When the Faith Rebekah Lodge #32 in Summerland ceased operations on Dec. 31, the organization chose to disburse funds to three community organizations.
Crystal Richards of the Faith Rebekahs said the remaining members chose to donate the $11,000 to the Summerland Food Bank and Resource Centre, the Agur Lake Camp Society and the Giant’s Head School Breakfast for Learning program.
The food bank and the camp society each received $5,000, while the breakfast program received $1,000.
The Faith Rebekah Lodge began in 1934 and was the last Rebekah lodge in the Okanagan when it disbanded.
While the group had been a prominent part of the community in past years, its membership had been dwindling over the past decade. By December 2022, the group was down to just four active members, which was not enough to keep functioning.
“COVID-19 did us in,” said Olive Hunter, a long-time member of the lodge.
The group had supported many community organizations over the years. A room at the former Summerland Hospital had been furnished by donations from the Faith Rebekah Lodge. The organization also supported the Arthritis Society and the Penticton Regional Hospital.
Two student bursaries were presented by the lodge each year.
In the past, the Faith Rebekah Lodge received help from the Summerland Girl Guides during its teas and bazaars.
The lodge also sponsored a trip to the United Nations in New York for the winner of a public speaking competition.
Hunter said many women had been active in the organization in the past. “We even had an international president as one of our members,” she said.
Valerie Wright, of the Giant’s Head School Breakfast for Learning program, said the dedication of Faith Rebekah Lodge members has helped the community.
“People are giving of their time and engergy, and they get a lot back,” she said.