Peachland Rotary

The Rotary has awarded its June Student of the Month! According to the Rotary’s Jane Tench, Caroline Leckie is helpful, kind, patient – and always willing to lend a hand. She’s just kind to everyone! Here’s Rotarian Chris Scowen, giving Caroline her award! (Thanks Jane, for the photos):




The Rotary hosted a used book sale May 28 at the Baptist Church parking lot. All proceeds went towards Ukraine refugees.



Here’s the Rotary at the recent World of Wheels!



Good kids, doing good things! That’s what the Peachland Rotary wants to recognize, so they approached the elementary school and started a Student of the Month award. Grade 3 student Ruby Manson was recently recognized by fellow students:

“At recess if I am alone, she asks if I want to play with her,” says one student.

“She is polite and says please and thank you,” adds another.

Rotarian Jane Tench was recently at the school for a quick ceremony. She said the award will is presented to a student who demonstrates kindness to their classmates, is helpful to others, is aware of other students’ needs and is helpful class.

“These qualities are shown to be the qualities that are special to, and embody what Rotary clubs throughout the world strive to achieve with their volunteer work and charitable projects.”



The Rotary used book sale is back, Saturday May 28! It’s taking place at the Baptist Church parking lot from 10-2 and organizers say all funds raised will go to Ukrainian refugees. Do you have books to donate, that are in good condition? Drop them off at noon on Thursdays at the Little Schoolhouse on Brandon Lane.


Events are slowly coming back, and the Peachland Rotary has reason to celebrate. That was actually the theme of a fun evening they had April 2 at the community centre. Marty Edwards and the Revival helped everyone dance the night away.



Here’s what happened in 2021!

Huge thanks to Peachland Vantage One Credit Union for their very generous donation of $1,050 toward Peachland Elementary School’s Starfish Backpack Program through their own Community Impact Program. Rotary Club of Peachland is now in its 5th year of running the program which supplies Peachland Elementary School “food vulnerable” students and families with weekend food backpacks to ensure students have access to nutrition with the ultimate goal of assisting children with optimizing learning outcomes.   In-need families are identified by Peachland Elementary School and/or the local Peachland Food Bank. Family information is always kept strictly confidential.

The Backpack Program could not happen without SaveOn-Foods (West Kelowna) who provide food through their discount program.  Fresh bread and bakery goods are donated by COBS bakery with bread also going to the Peachland Food Bank. Thanks and appreciation needs to go to Rick and Jane Tench who picked up the COBS bread from Kelowna every week to ensure needy families in Peachland had access to fresh bread.  Thank you for your time commitment and ongoing support.

Talking of amazing contributors, special thanks also needs to go to a number of individuals (you know who you are) who support the Starfish Backpack Program  “because it’s all about helping kids be successful.”

Donations to the Starfish Backpack Program can me made through the Peachland Food Bank with the mention of Starfish on the cheque made out to the Peachland Rotary Club or you can drop off a cheque at Peachland Pharmacy.  Donations come attached to tax receipts.

For more information about the Starfish Backpack Program please call Jane Tench at 250-212-5234.

Madeleine Nixon



Pumpkins, games, treats for the kids & donations for a good cause, the Rotary’s Starfish program! The second-annual pumpkin patch was Oct. 23. Proceeds from the pumpkin donations go towards filling backpacks with groceries for Peachland Elementary families who need a bit of help. For more on the program, there’s a story near the bottom of this page..



October is Polio Month. Here’s a message from Rotarian Peggy Southin:

Polio has killed and maimed literally millions of children worldwide since it became a pandemic in the early years of the last century.  

Rotary was the first to have the vision of a polio-free world.  In 1979 the first oral polio vaccine was administered to a child in the Philippines by the Rotary International President.  Since 1985 Rotary has battled polio in partnership with the World Health Organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UNICEF and the US Centre for Disease Control.  

Today, the worldwide infrastructure developed to combat Polio is being used to structure the response to COVID – 19, helping to establish the essential infrastructure and logistical services to combat the spread of this latest pandemic in every country in the world.  

Sadly, polio still exists because of fears of being vaccinated, uncertainty about the motives of health workers and governments and the political struggles which, in one way or another, affect us all.

The polio programme offers its tools, workforce and extensive surveillance system to support countries as they respond to the Covid pandemic.  Polio workers are assisting in the fight against Covid 19 by coordinating outbreak response, educating communities, investigating cases, training health workers and tracing contacts.  

