In Good News: February 2020

CARNIVAL CROWNS 60TH QUEEN
Megan Fowles, left, and Piper Cahoon share the excitement on stage at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre on Feb. 7, 2020, where they were crowned Queen and Princess Silver Star respectively, the 60th. 
(Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)CARNIVAL CROWNS 60TH QUEEN Megan Fowles, left, and Piper Cahoon share the excitement on stage at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre on Feb. 7, 2020, where they were crowned Queen and Princess Silver Star respectively, the 60th. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Photo captures fairy tale moment
Amie Roussel captured this fairy-tale-like photograph featuring ballerina Tiernen O’Keefe on Feb. 11, 2020, out front of the Vernon Winter Carnival’s Ice Palace in the Civic Plaza. (Carousel Studios photo)Photo captures fairy tale moment Amie Roussel captured this fairy-tale-like photograph featuring ballerina Tiernen O’Keefe on Feb. 11, 2020, out front of the Vernon Winter Carnival’s Ice Palace in the Civic Plaza. (Carousel Studios photo)
Yvonne Carnell’s 2014 Yamaha 50cc Yuma, her only mode of transportation, was stolen from her Vernon home in mid-January but returned mid-February. (Submitted Photo)Yvonne Carnell’s 2014 Yamaha 50cc Yuma, her only mode of transportation, was stolen from her Vernon home in mid-January but returned mid-February. (Submitted Photo)
Sveva Caetani with her father Leone and mother Ofelia. (Submitted photo)Sveva Caetani with her father Leone and mother Ofelia. (Submitted photo)
Shanda Hill and her father carved out some creative ice baths at Ellison Lake on Feb. 23, 2020. (Facebook)Shanda Hill and her father carved out some creative ice baths at Ellison Lake on Feb. 23, 2020. (Facebook)
Vernon Vortex Speedskating Club member Nate Benn won four medals, including a pair of gold, at the Canadian Youth Long Track Championships in Red Deer. (Photo submitted)Vernon Vortex Speedskating Club member Nate Benn won four medals, including a pair of gold, at the Canadian Youth Long Track Championships in Red Deer. (Photo submitted)
Arlie Slizak and her son, four-year-old Weston, wait with anticipation for the start of the 60th-annual Vernon Carnival Parade at noon on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)Arlie Slizak and her son, four-year-old Weston, wait with anticipation for the start of the 60th-annual Vernon Carnival Parade at noon on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
(Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
(Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
(Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
City of Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming cruised through the parade Saturday in style. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)

In a year unlike any other, the Vernon Morning Star is looking back at the bright side of 2020. Here are a few stories from February that show some of the positive work, activities and accomplishments in our community:

Carnival crowns 60th Queen Silver Star

Queen and Princess Silver Star LX were proclaimed during an elaborate evening at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Feb. 7, 2020.

Miss Okanagan Restoration Services Megan Fowles was crowned Queen and Miss Johnston Meier Insurance Piper Cahoon took the Princess title.

The pair were among six candidates in the Queen Silver Star Excellence Program, which started six months prior.

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Cahoon also earned the talent scholarship for her ribbon dance.

Fowles topped the Knowledge of Vernon exam during the program, earned the Speech Award and also the Blossom Award.

The girls’ success sparked joy and even some tears in the crowd, particularly from Sarah Moorhouse, with Okanagan Restoration Services, as she watched her candidate take the top title.

Miss North Okanagan Optimist Club Eva Calder was named Miss Congeniality.

Miss Vernon Volkswagen Quintessa Louis took home the Spirit Award, People’s Choice for the talent for her fancy shawl dance and the fundraising scholarship.

In total, $7,000 was awarded in scholarships to the candidates for various skills including essay writing, speech, knowledge of Vernon and more.

Vernon’s own Prince Harry and Megan story makes royal reappearance

Photos capture fairy tale moment

They look like a dream, or perhaps a fairy tale, but the photographs of a ballerina in front of the Ice Palace in Civic Plaza were the brainchild of Vernon photographer Amie Roussel.

“The photo epitomizes every Canadian ballerina’s dream,” said Roussel, owner of Carousel Studios.

“The tutu, tiara, pointe shoes, castle, her grave and flexibility — it is all magic.”

The dancer, Tiernen O’Keefe, is a student of Roussel’s, and the two have been shooting dance photos over the past few years.

O’Keefe told Roussel Tuesday’s shoot was the easiest one yet, despite the frigid cold.

“We knew what we were going to do before we got there and we were only out there for around 20 minutes,” Roussel said.

Roussel said it’s important that dancers don’t get cold as it can hinder the performance, especially when it takes place in the middle of February, outdoors, in front of an ice castle.

The dancer was kept in the car with the heat on until the lighting was set.

Then she dressed down to her tights, tutu and pointe shoes and it was showtime.

“She didn’t complain at all,” Roussel said of O’Keefe. “Dancers don’t complain, they dig deeper and keep on going.”

Roussel said the hardest part about the nighttime shoot in the cold was getting the light.

The Ice Palace, which was in place for the 60th annual Vernon Winter Carnival, made the perfect backdrop for the magical photographs.

Stolen scooter returns

A month after a Vernon woman’s scooter was stolen from the secure parking at Tamarack II on 27th Avenue, and a heartfelt plea seeking Mr. Bumble’s — as owner Yvonne Carnell affectionately called her whip — safe return, it happened.

Carnell received a call from someone who had urged the individual who had the beloved yellow-and-black scooter to return it.

“I’ve been talking to him and told him just because he bought it off so and so, that doesn’t mean it’s his,” the man told the rightful owner. “I told him he has to suck up what he’s lost and do that right thing.”

True to his word, the man met up with Carnell to reunite Mr. Bumble with its owner.

“Two Good Samaritans in my life last night,” said Carnell, who picked it up on 26th Avenue between the recycling depot and the former Howard House.

Ultra athlete ‘hearts’ ice baths

It seems Vernon’s ultra-athlete Shanda Hill didn’t get enough ice baths following the completion of the Double Deca Classic in Mexico.

Hill and her father took to Ellison Lake (a.k.a. Duck Lake) in late February to carve out a swimming hole, along with some other creative gems.

In a video posted to the Shanda Hill Ultra Athlete Facebook page, Hill and her father are seen carving out a heart and a maple leaf in the ice.

Hill was the first Canadian to complete the Double Deca triathlon in Leon, Mexico, on Oct. 31, 2019. The race, which is equivalent to 20 Ironman triathlon races in a row, had the Vernon athlete chilling in three to four ice baths a day.

READ MORE: Vernon ultra-athlete hearts ice baths

Speedskater wins double golds in nationals

Coming off a B.C. Long Track Championship win, Vernon Vortex Speed Skating Club’s Nate Benn travelled to Red Deer in February to compete in the Canadian Youth Long Track Competition against the fastest 15-year-olds in Canada, and came away with four medals, including two golds.

Four generations, one game, five smiles

Vernon’s Block family, fixtures at Lincoln Lanes bowling centre for decades, decided to have a generational game in February.

Taking part were family patriarch Art Block, 82, his son, Jake, 57, Jake’s daughter, Brittany Meyer, who came up with the idea (and whose mom, Diane, refused to give her age) and Brittany’s daughters Hannah, five, and Nora, three.

“It was a great way to celebrate family and have some fun at the same time,” said Diane, who served as photographer and cheerleader.


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