DeHart: Grand re-opening for renovated Orchard Plaza branch

Valley First Credit Union opens its newly renovated branch at Orchard Plaza in Kelowna.

Valley First Credit Union Orchard Plaza branch staff (from left) Susi Foerg

The Orchard Plaza branch of Valley First Credit Union, 1860 Cooper Rd., will host a grand re-opening of its new concept branch on Saturday, May 2, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The branch has been completely renovated and redesigned. To celebrate the re-opening, there will be prize giveaways, fun activities and a food truck. Valley First is a full service financial institution where you can bank, borrow, insure and invest. The credit union has also recently partnered with SoilMate.com to raise awareness of their Feed The Valley campaign to generate food and funds for local foods banks. Soilmate was founded by Matt Gomex and is a social media platform helping residents find fresh and local food sources at various farms, markets and grocery stores. Marek Buryska is the manager of Orchard Plaza Branch. Call 250-980-8964 or mburyska@valleyfirst.com.

Kudos to Rona Home and Garden on Springfield Road. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Royal Canadian Legion branch 26’s search for some donated garden tools for spring clean-up. Kathy Wahoski, with Rona, saw the item in my column and Rona ended up donating all the garden tools and supplies the Legion branch needed. What a great story about a big-hearted, community spirited local company. Matt Wachter is the Rona store manager.

At the 26th annual Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards, in the category of Best Okanagan, the following local restaurants took top honours: Waterfront Wines (gold medal); Salted Brick (silver) and Bouchons (bronze). In the Best Winery/Vineyard Dining category, Joy Road Catering Vineyard Kitchen won a silver and Old Vines Restaurant at Quails’ Gate in West Kelowna won a bronze.

Once again StarDyne Technologies Inc. has moved steadily up Branham300, the definitive listing of Canada’s top public and private Information and Communication Technology (ICT) companies, as ranked by revenues. Based on 2014 revenue numbers, StarDyne moved up 11 spots to 85 from 96 last year and three spots from their initial ranking with Branham300. StarDyne is also proud to announce it is ranked 24 of the Top 25 Canadian Software Companies.

Okanagan College will recognize chef Rod Butters, entrepreneur Norm Embree, lawyer Rick Pushor and social planner Annette Sharkey as Honorary Fellows during its 2015 Convocation ceremonies in June.

Designer Cindy Brewster creates a work of art for everyone’s individual style. Her expertise is designing space that suits all budgets. She feels your home is an investment that deserves an innovative solution to all makeover scenarios. If you are ready for a change in your home, business or going to sell your home, take the makeover challenge. Free consultations. Call 250-859-6651 or cinbrewster@gmail.com.

Argus Hospitality Group Ltd. has named Thom Killingsworth, with the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, as the 2014 Canada Region General Manager of the Year. Killingsworth has been an integral part of the planning and implementation of the  Four Points by Sheraton, located across Highway 97 from Kelowna International Airport.  The hotel has received the number one ranking on TripAdvisor out of 35 hotels within only six months of opening.

CedarCreek Estate Winery was elated to announce that Alan Meadows of burghound.com, one of the most respected writers on Pinot Noir in the world, has selected their 2012 Block 4 Platinum Pinot Noir from 54 of the Okanagan‘s best as the province’s top Pinot Noir. Burghound.com is a quarterly review of the wines of Burgundy and it is devoted exclusively to the coverage of Burgundy and Pinot Noir as well as rotating coverage of champagne and sparkling wines.

Speaking of wine, the Small Lots Release Dinner is Saturday, May 9,  6:30 p.m., at Sandhill Winery. There will be four courses and six wines hosted by chef Iain Rennie of the Delta Grand Okanagan. Price is $120 per person all inclusive; $100 per person for wine club members. For more info call David Mann at Sandhill Winery, 250-979-4268.

Kudos to those residents of Meadowbrook Estates on Enterprise Way who did the good deed of cleaning Enterprise Way on both sides from Spall Road to Dilworth on Earth Day.

Congratulations to the following City of Kelowna employees for long term service at the city yards: Joe Rodrigues (10 years); Rick Roy, Brent Martin and Jason Dickson (15 years); Larry Oakley, Gary Onderstal, Steve Clark and Laurens Campbell (20 years); Rick Cichon, Colin Brophy, Jeff Long and Rob Stewart (25 years).

Horse Journey is a new service that offers equine facilitated personal development. It is owned and operated by Karin Bauer, who has been a counselor and life coach for more than 25 years. She has recently added horses as a modality when counseling clients. Through having clients interact with horses, they are engaged in physical activity and the horses help clients feel relaxed and connected. Bauer also provides team building and leadership for groups through teaching horsemanship techniques. There are a number of interesting workshops coming up so check out HorseJourney.com for more info or contact Karin at 250-860-1964; email Karin@horsejourney.com.