The global Polio laboratory network tests for both polio and Covid 19.  Call centres in Pakistan receive polio and Covid 19 calls, community mobilizers provide education about polio and Covid 19 prevention.  Logistics officers for polio vaccine facilitate distribution of personal protection equipment.  

Rotary is not just involved in the eradication of polio but is also playing a major role in the fight against Covid 19.

Like Covid 19, there is no cure for Polio. It can only be prevented.  The world is 99.9% polio free.  Rotary is totally committed to fighting for the day when polio no longer exists.  We are so close!

Currently, it costs $3.00 to immunize a child against polio.  

Members of the Rotary Club of Peachland joined thousands of Rotarians throughout the world to mark World Polio Day on Sunday, October 24th.  Each year our club has walked with our bright white, yellow and red placards emblazoned “END POLIO NOW”, along Highway 97 in front of the IGA mall, braving cold early morning temperatures to bring awareness that polio still exists. On October 21st a special guest speaker shared her story with club members of her life after suffering the ill effects of polio as a youngster.

Once again, Rotarians will be making their personal donations to the fight against polio.  If you would like to join them by making a donation you may do so by making your cheque payable to the Rotary Club of Peachland, Box 1185, Peachland, B.C.  V0H 1X0.  Please mark your cheque “End Polio Campaign”.  A tax receipt will be issued by The Rotary Foundation.




Peachland Rotarians have just been recognized with a Silver Hero Award for their hard work raising money for ShelterBoxes!

President Steve Gardner explains in this letter:

Beginning as a Rotary Club project in the UK in 2000 ShelterBox rapidly grew to become a worldwide relief organization. In 2010 ShelterBox Canada was registered under the global ShelterBox network, to provide emergency shelter and support to those in need around the world. ShelterBox Canada focuses on fundraising and awareness and since its inception has provided emergency shelter, essential items, and support to over 1.5 million people in 97 countries.

Shelterbox Canada works to provide relief to over 104 million people forced out of their homes due to conflict and natural disasters by providing them shelter so that they can begin their recovery with dignity.

ShelterBox responds to disasters by first understanding the impact and nuances of each emergency. Based on this analysis, it sends ShelterBoxes and ShelterKits to the vulnerable. 

ShelterBoxes can include solar lights, water purification and storage equipment, thermal blankets, and cooking utensils. 

ShelterKits can include toolkits, ropes, and tarpaulins to make emergency shelters, repair buildings, or create new homes. Both ShelterBoxes and ShelterKits are adapted for every disaster or region to best fit the current needs.

Rotary Clubs around the world can point to achievements of which they are especially proud, and which define their club in the eyes of its members, the larger Rotary world and its public. 

Our Peachland Rotary Club is no different. 

In our almost 25-year existence we have created some memorable achievements: the Centennial Pavilion, the Rotary Clock, the Ray Kandola Pier (in partnership with the Lions and Sportsmen’s Clubs), Peachlands’ historic mural, electronic assistance aids at the Elementary school and a host of community events, projects and sponsorships, local and international youth programs and involvement in a wide variety of overseas projects.  No program, however, has had the long-term staying power of ShelterBox. In its immediate response to disaster, it carries with it much of the spirit and heartbeat of Rotary.

Since 2009 our Peachland Rotary Club has donated over fifty ShelterBoxes which for a club of our size is extremely impressive.  Our District Governor elect, Marjolein Lloyd, mentioned that perhaps the only other District club supporting ShelterBox to the same degree would be the Kelowna Club.

The ShelterBox Canada Hero awards given to Rotary for 2020-21 are based on annual club contributions – Bronze $1,200, Silver $3,600, and Gold $6,000. In all of Canadas’ more than three hundred clubs, 112 merited bronze status, 16 Silver and 3 Gold. In our own Rotary District 5060, five Canadian clubs were recognized – Kelowna Sunrise, Lake Country, Penticton Sunrise and West Kelowna Daybreak which each received Bronze Awards.  Peachland received Silver for the 2020 – 2021 Rotary year: a result of which the Club is justifiably proud.

So why is a Shelterbox Canada Hero award so important?  Without the Community of Peachland rallying around our Rotary clubs’ fundraising efforts we would not have been able to consistently raise the much-needed funds to purchase Shelterboxes each year. It is because the people of Peachland are so generous that we can continue to help ShelterBox provide vital shelter and essential tools to help people in crisis in distant lands return to normality in the aftermath of natural disasters, conflict, and humanitarian crisis. 

But these donations are so much more than just tents, blankets, clothing, food, water, solar lights, and tools. Our community’s continuing support has transformed lives and changed despair to hope. 

