Leanne Hammond, Executive Director of Community Foundation North Okanagan. As some members were unaware of this organization, her presentation was enlightening and educational, and filled with information: how the Foundation works, to which kinds of groups money is disbursed, and by what criteria, where money donated to the Foundation is invested, the different types of funds donations are invested in. The Community Foundation acts as a conduit of information studied by experts and communicates it to the community. Publications include Vital Signs, a report on the state of society in the North Okanagan and the Annual Report.
Teresa Durning spoke on her experiences working in an MP’s office and the challenges and rewards of being City Councilor.
Melissa Munn, professor of sociology, criminology and gender studies classes at OK College in Vernon and Salmon Arm, shared with members her work in the areas of the effects of long- term imprisonment, penology, parole, and the rehabilitation & reintegration of prisoners into general society.
Keli Westgate, owner of Lekker Land Design gave a presentation on the food forest installation she designed for the Lighthouse Community Ministries at the Salvation Army Food Bank in Salmon Arm. Due to the pandemic, donations to the Salvation Army Food Bank decreased, and a plan was formed to grow food at the site of LCM to provide local, healthy food for those in need and to build a community. Keli is the chair of Vernon Permaculture which holds sessions at the Vernon branch of Okanagan Regional Library monthly and she participates in many other community organizations related to the environment.