Straight from DeHart

Shoe repair shop finds unique way to expand services

Off the wall and out of the box thinking is what small businesses are doing these days.

One example is from Jim Belshaw, owner of Roy’s Shoes at 1627 Ellis St. in downtown Kelowna, who is taking his customers’ requests to open other shoe repair locations to heart. Although he can’t open more locations, he has decided to do the next best thing. He has partnered with Eco Clean Dry Cleaning Centers to create 10 shoe repair drop off depots — Eco Clean on Water Street, Quality Dry Cleaners — 2670 Pandosy St., Mission Cleaners, Spall Plaza Eco Cleaners, Kelly’s Cleaners on Cooper Road, Kelowna Crossing Cleaners — Highway 33 and Highway 97, Landmark Cleaners — 1625 Dickson Ave., and Vernon’s Toppers Cleaners. Add to those both Torino’s Men’s Wear (Orchard Park and Mission Park shopping centres) and in Lake Country at Sole Revival Shoes, next to Dairy Queen. Shoes will be picked up daily and brought to Roy’s. Once repaired, the shoes are returned to the original depot drop-off location. After a two-year search, Jim has also found another full-time shoe repair person to help with the constant backlog of repairs — the downside of being the best at what you do.


After making Kelowna her home for the past 25 years, Laurel D’Andrea has decided it is time for a change – and a rather major change at that. Laurel will be leaving her executive director position with the Uptown Rutland Business Association at the end of February, 2020. Laurel was also previously employed at Telus and created her own publication, Beyond 50 Magazine, along with spending endless hours of volunteering with many organizations in our city. Laurel is headed to Kitimat where she has been hired as executive director for the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce. As a friend of Laurel’s for many years, I for one will miss her greatly, as will her many business associates and friends. A loss for Kelowna and a gain for Kitimat.


After 20 years at 2575 Richter St. at the Hair Saloon and more than 40-plus years in the barbering industry, local gals Rhonda Rea and Delores Wilson are still passionate about their work. In October 2019, Rhonda sold the property on Richter Street to Wells Gray Tours. Now, both Rhonda and Delores have relocated to a new well-established salon, Thairapy Salon, located at 103-1014 Glenmore Dr., across from the Kelowna Golf & Country Club. The location has changed but the ladies certainly have not.


With 43 years in the retail industry and the past 16 years at Sleep Country, Patrick Comba will retire Dec. 14. Patrick, along with Ken Thompson, contributed the Serta mattress prize to small children for the Maxine DeHart, United Way – Ramada Hotel Drive-Thru Breakfast for many years. Patrick is going to continue to volunteer and travel.

Congratulations to Tom Smithwick, Freedom’s Door founder and director of many other community projects, for receiving the prestigious Medal of Good Citizenship, which recognizes exceptional long-term community service.


In light of the holiday season, the City of Kelowna will offer free weekend downtown parking throughout December. All major street parking and parkades in downtown Kelowna will be free of charge every Saturday and Sunday until Dec. 28.


Congratulations to Darryl Reuter, of Royal LePage Kelowna (Reuter Kotler Real Estate Team), on winning the 2019 Realtor Care Award. Kudos to Justin O’Connor, of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, and Richard Deacon, of Engel & Volkers Okanagan, who were award nominees. Michael Jones, of Royal LePage Kelowna, is the chair of Realtor Care & Bursaries for the OMREB Central Zone executive committee. I was delighted to be a judge for these awards along with Karen Hill, with Kelowna Capital News (Black Press), and Dom Rampone, of West Manufacturing and a director of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce.


Everpresent Giving, founded by Vesna Hozjan, is a new unique collection of beautiful gift bags that bring joy, ease and connection into gift giving. If you do not like waste, wrapping gifts or just have no time to wrap, Everpresent gift bags is definitely worth checking out. These beautiful gift bags are linen in material, come in different colours including shimmer linen, are beautifully presented with large ribbons which makes extraordinary bows, and come in various sizes from wine to jumbo. Time permitting, Everpresent can accommodate custom orders for businesses and create an amazing experience for your clients. The gift bags are also available at Kelowna Tourism, The Handmade Shoppe, Unhinged Boutique, The Green Vanity, HOST and Intrigue Winery.

The numbers have come in for Bell Media’s Stuff A Bus campaign, which included AM1150, EZ ROCK and Virgin Kelowna for the Kelowna Community Food Banks. A whopping 22,329 pounds of food equaling $55,821 plus $24,012 funds raised which in the hands of the food banks is over $72,000.


Check out 875 Theodora Rd. and you will find a fun and beautiful Christmas light display, also serving as a fundraiser for the Salvation Army Red Kettle Fund. There is a kettle onsite where donations can be made. Ken Berry and his family started the project four years ago after doing a similar project in Williams Lake for 14 years. The lights at Theodora will be on until Jan. 5, every day from 4:30 to 10:30 p.m. You will see a penguin express Christmas train, two stuffed penguin hockey teams playing on an old fashioned ice rink, Northern Lights Mining Company where penguins mine Christmas lights and much more. A new presentation is erected every two days to expand the display throughout the Christmas season.


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory runs Friday, Dec. 6 to 19, at Rotary Centre for the Arts. This unique production features an impressive slate of actors and puppets from the famed Old Trouts Puppet Workshop in Calgary. They will have a cool post-show candy room open and a golden ticket contest at each performance. Check out this delicious show and times at

Mark your calendars for the 2020 Hospitality Blood Drive. Only 45 days away, join in at the Kelowna Blood Donor Centre at 103-1865 Dilworth Dr. from Jan. 1 to 31, 2020. This year, they have expanded the blood drive to include more hospitality partners so the competition is even greater. What is the challenge? Canadian Blood Services is asking you to help fill their beds, calling all hospitality industry companies to join them individually or as a team. Gayle Voyer is the territory manager.


The Dine & Chat Single Seniors are celebrating their second Christmas Social on Saturday, Dec. 14, at Deli City, 1-4 p.m., at 1889 Springfield Rd. Enjoy a DJ, karaoke, ugly Christmas sweater contest and lunch for $15. To reserve call Gloria Jean Seymour at 250-763-6495. Dine & Chat gathers every Tuesday, 11 a.m., at Deli City for a muffin break.

Birthdays of the week

Happy 85th Lois Bennett (Dec. 11); happy 90th RJ Bennett (Dec. 14); Anne Gilbert (Dec. 11); Anne Marie Kirby (Dec. 11); Gerry Fraser (Dec. 11); Bob Levin (Dec. 11); Ken Firkins (Dec. 13); Lucy Litz (Dec. 13); Melina Cunial (Dec. 14); Tim Allan (Dec. 14); Anna Stuart (Dec. 15); Frank Richter (Dec. 15); Sandra Sellick (Dec. 16); Peter Wannop (Dec. 16); Judy Hughes (Dec. 17); Lesley Pierce (Dec. 17); Rene Blanleil (Dec.17).

Maxine DeHart is a Kelowna city councillor and local hotelier. Phone her at 250-979-4546 or 250-862-7662; email, website


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