So, thank-you Peachland: this Silver Shelterbox Canada Hero Award speaks to your ongoing commitment to an essential global program that truly does make a difference. 

To see the impact on families all over the world and to learn more about Shelterbox www.shelterboxcanada

Steve Gardner

President – Peachland Rotary Club





The Rotary Club of Peachland is very concerned about the losses suffered by the people of Lytton in the recent devastating fire and wants to help.  The need is urgent!

At its regular Thursday meeting, the members voted unanimously to send financial help immediately. $500 of club funds has already been sent.  The Kamloops Aurora Rotary Club is coordinating Rotary assistance for Lytton evacuees.  Gift certificates for the purchase of clothing and other needed items will be issued directly by Rotary to eligible evacuated families.

In the next week or two individual members of our Rotary club will be adding their personal financial contributions to that already made from club funds.

We have received many inquiries from residents of Peachland asking how they can help.  Our club has established a special account at Vantage One Credit Union in the IGA Peachland mall where donations can be made.  It is also possible to make donations directly to the Rotary Club by mailing donations to:

Rotary Club of Peachland

PO. Box 1185, Peachland B.C. V0H 1X0.  

Cheques should be made payable to “The Rotary Club of Peachland” and marked “Lytton Fire Relief”.  This campaign will run from now until the end of July.

In advance, we would like to thank the people of Peachland for their expressed concern, financial contributions and continued support.


The used book sale was a big success! Rotarian Madeleine Nixon said $1,540 was raised on May 29 – and that’s enough for them to purchase a ShelterBox. It’s a charity that distributes portable emergency shelters and supplies for people affected by natural disasters and conflict. Over the years, the Peachland Rotary has managed to donate eight ShelterBoxes – quite a feat, considering Peachland’s Rotary Club is relatively small.

Nixon also wants to thank Peachland Fire Chief Dennis Craig and the FIreSmart team for being at the book sale promoting fire safety, as well as helping with the set up and takedown after the event.

Hopefully, the Rotary does another book sale – it was a great success!



A lot of toilet paper, laundry detergent, bread and other items – plus more than $2,000 was donated to the Peachland Food Bank April 8. Rotarians gathered the items amongst themselves. Way to go! Also in the picture is the food bank’s Judy Bedford (second from the left, sorry I caught you with your eyes closed!). Anyway, she says they’re in need of things like sauces and spices, condiments, shampoo and conditioner – and what one of her client calls ‘after dinner rolls’ AKA toilet paper 😉



Did you know that the child mortality rate in Mexico has increased a shocking amount since COVID? It’s more than 100%, when you compare the first five weeks of 2021 to the same time period last year, says Peachland Rotarian Mario Avendaño Morales. It’s a big reason he’s urging for more medical supplies and expertise to support a grassroots-led hospital in Chiapas, part of a joint effort between the Rotary Club Oriente de Tuxtla and another in Bishop, California. The Chiapas Austere Medicine Vocational Training Initiative focusses on child and maternal health, something that’s a huge need in Mexico’s remote rural areas. When Mario was president of the Rotary Club Oriente de Tuxtla (in Chiapas Mexico), his club partnered with another Rotary in California and the project was born. It’s focussed on maternal and child health, and disaster / mass casualty training.

The Rotary invited him to present at the Zoom version of the Together for Mothers’ and Children’s Health event – a joint conference that took place last week between the Rotary and the World Health Organization, highlighting projects that are making a difference around the world. The plan was for him to speak in front of the international audience in Geneva, but alas, COVID.

Mario Avendano Morales’ presentation last week..

“I feel greatly honoured to have the opportunity to participate in such an event and in a way, now to represent the Peachland Rotary Club as well,” Mario said in an email exchange before the event. He believes this issue is so important, the Rotary may one day support it in the same manner as their polio program.

During Mario’s presentation (which you can check out at the 54:51 to 1-hour mark of this video from the WHO, on YouTube), he recalls the dedication of traditional midwives, who after a long night of delivering babies, would walk long hours to participate in the training sessions that were part of the project’s early phases. The terrain is mountainous, there are a few dirt roads and there’s limited public transportation. Marios says the physicians in California greatly respected the indigenous midwives.

“It was this sharing and blending of traditional and modern knowledge, and learning a new respect for the midwives and their skills that the physicians took away with them,” he said, noting that despite some early success, COVID has really set everything back.

“There is even more urgent need for us to return with medical supplies and training and to expand this model to benefit more women and children,” he said as he concluded his presentation.

