Hodge: Cycling fundraiser to help family with autistic child

Get your pencil out: There are great causes coming up to jot down on your calendar.

Get out your calendar and pencil out as I have a few dates that may be of interest to you.

Many of us face significant challenges in our world, but for six-year-old Kiel Kowch life has posed one challenge after another since birth.

Kiel is a victim of autism, suffers from extreme anxiety and other conditions—none of which have made life any simpler for his parents.

The good news is there is a way to help ease the stress and trauma, but it comes at a cost that mom Tracy cannot fund herself.

Kiel would be greatly assisted by a service dog trained for autistic children. But the cost for such a dog is $25,000.

While a few local organizations are already on board to assist with fundraising, more will be needed.

That’s where you come in.

On June 11, Tracy, her nine-year-old daughter, and some family friends will be bicycling from the Minstrel Cafe to Stuart Park seeking donations and sponsorship.

“It’s a pretty big jaunt for a nine-year old girl on her bike but she wants to help raise money for her brother,” Tracy said.

For more information about Kiel or the fundraiser telephone 250-864-2341 or email tracykowch@yahoo.com.

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Another fundraiser worthy of your support is the BrainTrust Canada Helmet Safety Program.

The Association of Canadian Travelers and Commercial Travelers are hoping to fund helmets for use in Kelowna, thereby decreasing preventable brain injuries.

Other partners involved in this initiative include the City of Kelowna bylaw department and Kelowna RCMP bike squad.

To launch the program, Wednesday, May 25, will be declared Helmet Safety Day by the City of Kelowna.

As part of Bike to Work/School Week, a fundraising barbecue, sponsored by Urban Systems, will take place Friday, June 3, at Tree Brewing Institute, 1346 Water St., from 4 to 6 p.m., with donations accepted for burgers in support of BrainTrust Canada and helmets for youth in Kelowna.

BrainTrust Canada is a non-profit association that provides community rehabilitation to individuals with brain injury in the Okanagan, and also has a strong focus on brain injury education and prevention.

For more info visit braintrustcanada.com or contact Magda Kapp at 250-762-3233, ext109.

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From fundraising to just plain fun, two musical events to watch for on the near horizon.

On Thursday, May 26, Cowboy Bob will perform at the Grateful Fed, 509 Bernard Ave.

Cowboy Bob is a group comprised of three former Cruzeros members: Gary Smyth, Curtis Tulman, and Rod Miller.

Led by Tulman, Cowboy Bob play old-time country, bluegrass, roots, and early contemporary hits from the 1930s to today.

They are a very talented and fun trio to watch and well worth the effort.

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Another musical evening pegged to be worthy features a unique Leonard Cohen tribute duo. Oliver Swain and Glenna Garramone, B.C. singer/songwriters in their own right, will perform at The Forum on Wednesday, June 8.

Swain is a Juno and WCMA nominated Americana folk musician while Garramone plays piano and guitar, and puts on her tap shoes for performances as well.

With a style somewhere between Keith Jarrett and Joni Mitchell, Garramone’s songwriting earned her the grand prize in the 2010 Artswells Song Writing Contest.

Tickets are available at the door or at the Grateful Fed.

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Finally, a hearty congratulations to the OK Corral and contest host Trudy Jane Janicki for a superb show Wednesday night. I was one of four judges asked to take part in the Road to Rock’n River Talent Search, which will wrap up June 15 at The Corral.

Gordon James, Deb Stone, Curtis Tulman, and myself were challenged in picking out the top two performers from the lineup of seven entered.

At the end of the night Mitch Zorn and Tiegan Gayse advanced to the next round. One more qualification round will take place next Wednesday at the

Corral before the finals on June 15.