The Kalamalka Rotary Club has flourished from the time potential members started talking about forming a second Rotary Club in in Vernon.
Jack Peters and Ed Blundell are Vernon Rotary Club members who helped establish the Kalamalka Rotary Club, which received its charter March 19, 1981.
“Things have changed but the actual need for Rotary clubs, for the fellowship and the service to others hasn’t changed. This club is a tremendous asset to the community,” said Peters.
Blundell went on to be one of the founding members of the Kalamalka Rotary Club.
“One of the great things we have been privileged to be involved in is the fund to help eradicate polio around the world,” he said.
The Rotary International end-polio campaign has raised $1 billion since 1988 to immunize two billion children in 122 countries and the program is close to eliminating polio in the world.
Beth Marks, Kal Rotary president, welcomed the founding members who were present to the 30th anniversary celebration at the Best Western Plus Vernon Lodge Oct. 6: Terry Dyck, Gary Link, Jake Spoor, Joe Sasaki, Don Heath, Ed Blundell, Brian Pattie, Ron Fairburn, Peter Lockhart and Ben Hoy.
“We can’t thank you enough for what you helped to build. We’re glad that you are here for us,” she said.
Vernon Mayor Wayne Lippert brought congratulations from the city.
“The most important attribute of this club is the way you work together to make this community a better place,” he said.
Peter Lockhart, a founding member who is still active in the club, has a lot of memories.
“One of the biggest things is the Dream Auction which we have had for 26 years. Bruce Blankley brought the idea to the club and it has made it possible for us to do so much in the community. It’s the social event of the year for many people, the start of the Christmas season. The community has embraced it,” said Lockhart.
“We all appreciate the opportunity to be able to work together for the community and the fellowship we have here. We help each other; there is always someone here you can call on to get answers to your questions. People don’t always think about it but any time there’s a project in the community, there’s probably a Rotarian involved.”
A page from the first Dream Auction in 1985 included items like: a buddelschiff (ship in a bottle) donated by the Rotary Club of Achim West Germany; a night out at Hy’s Restaurant; wine from Cassabello; and a chance to learn computer word processing from Interior Information. This year’s Dream Auction is Nov. 19.
The club presented a Paul Harris Award to member Greg Schroeder, who died recently. He was recognized for his work with Teen Junction and local youth. The award was accepted by his wife, Liz MacArthur.
Shan McMorran, Vernon Rotary Club president, congratulated the Kalamalka club on building the skateboard park in Polson Park as well as its many other community and international projects.
“This club has the passion and commitment and the power to make things happen,” he said.
There were 115 members, past members, and guests present to help the club celebrate.
Other founding members were: Les Dawson, Terry Fizzell, Vern Hembling, Alf Grahame, Bill Kirby, George Smart, Roy Ferris, Dave Abbot, Alfred Chan, Herb VanGrootal, Terry Quesnel, Peter McAllister, John Kolodychuk, Art Clark, Wayne Mann, John Orr, Bob Sassville, Byron Brandle, Harold Thorlakson and Vic Rantio.
Rotary International was established in 1905 and there are 35,000 clubs with 1.23 million members in 170 countries.