“Dignity, respect and trust are the cornerstones to making a difference. We know, because it has already been proven. And together we can stop mothers and babies from dying. “

For more info on this project, send the Peachland Rotary an email, and they’ll point you in the right direction!



Local Rotarians were at it again, finding a way to raise money for a worthy cause (the Okanagan College Foundation). Their raffle back in December was a big success! Jean Gross won $800 in IGA gift cards, Peachland’s Vince Boyko won second prize, which was a handmade quilt, and third prize went to Lee Sawchuck who won $200 worth of IGA gift cards.

Chris Scowen sold this reporter some tickets!











Remembrance Day, 2020:

It was a project they had started in February, and on Nov. 4, Rotarians, along with the Peachland Legion, the Mayor and other local

The Nov. 4 ceremony at Peachland’s cenotaph.

politicians stood in front of 21 carefully-arranged crosses and paid their respects to the young Peachlanders who never came home from war.

“It’s emotional,” said Mayor Cindy Fortin.

“These 21 young men are real people – even younger than my own children now.”

The Field of Crosses project is similar to ones in Kelowna and Calgary, says the Peachland Rotary’s Chris Southin. From researching each one of the Peachlanders killed in action during WW1 and WW2, to ordering the crosses and carefully measuring them out and placing them the day before the ceremony, the group is grateful it all came together in a public display leading up to Nov. 11.

“In this year of COVID, when our ability to have large gatherings of Remembrance is limited, this Field of Crosses is an appropriate way to honour those from Peachland who did not return,” he says.

Here are their names:

Sgt. Harold Birkett

Pte. Frank Chapman

Corporal William Dryden

Pte. Ernest McKay

Pte. John Morrison

Pte. Charles Needham

Pte. George Needham

Pte. Norman Pope

Lance Cpl. Alex Seaton

Pte. Archie Seaton

Pte. Emmett Shaw

Pte. Charles Sutherland

Pte. Arthur Theobald

Pte. Herbert Vivian

Private Royal Edwin Bartee

Warrant Officer 2 Raymond Hathaway Wilson

Flying Officer Frederick Henry Mills

Flying Officer George Robert Pringle



The Rotary’s pumpkin patch Oct 17 was a success! Money raised went to the Starfish program, which helps local families in need.

By Chris Boyle, Rotary Club of Peachland

We just held a distanced and sanitized Pumpkin Patch event trying to boost spirits in a friendly way for all the young spooks and hobgoblins in the area. Halloween is almost here!  (We will try that again next year!) We are also donating proceeds from our next fundraiser – a raffle – to the Health Sciences project at the College, purchasing a gurney and hopefully other essential equipment. Stay tuned!

I can’t believe that it’s Polio month again, with October 24 World Polio Day, almost here.  The Club will be out on Friday the 23rd morning with their placards and bells!

Why do Rotarians all over the world make such a big thing out of polio?  Because it IS a huge thing.  Like COVID 19, polio is a virus for which the only real cure is its extermination.  Since 1985, Rotary, the World Health Organization and a host of other agencies as well as philanthropists like Bill Gates have been working together funding the “on the ground” fight against polio. Rotarians give from their own pockets voluntarily.

No, I’m not looking for donations: that’s up to the individual. Polio is a devastating disease which kills or leaves survivors with devastating disabilities. Your compassion is what drives your giving.

Fighting disease in the form of polio has been Rotary’s main focus for years. Now they’re funding the necessary follow-up to keep countries polio free, and helping health authorities communicate lifesaving information about COVID-19, donating protective gear and equipment to clinics and hospitals: a new battle.

You may have read recently that sewage is being tested for COVID 19 antibodies in order to identify community hotspots.  This is a strategy taken directly from the protocols developed to protect against the recurrence of Polio in the Third World. The techniques developed to deal with mass immunization and follow-up in fighting polio are already being adapted to deal with COVID.  We are not re-inventing the wheel!

Learn more at:

Meanwhile, here in Peachland, despite having had to cancel our Murder Mystery evening(s) and our Sip ‘n Savour fundraising events along with the Concerts in the Park and the Seniors Bus Ride we have donated to the food bank, supported local businesses and continued to fund and organize the local Starfish program (for more on that, scroll further down.)

This year The Rotary Club of Peachland were again awarded a Shelterbox Bronze Award for donations from the community and from members. We provided support again to the Cops For Kids Ride, in which Peachland is always represented by our own, always giving, pharmacist, Garnet Lloyd, who rides every year.

Finally, Africa was officially declared a polio-free continent, just last month!  Afghanistan and Pakistan remain!  Won’t it be wonderful when we can declare the world both Polio and COVID free!


