In Good News: June 2020

Vernon Paralympian Sonja Gaudet (right) has been elected to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame as part of the induction class of 2020-21. (File photo)Vernon Paralympian Sonja Gaudet (right) has been elected to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame as part of the induction class of 2020-21. (File photo)
The Class of 2020 from Enderby’s A.L. Fortune Secondary toss their grad caps into the air (while complying with social distancing) during grad ceremonies Monday, June 1. (A.L. Fortune photo)The Class of 2020 from Enderby’s A.L. Fortune Secondary toss their grad caps into the air (while complying with social distancing) during grad ceremonies Monday, June 1. (A.L. Fortune photo)
Vernon Secondary School Class of 2020 members were taken in groups of 16 to the Vernon Courthouse stairs for the traditional class photo. Except this year, photographer Wayne Emde took nine images of students interspersed on the stairs, and Photoshop artist Mary-Anne Morgan melded the images into one class photo.Vernon Secondary School Class of 2020 members were taken in groups of 16 to the Vernon Courthouse stairs for the traditional class photo. Except this year, photographer Wayne Emde took nine images of students interspersed on the stairs, and Photoshop artist Mary-Anne Morgan melded the images into one class photo.
W.L. Seaton Secondary grad Lusi Barni crosses the stage to collect her diploma Thursday, June 18, 2020. The physically-distanced event saw small groups of students and their parents celebrate the milestone in a ‘drive-thru’ fashion. (Brendan Shykora - Vernon Morning Star)W.L. Seaton Secondary grad Lusi Barni crosses the stage to collect her diploma Thursday, June 18, 2020. The physically-distanced event saw small groups of students and their parents celebrate the milestone in a ‘drive-thru’ fashion. (Brendan Shykora - Vernon Morning Star)
Vernon Secondary School Class of 2020 member Gabriella Boyd leaves her mark on Vernon’s Suicide Hill Wednesday, June 17. Boyd and fellow graduates became the first VSS grad class since 1981 to paint the hill following permission from the City of Vernon. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)Vernon Secondary School Class of 2020 member Gabriella Boyd leaves her mark on Vernon’s Suicide Hill Wednesday, June 17. Boyd and fellow graduates became the first VSS grad class since 1981 to paint the hill following permission from the City of Vernon. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
The 29 graduates of Vernon Christian School were given a ‘Hollywood’ sendoff with a pop-up physically-distanced drive-in film screening June 16, 2020. (VCS Contributed)The 29 graduates of Vernon Christian School were given a ‘Hollywood’ sendoff with a pop-up physically-distanced drive-in film screening June 16, 2020. (VCS Contributed)
Pleasant Valley Secondary grads rode in style as they paraded around Armstrong Monday, June 15. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)Pleasant Valley Secondary grads rode in style as they paraded around Armstrong Monday, June 15. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Kalamalka Secondary Class of 2020 member Olivia Seibel, wearing her grad finery, appears to be officially greeted at Coldstream’s Kal Lake Cattle Co. by Cedar, a mother Angus cow, on Saturday, June 13. (Tanya Seibel photo)Kalamalka Secondary Class of 2020 member Olivia Seibel, wearing her grad finery, appears to be officially greeted at Coldstream’s Kal Lake Cattle Co. by Cedar, a mother Angus cow, on Saturday, June 13. (Tanya Seibel photo)
Vernon Senior Secondary Class of 1981 spray paints their names on Suicide Hill on 30th Avenue on June 27. (Submitted)Vernon Senior Secondary Class of 1981 spray paints their names on Suicide Hill on 30th Avenue on June 27. (Submitted)

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 June that show some of the positive work, activities and accomplishments in our community:

Grad plans change amid pandemic

COVID-19 halted many traditions in store for North Okanagan’s classes of 2020.

Organizers worked quickly to find some way to mark the monumental occasion with a safe celebration of sorts that was, of course, compliant with ever-changing regulations ordered by the province and health experts.

Students at Lumby’s Charles Bloom Secondary and Vernon Secondary made their mark on Cop Hill and Suicide Hill, respectively. The latter was a tradition last practised in the ’80s and led to a months-long road closure.

A.L. Fortune Secondary in Enderby held a socially distanced grad ceremony where small groups of students, parents and teachers observed a modified crossing of the stage. W.L. Seaton graduates did something similar.

Pleasant Valley Secondary students were treated to parade put on by parents. The event, which was not school-sanctioned, saw grads paraded through town in grad gear June 15.

Vernon Christian School gave its 29 graduates a Hollywood sendoff complete with a drive-in film documenting speeches, MC notes and staff sendoffs.

READ MORE: Ruling change scuttles North Okanagan grad plans

Gaudet named to Hall of Fame

Vernon’s Sonja Gaudet became Canada’s most decorated Paralympic curler, winning three Paralympic gold medals and three world wheelchair curling championships.

Gaudet was announced, May 27, as one of the 11 members in the Class of 2020-21 to be inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.

“This whole journey has taken on a life of its own,” said Gaudet. “I’ve been supported by so many people. I’m grateful to my family, my coaches and my teammates.”

READ MORE: Vernon Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

$3K buzzcut for local

Richard Rolke, the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce’s communications and programs coordinator, launched a “give this man a haircut” campaign to raise funds for the Vernon and District Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) crisis line.

Rolke began with a $1,000 goal, but only after a few hours, he had to raise the bar.

His new goal of $1,500 didn’t stand a chance against the generosity of the community. In just two days, he raised more than $2,600 to support the crisis line.

In total, he raised $3,116.10 for the cause.

River Johnson says it was more than luck on her side, after her business money bag with $7,000 cash was returned after she misplaced it at Walmart. (Submitted Photo)

River Johnson says it was more than luck on her side, after her business money bag with $7,000 cash was returned after she misplaced it at Walmart. (Submitted Photo)

Good Samaritan turns in $7,000

An Enderby business owner went from tears of panic to tears of joy after losing a substantial amount of cash and having it returned.

Faith in humanity has been restored for River Johnson, after losing a deposit bag containing $7,000 cash on June 2 at Walmart.

Walmart employee Ralph Buisine discovered the missing deposit and turned it in. It was returned to her in full.

“I couldn’t believe the humbleness that he had,” said Johnson. “I want to hug the guy.”

READ MORE: Vernon Walmart staffer finds $7K lost by Enderby business owner


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