— Patti Shales Lefkos
Thanks to the generosity of Vernon area individuals and businesses the 35th Kalamalka Dream Auction raised a record-setting $340,000. Kalamalka Rotarians will soon get to work to consider donation requests and provide funds for countless worthwhile causes.
Last year’s proceeds supported JoeAnna’s House, which provides regional accommodation for families at Kelowna General Hospital. Every year, thousands of families from across the interior of British Columbia must travel from their homes for a loved one to receive life-saving specialist care at Kelowna General Hospital. New mothers now have a place near their new infants, children and siblings need no longer be separated from their parents, the frail and elderly need not rest in hospital beds alone. JoeAnna’s house, a place for family members to spend time with loved ones, patients of all ages, while they undergo their treatments at the hospital is now open. It is warm, inviting and saves on accommodation costs.
Another recent recipient, Maven Lane Daycare, non-profit society and a registered charity, offers quality leading-edge learning opportunities, childcare, and recreational programs to children nine months to 12 years of age. Maven Lane has been supporting our community’s children of all abilities, cultures and needs for more than 24 years. Dream Auction funds provided an outdoor classroom and play equipment to enhance both the physical and emotional confidence, bolster the children’s immune systems and improve communication and literacy skills
On the international scene, the Clean Water for Haiti Foundation received funds to build 150 bio-sand filters and replace an old delivery truck to deliver the water filters to rural communities. And, North Okanagan Gleaners, who in 2017 distributed 6.6 million servings of dried soup in Bosnia, El Salvador, Hairit, Guatemala, Tanzania, Ukraine, North Korea and Zimbabwe, used 2018 Dream Auction funds to purchase a new air dryer.
Dream Auction funds also supported Kiva Micro Loans, an organization that aids in the creation of primarily women’s businesses in developing countries. In conjunction with the Rotary Club of Kelowna, funds were used for the purchase of Hippo rollers, an industrial-strength poly drum, like a lawn roller, that allows villagers to transport up to five times the water they previously carried for drinking, cooking and irrigation.
“It’s extraordinary what a life-changing invention like the Hippo roller can make to people who spend much of their day just hauling water,” International Donations chairman Dr. James Mayne said. “Freeing them up for education, household tasks and production.”
Local donation chair Mike Nolan and international chair Dr. Mayne ask that all of us in the North Okanagan consider the priority needs in our communities and around the globe. Grant funding request forms, due Dec. 31, 2019, can be found on the Kalamalka Rotary website at Kalrotray.org under the Funding Request tab.