The Okanagan Quality Life Society has been taking disabled and long-term care residents of the community for therapeutic outings on its boat Heaven Can Wait

Society seeks new pontoon

The Okanagan Quality Life Society takes the disabled and seniors out on boat trips

It turns out heaven can’t wait.

At least, not in the case of the Okanagan Quality Life Society’s 24-foot pontoon boat named Heaven Can Wait.

After 21 seasons and delighting thousands of guests from facilities and programs such as Noric House, Gateby, Downs, Vernon Restholm, Polson Residential and many others, Heaven Can Wait will be retired at the end of 2013.

“A new pontoon boat will be purchased in 2014, and fundraising for that is underway,” said Rob Irwin, with the Okanagan Quality Life Society.

Formed in 1992 as a charitable, non-profit organization, the Okanagan Quality Life Society provides a way for disabled members of the community and seniors in long-term care facilities to enjoy therapeutic outings on Okanagan Lake.

It was 103-year-old Rose Griffin who named the boat Heaven Can Wait in 1992, and enjoyed three more years of boating on it after she named it.

“It is my professional experience that all guests on the boat thoroughly enjoy their outings, not only from a recreational point of view but certainly also from a therapeutic one,” said Vernon recreation therapist Marijon Florentinus.

“After a boating trip they feel great.”

The society receives no government funding and relies upon charitable donations and volunteers from the local community to keep afloat.

Operating costs include insurance, equipment, boat and equipment maintenance and fuel.

The boat is moored for free at the Vernon Yacht Club and the Blue Heron Pub provides $300 worth of gas each season.

There are between 25 and 30 trained volunteer “captains” of the boat who donate their time between June and September.

“Captains are stringently trained in safe boat handling practices, many are trained in standard first aid and the boat is maintained and equipped with safety and emergency equipment in compliance with Transport Canada guidelines,” said Irwin.

Each season, Heaven Can Wait makes more than 100 trips, uses at least 1,000 litres of fuel, puts in more than 350 volunteer hours and serves more than 600 guests.

If you’d like to be a member of the society ($5 fee), volunteer to be a captain, make a donation or get more information, call president Ron Heuman at 250-558-1063.

 

Just Posted

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer makes announcement in Okanagan today

Sheer will be making the annoucement in Lake Country

Charlotte Diamond to bring classic children’s music to Vernon

Iconic Canadian children’s entertainer performs Oct. 6 at Vernon District Performing Arts Centre

Decision on Sagmoen voir dire expected today

Media outlets to tackle publication ban in Vernon courts

Greener future rounded up at Vernon fair

Kal Tire Community Eco-Fair builds on environmental best practices

Grades dropped from B.C. report cards

New format in place for K-9

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

National weather forecasters predict average fall, cold winter

The Weather Network says precipitation will about average in most parts of Canada

Morning Start: Do you know who first played the Joker?

Your morning start for Monday, September 16.

Similkameen orchardists file lawsuit over ancestral remains site

Lawsuit alleges individuals entered the property by force

Two dead, two in critical condition in highway crash near Campbell River

Highway 19 reopened Sunday night after it was closed in both directions

Okanagan Vinyl Fest spins into the South Okanagan

Fundraiser for Peach City Radio features albums from vendors all over the province

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Video: Rain doesn’t deter Terry Fox runners in Salmon Arm

Dozens showed up to continue the Canadian icon’s marathon of hope.

Most Read