In Good News: April 2020

Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation’s Kate McBrearty, executive director, and Bree Cawley, communications officer, with the white hearts put up around the hospital Friday, April 3. (Submitted Photo)Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation’s Kate McBrearty, executive director, and Bree Cawley, communications officer, with the white hearts put up around the hospital Friday, April 3. (Submitted Photo)

In a year unlike any other, the Vernon Morning Star is looking back at the bright side of 2020. Here are a few stories from April that show some of the positive work, activities and accomplishments in our community:

Brian Lemay and his now-fiancee Stephanie Tessier got a very special delivery from Gold’N Time Jewellery while under a mandatory 14-day quarantine after returning home from Honduras amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Contributed)

Brian Lemay and his now-fiancee Stephanie Tessier got a very special delivery from Gold’N Time Jewellery while under a mandatory 14-day quarantine after returning home from Honduras amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Contributed)

Engaged in quarantine

Gold’N Time Jewellery in Vernon went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure one couple returning from travels amid the pandemic’s start could put a ring on it.

Brian Lemay and longtime girlfriend Stephanie Tessier flew into Honduras on March 8, 2020, and everything seemed normal, but a week later, the Vernon couple said a curfew was put into effect and businesses on the island started to shut down.

They knew they had to get home as quickly as they could, but not before Lemay proposed.

Before the pair’s departure, Lemay and Gold’N Time owners Ziba and Fareed Lor began working on a one-of-a-kind diamond and rainforest green passion topaz engagement ring, but it wasn’t quite finished yet.

Lemay popped the question with a photo rendering of the unfinished ring on his cellphone while sitting on the beach under the stars.

She, of course, said yes.

The two worked fast to make travel arrangements that would get them home, but this was no easy feat.

One-way tickets from WestJet were being sold for nearly $2,000 a piece, Lemay said.

After essentially being rescued by Air Transat, the two were to quarantine for 14 days upon their return to Vernon. This means Lemay couldn’t pickup his fiancee’s newly completed ring.

Fareed immediately offered to deliver the ring and even asked if he and Ziba could pick the couple up any groceries.

The delivery aspect is a small ask for Fareed, he said.

“But it meant so much for them because they are stuck at home,” Fareed said. “This is something they will always remember — it’s not a regular proposal.”

White hearts share the love

At a time when the country is practising physical distancing and finding new ways to interact, many people are also looking for ways to connect with community and show appreciation to valued frontline workers.

That’s why the White Heart Project was born.

“Our health-care and frontline workers are very courageous and making tough personal decisions on a daily basis, all for the good of our community” said Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation executive director Kate McBrearty. “We wanted to provide a vehicle that would let them know how much we’re thinking about them and show them our support.”

That’s when Vernonites were urged to show their white hearts, symbolizing hope, pure thought and steadfast intention.

White hearts were hung from windows around town and a web page was created to mobilize individual and collective expressions of gratitude at whiteheartsforvjh.ca.

To kick off the project, white hearts with heartfelt messages were affixed to staff parking areas at the hospital in April.

READ THE FULL STORY AND CHECK OUT THE VIDEO HERE

Senior donates 1,000 crocheted toques
Daisy Ferguson, 92, has been crocheting toques for the past six years to donate to the Salvation Army, and in March 2020 she completed her 1,000th toque. (Contributed)

Senior donates 1,000 crocheted toques
Daisy Ferguson, 92, has been crocheting toques for the past six years to donate to the Salvation Army, and in March 2020 she completed her 1,000th toque. (Contributed)

Senior donates 1,000 crocheted toques

Daisy Ferguson has been crocheting for more than 65 years, as her latest project has seen her hard at work creating 1,000 toques to donate to the Salvation Army.

The 92-year-old Vernon woman said she’s found plenty of time after the COVID-19 pandemic locked down her home, Orchard Valley.

She has been crocheting toques for the past six years, donating groups of around 20 at a time to the not-for-profit organization.

“I don’t ever sell them,” Daisy said.

She said this project sort of snowballed when friends would see her crocheting away at the retirement residence, ask her what she was doing, and return with more wool for her to use.

“I always make sure the toques are long enough to cover your ears,” Daisy said.

She’s asked the Salvation Army to try to keep the hats within the Okanagan.

“When people go uptown, they see my toques,” she said.

Daisy said hats for adults can take nearly two days to complete, but hats for children can be done in half the time. She’s well-versed in crocheting items for children as she made all of her own children’s outfits. Her oldest is now 65.

Vernon’s Freshii is offering free delivery to truckers parked within the city, after hearing that they aren’t able to get food with drive-thrus closed. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Vernon’s Freshii is offering free delivery to truckers parked within the city, after hearing that they aren’t able to get food with drive-thrus closed. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Restaurant delivers to trucks too big for drive-thru

Vernon’s Freshii went above and beyond to ensure truck drivers could get good eats despite mandatory closures amid the early days of the pandemic.

Owner Shane and Tarra Kohlman began to deliver food to pulled-over truck drivers.

“I had a friend who is stuck over in Turkey working on the oil fields, he actually saw a post from a trucker (in this area) who said he couldn’t get any food,” said Shane, of how he came up with the idea to deliver to truckers and delivery drivers.

This wasn’t the first unique idea the local franchise owner came up with.

Vernon Freshii announced its free delivery service mid-March, and buy-one, get-one-free to all nurses, police, firefighters, doctors and other health-care professionals and frontline workers.

“It’s one way we can say, ‘We appreciate what you are doing to keep our community healthy,’” Shane said.

Nine-year-old Armstrong girl, Lucy Popowich, channels her creativity amid isolation recommendations amid the COVID-19 pandemic and creates online TV talk show for kids. (Lucy’s Channel/YouTube photo)

Nine-year-old Armstrong girl, Lucy Popowich, channels her creativity amid isolation recommendations amid the COVID-19 pandemic and creates online TV talk show for kids. (Lucy’s Channel/YouTube photo)

Lights, camera, isolation

COVID-19 cancelled classes for students across the province, but nine-year-old Lucy Popowich decided to get creative with all this extra time she had on hand.

Instead of turning on the TV and melting into the couch like many, the young Armstrong girl decided to make her own program. Enter the Morning Kids Show starring Miss Lucy Popowich.

Inspired by her TV talk show idol, Jimmy Fallon, Lucy took pen to paper and crafted her first script.

Garnering topical inspiration from conversations over dinner with family, the Armstrong Elementary student’s show covers anything from fashion to fitness.

The five-minute-long videos see Miss Lucy interviewing her special guests, often played by mom and dad.

“We’re running out of guests,” Lucy said.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE


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