Here’s some more info on the Starfish Program:

Peachland Rotarians are also gearing up for Back to School – and they need our help, so they can fill backpacks full of nutritious food for local families.

This is the third year for the Rotary’s Starfish Pack program at Peachland Elementary. The Rotary relies on financial donations, so groceries can be purchased for a family to have over the weekend. Each Friday, the backpacks are sent home with students, who bring it back on Monday to be filled again.

Program Coordinator Jane Tench says this year’s challenge is there’s more families to feed, and likely, less money coming in from

Starfish backpacks are distributed on Fridays at Peachland Elementary School. Non-perishables, fruit and fresh bread are some of the things inside…

local groups and businesses who normally donate.

“There’s very much a need in Peachland, there really is,” she says, noting it’s really all walks of life and types of families, from single moms, to people who have never been in this position before.

So, what can you do? While the yearly cost to provide food for one child is $525, Tench says any amount of money is welcome. Tax receipts are available, and this year, the Peachland Food Bank is helping out with the administrative end of things. Cheques can be made out to the Peachland Food Bank (with a notation that it’s for the Starfish Backpack Program).

Tench says in addition to SaveOn Foods in Westbank, Cobbs has also been a great supporter, with their donations of fresh-baked bread, muffins and buns.

She adds although program participants are anonymous, she knows the Rotary’s efforts are appreciated.

“I was in the grocery store one day and a little boy about this high with his mom says ‘hey mom, theres’ the lady who brings the good bread!’ I didn’t know who he was, but obviously he knew me, and it made my day.”

Here’s what a couple other families had to say:

“This backpack has been very helpful at tough times. I really appreciated having the fresh fruit for my child. If my house is running low I always look forward to it. Thank you as well for the gift card at Christmas. Sometimes something like that can mean everything. Thank you for caring. You are amazing, thank you!

“I would like to thank you for providing the Starfish backpacks for my children. It helps top us up every week, as we can only go to the food bank once a month. Everything is great…we are very thankful.”

If you want to donate to the Starfish program, drop off a cheque at Peachland Pharmacy, or you can mail it. Here’s their address:

Peachland Pharmacy

5848A Beach Ave, Peachland BC

V0H 1X7


Back in July, Peachland Rotary members presented their annual $1,000 donation to Cops for Kids.

We’ve been supporting them since 2001 and in 2015 we made a commitment that we would support them with $1,000 every year,” says Chris Boyle, Peachland Rotary’s director of public image.

Cops for Kids is an RCMP charity that raises money for kids facing crisis / medical need. Their big event is in September, and it’s changed a bit because of COVID. Instead of a 30-member team pedalling across the region, a few local riders will be designated to complete one leg on behalf of the rest of the team. The remaining team members will continue to pedal 100 km each day at home. You can join the ride virtually while making a donation to the cause.


The Wellness Centre would like to thank the Peachland Rotary for their generous donation of an automated external defibrillator (AED) which will now be kept on-site. Pictured here is Christina MacMaster, PWC Executive Coordinator holding the new device and Peggy Southin, past President of the Rotary Club of Peachland presenting a cheque for the AED, in the amount of $1,800.



About the Peachland Rotary:

Rotary is a 115 year-old international service organization with approximately 35,000 clubs worldwide. Its motto is Service Above Self. Known as the little club that gets things done, the Peachland Rotary club was established in 1997.

Peachland Rotarians are behind several landmarks in town. There’s the familiar pavilion at Heritage Park, presented to the District of Peachland in 2005 to commemorate the centennial of Rotary International. There’s also the Rotary Clock, which was a centennial contribution to Peachland back in 2009. Ten years later, the Rotary club joined forces with the Peachland Lions and Peachland Sportsmen’s Association to provide initial funding for the Ray Kandola Heritage Pier. Local Rotarians are also behind the playground at Heritage Park, as well as the mural across the street depicting the Peachland of long ago.

You’ll also find Rotary volunteers at many Peachland events, from their annual Sip & Savour wine tasting event, to the Concert in the

Park series, the Polar Bear Swim, Christmas Light Up, Canada Day festivities and more. They’ve also contributed funds towards many local initiatives, including Peachland Elementary’s playground project, as well as the Starfish Pack Program for local kids. Internationally, the Rotary focuses on fundraising for polio eradication, Shelter Boxes, and supporting education and health in developing countries.

Check out their website and Facebook page!


See March 13, 2020 story: COVID-19 concern cancels Peachland wine festival

Written by Kristen Friesen

June 2, 2022

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