The Red Cross has launched a $3 million campaign under the direction of Anna Hunt-Binkley (pictured at the podium below)and will build-out its Adams Road facility to be an operations centre for the Southern Interior

Red Cross announces $3-million goal for Kelowna service hub

Just $1.5 million more is needed toward a $3 million fundraising target needed to build out the Support and Disaster Operations Centre

  • May. 8, 2013 12:00 p.m.

The Red Cross is celebrating Emergency Preparedness Week in style by launching a $3-million campaign to make Kelowna a hub for its Southern Interior operations.

The organization has been in its Adams Road facility since 2011, but is now expanding the services and capacity to create the B.C. Southern Interior Support and Disaster Operations Centre on the site. As one of just 13 provincial hubs, it is hoped the Red Cross will double its volunteer base in the region and significantly expand services.

“Kelowna is amazing. I was so impressed with Kelowna and the way these communities came together and the way they were supporting people,” said Kimberley Nemrava, director Canadian Red Cross Society BC & Yukon, who worked among the disaster response team during the 2003 wildfires.

That supportive nature has already seen $1.5 million in donations offered to the campaign by major contributors. With campaign chairwoman Anna Hunt-Binkley, who has retired from a long run as school trustee, and honorary chairwoman and former mayor Sharon ShepherAnna Hunt-Binkleyd at the helm, it’s hoped the $1.5 million needed to complete the job will be in the bank by the end of the year.

Shepherd and Hunt-Binkley told a crowd gathered for an announcement Wednesday they both have intimate connections to the Red Cross.

Shepherd’s mother-in-law, Norma Shepherd, went overseas to volunteer for the organization in the Second World War and she was on hand for the announcement Wednesday to hear her daughter-in-law describe how she has inspired her to contribute.

Hunt-Binkley recently learned of how the Red Cross told family members when loved ones had been killed overseas during that war, including members of her own family.

“I knew then, ladies and gentleman, that I was definitely helping the right organization,” Hunt-Binkley said as she thanked those who had already contributed.

The campaign will raise the money to centralize cleaning and repairs for its medical equipment loan program, which offers access to items like crutches, wheelchairs, back boards and bath seats.

“This equipment is so important because it helps people be safe and it helps people have dignity when they’re in their homes recovering from an injury,” said Nemrava. “It also helps people who are facing end of life to have the end of their life in their home.”

Some $750,000 will be put toward expanding the volunteer base in the region from 500 people to 1000.

“It costs us about $1200 a year to recruit, train, support, supervise and recognize a volunteer and we need to have the support to do that,” Nemrava said.

The volunteers are needed, in part, to support expanded disaster relief services as the campaign also aims to put half of the total $3 million toward further development of the emergency response network and the teams, operations centre equipment, vehicles, generators and disaster preparedness information needed for events like the ongoing wildfire evacuations.

Emergency Preparedness week runs May 6-12 and encourages Canadians to prepare for disaster, noting all Canadians should have enough supplies on hand to last 72-hours without help in the event of an emergency.

Contribution are now being accepted to The Red Cross House—Building for Humanity campaign.

Just Posted

Budget 2018: Kelowna to look at monitoring downtown security cameras 24 hours per day

Potential $30,000 budget item will be discussed further over objections of the mayor

Stalled work on Kelowna’s Rutland Centennial Park to get another look

During budget deliberations, mayor calls for further improvements to park to be discussed by council

UPDATE: Kelowna quarry fire deemed suspicious

A vehicle in a Stewart Road quarry burned Thursday morning.

Kelowna city council spends big on Glenmore fire hall

2018 budget: Upgrade of Glemore fire hall to include 12 full-time firefighters

Accident in Lake Country

Thursday morning commute slow on Highway 97 following MVI

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Border officers rally at B.C.’s Peace Arch

CBSA employees tire of ‘lack of respect’

FCC votes along party lines to end ‘net neutrality’

Move rolls back restrictions that keep big providers from blocking services they don’t like

Performance embodies true meaning of Christmas

Caravan Farm Theatre presents O. Henry’s The Gift of the Magi by Maristella Roca until Dec. 31

Family of Vancouver Island RCMP officer killed by drunk driver sues

Lawsuit seeks financial compensation from Kenneth Jacob Fenton

SPCA seizes 74 animals from Barriere property

Constables removed sheep, piglets, chickens and more

Penticton addiction recovery centre plan halted by neighbours

Recovery centre operator said neighbours bought property ‘in haste’

Reservations to be needed year-round at Garibaldi Park

Change will go into effect Jan. 2 to protest environment from overuse

Hergott: Is bystander inaction a crime?

Lawyer Paul Hergott discusses a recent racist tirade and the lack of action by those watching

Most Read