Marilyn Alexis, an Aboriginal transition planner at the Vernon campus of Okanagan College, has been named a gold medal winner for the Leadership Excellence for Non-Managerial Staff category at the Colleges and Institutes Canada 2019 Awards of Excellence. (Contributed)

Marilyn Alexis, an Aboriginal transition planner at the Vernon campus of Okanagan College, has been named a gold medal winner for the Leadership Excellence for Non-Managerial Staff category at the Colleges and Institutes Canada 2019 Awards of Excellence. (Contributed)

Lake Country’s year in review – May 2019

A look back on some of the biggest stories of the year for the month of May

Standing up for wounded Warriors

Members of the Lake Country bike riding team, the Okanagan Chain Gang, teamed up with Oyama Zipline Adventure Park to raise money for the Wounded Warriors Canada (WWC) veterans support group with a special fundraiser planned for May 11.

WWC helps veterans, military and first responders who suffer from mental disorders as a result of the work they do to protect their country and their communities.

“We will ride to honour the fallen soldiers while raising money for mental illness programs ran by Wounded Warriors Canada,” said Garry McCracken, a member of the Okanagan Chain Gang.

“WWC has a motto to honor the fallen, help the living and that’s what we are doing.”

McCracken said the goal is to raise $25,000 and having already raised $20,000 they hoped to surpass their goal.

District braces for fire season

Identifying fire risk and taking proactive steps to mitigate wildfire concerns were developed as part of a plan to reduce the risk of wildfire by staff from the District of Lake Country.

Matt Vader, a strategic and support services manager for the district, said the main focus of the updated report is to identify wildfire risk and outline mitigation strategies, most of which have been outlined through the province’s Firesmart program.

“We can not get ride of wildfires, we can only do things to mitigate the risk,” said Vader.

“It’s a high-level plan, not necessarily mitigating on individual properties, but identifying the high-risk areas and education for the public.”

College staffer receives national award

Marilyn Alexis, an aboriginal transition planner at the Vernon campus of Okanagan College, was named a goal medal winner in the Leadership Excellence for non-managerial staff category at the Colleges and Institutes Canada 2019 Awards of Excellence.

“Marilyn has brought incredible energy and vision to Okanagan College,” said Jane Lister, Vernon-non regional dean.

“She has been instrumental in recruiting indigenous students, she’s dedicated hundreds of hours to create a beautiful indigenous garden on our campus and she’s been a leader in hosting events in honour of women who have experienced abuse or trauma.”

Students spread water conservation message

Grade 5 Glenmore Elementary students got out of the classroom is an effort to teach Okanagan mayors eco-friendly gardening techniques.

Mayors from nearly every Okanagan municipality pledged their commitment to sustainable water use and urged residents to do the same.

The theme of the campaign was to practice water sustainability in gardens, adopting the floral ideas provided by the Make Water Work in your yard plant collection.

The collection is made up of plants whose biological attributes allow them to survive in drought conditions.

Water main break floods roads

On May 23, a water main break in Lake Country left two vehicles buried beneath gravel and debris.

Brian Dormen was headed to a family funeral when he stopped by work, Lake Country Voyager RV, to pick up a few camper parts before heading out of town. That’s when a co-worker yelled at him to move his car.

By the time Dormen got to his car, it was too late.

“Maybe this was a sign not to go,” said Dormen.

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