The 56th annual Rutland May Days Parade takes place Saturday, May 16, and entries are still being accepted. Go to  ourrutland.ca to get your application. Organizers are also in need of volunteers. If you can spare a few hours over the long weekend, email Marianne at mb2707@shaw.ca or call the URBA office at 250-451-9861.

Beach Avenue Café & Tapas Bar and The Beach Avenue Board Shop have opened in downtown Peachland at 5830 Beach Ave. Owned and operated by Rainer and Jan Udala, this European concept shop features Spirit Bear coffee, the only aboriginal coffee roast which is free trade and 100 per cent organic. The head barista, Blaine Laden, is choosing and training the staff to create great barista art. The cafe serves European style pastries and traditional baking along with crepes, in traditional style or gluten-free buckwheat. Dr. Smoothie 100 per cent pure fruit and veggie cold drinks are blended along with sandwiches or you can grab an Italian soda. Chef Morgan Vandermere has also created a Spanish style tapas menu that starts at 4 p.m. with items such as El Pato and Huevos Rotos. All this along with an unobstructed view of the bay of Peachland and Rattlesnake Island, along with a patio. The board shop, which is part of the entire ambiance, carries the largest display of stand up paddle boards in B.C. with brands of Surftech, Boardworks, Pau Han and Kialoa paddles as well as kayaks from RTM out of France. The board store offers a full service shop which features sales and rentals as well as paddle board yoga lessons with six certified instructors. They carry the exclusive line of Hinano clothing from Tahiti and Howzit paddle surf clothing. The grand opening of both shops is May 7 at 3 p.m. Call 778-479-0999.

A unique event you may not want to miss, the 4th annual Okanagan Minkha Sweater Sale on May 9, 10 a.m to 3 p.m., at Winfield United Church, 3751Woodsdale Rd. in Lake Country. View a great selection of beautiful hand knit alpaca and pima cotton garments for both men and women. All proceeds will be donated to the Minkha Knitting Cooperative of Cocha-bamba, Bolivia.

The City of Kelowna has received two awards from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA).The Canadian Award for Financial Reporting for the city’s 2013 Annual Financial Report recognized excellence in government accounting and financial reporting. This is the 12th time that the city has received this award. The second honour is the Distinguished Budget Presentation award for the city’s 2014 budget, the 13th time the city has received that award.

Gifts to Grandmothers would like to help you clean out your fabric closet that has been accumulating for years. They are in urgent need of any type of material fabrics that are used to make and sell products that, in turn, raise funds to empower grandmothers, widows and orphans in Africa. Fabrics can be dropped off at Trinity Church, 1905 Springfield Rd.

The Kelowna Lawn Bowling Club is starting up for the season on Wednesday, May 6, at City Park. Free beginner lessons are every Wednesday evening at 6:30 p.m. For more info call Linda at 250-768-8492 or Corinne at 250-768-4832.

Tall Cloud Productions Inc., owned by Karalyn Lockhart, will host the inaugural fair Craft Culture on May 2 and 3 at the Kelowna Curling Club. The event will host more than 100 vendors featuring handmade items, along with presentations by gardening columnist Don Burnett, Giulio Piciolo from One Big Table, and Elana Westers from Growing Inspired. Guests can watch live cooking and gardening demos as well as musical performances.

The 7th annual BC Teen Challenge golf tournament takes place at Sunset Ranch on May 25. Included are green frees, power cart, bagged lunch at the turn, buffet dinner, evening presentation and a chance to win some great prizes. Cost is $250 or $850 for a foursome —early bird $750. Teen Challenge began on the streets of New York City in 1958 as a Christ-based ministry to troubled teens. As it grew they became more focused on working with all people trapped in all forms of addiction. Today, there are more than 1,200 locations around the world. In B.C., BC Teen Challenge began in 2001 and has experienced tremendous growth, graduating over 200 students in established men’s centres in Chilliwack and the Okanagan, and a women’s centre in Abbotsford. Their focus is on men and women, ages 19 and older who are desperate for hope and a new life, who want to escape the destructive trip of their addition.  For more information call Terrence McKenzie at the Okanagan Men’s Centre, 250-575-2403 or email tmckenzie@bcteenchallenge.com.

The Interior Savings Fat Cat Children’s Festival is looking for volunteers to help out with the June 12 and 13 event. Call Dorothee Birker at 250-860-4911 or email fatcatfestival@gmail.com.

Birthdays of the week: Phyllis and Con Litz, both on same day and married (April 27); Cleo Curatolo (April 28); Lilly Legatto (April 29); Phillippe Leger (April 29); Jim Hedman (April 29); Dave McLean (April 29); Karen Belshaw (April 29); John McCormack (April 30); Doug Soman (May 1); Susan Steen, COHA (May 3); Verna Burnell (May 3); Dale Adamoski (April 3); Lorina Dick (May 4); Chris Cowan (May 4).

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