered care that supports individuals to maximize their functional independence and overcome challenges in order to support transition to home from acute care. Residents of the four Regency Resorts, along with some of KGH’s favourite physicians, (Dr. Michael Ertel, Dr. Guy Fradet and Dr. Bill Nelems) along with Mayor Walter Gray and myself posed for the calendar. The $26,952 raised along with dollar-for-dollar matching funds from the owners of Regency went towards furnishing the patient, family room and common areas of the F-I-T unit.
Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association has a new board for 2013. Taking over as chair is Michael J. Ballingall with Big White Ski Resort. Joining him on the executive team are Chris Bower, vice-chair (Nk’Mip Resort, Osoyoos); Christine Latimer, treasurer (Valemount Inn); Sally Pierce, secretary (Penticton) and Ingrid Jarrett, past-chair (Osoyoos). The board directors are George Hanson (Cawston); Gene Covert (Oliver); Hans-Peter Mayr (Sparkling Hill Resort & Spa, Vernon); Robyn Cyr (Shuswap Tourism); Kelly Watt (Kelowna); Russell Critchlow (Blue River); Sharon Bond (West Kelowna); Bryan Pilbeam (Kamloops) and Brad Pelletier, (Predator Ridge).
Michelle De Sousa is back from a two year trip traveling around Africa and Europe. She previously was the Gala of Hope coordinator for the Canadian Cancer Society in 2008 (now called the Daffodil Ball). She continued to help fundraise for the B.C. Cancer Foundation. Call her at 778-214-8119.
The Juice 103.9 has made some changes. The new morning duo are veterans Steve and Harry, playing music from the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, from 6 to 10 a.m.
The Pets and People Visiting Society will host a Pets and People Day at KGH on Wednesday, April 17, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the Remembrance Hallway (off the old lounge). Pets and People was brought to Kelowna by Marjorie and John Rutherford (John since deceased). They worked very hard for many years through meetings with medical, government and legal avenues for approval and/or permission to put the program together and keep it going. Come by KGH and say hello to their volunteers and of course, their dogs. Call Marjorie at 250-860-2572 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Canadian Italian Club will host a dinner on April 20 at its clubhouse 770 Lawrence Ave., including a full Italian dinner. $10 for children and kids under 5 are free. Call Joe at 250-878-3619 or email@example.com.
Birthdays of the week: Hilda Nielsen, Chatsworth (April 8); Mike Guzzi (April 17); David Langton, Competition Glass (April 13); Bob Brummitt (April 14); Linda Kerry (April 14); Ken Thompson, Sleep Country (April 14); Walley Lightbody (April 14); Chris Brown, Rutland Parks Society (April 15); MJ Bennett, Victor Properties (April 17); In memory of my mom, Helen Abram (April 13).