Our Community: Engineering firm tops sticky challenge


Read Jones Christofferson Consulting Engineers has won the inaugural United Way Popsicle Stick Playground Challenge. Their model included a zipline, climbing wall, a tubing experience and picnic area. Their attention to detail set them apart from the competition.

They prevailed over teams from Higginson Consulting, Harold Engineering and civil-engineering students at the University of Victoria to create the award-winning playground made from Popsicle sticks and other materials.

The event raised more than $10,000 to support United Way’s mandate to ensure children and youth grow up healthy and transition well into adulthood.

“As long-term supporters of United Way, we were thrilled to participate in the challenge as we foster a culture of giving back to our community at Read Jones Christofferson,” said Lynn Medermid, office service manager. “Our volunteer team worked on our lunch hours and continued with our special projects at home in the evening with our families.”

For more information, go to uwgv.ca.

Pitching in for the Campbell River estuary

The City of Campbell River, with the assistance of the Tyee Club, Van Tine & Associates and Dick Sumner, recently completed an extensive cleanup of the Campbell River estuary.

In the past few years, the south shore of the estuary had become an unauthorized dumping ground for derelict boats, abandoned wharves, floating debris, logs and garbage. Nothing got cleaned up as different levels of government cited lack of funding and uncertainty around jurisdiction.

In recognition of the critical role the estuary plays in Campbell River, city council committed up to $10,000 from the 2014 contingency budget to lead the efforts to remove and appropriately dispose of the debris.

The cleanup was also made possible by support from the Campbell River Indian Band and Comox Strathcona Waste Management.

“It is wonderful to see the community come together with the city to do this important work,” Mayor Andy Adams said. “The cleanup will result in significant benefits to the environment and fisheries resource.”

The estuary is in the heart of the community and plays a significant part in the biological and cultural history of the river. The city had adopted an Estuary Management Plan to de-industrialize this important habitat in 1996.

For additional information on the estuary and the plan, visit the website campbellriver.ca/ your-city-hall/green-city/ environmental-protection/ campbell-river-estuary.

Speaker offers insight into sex after 60

Seniors can learn about love, lust, laughter and sex after 60 at Intimacy, Sexuality and Aging, a Speakers Series event hosted by the Silver Threads Service on Friday.

The subject will be explored by Dr. Diana Wiley, a Seattle-based board-certified sex therapist and gerontologist. Along with a private practice, she has done two studies on aging and sexuality and published in medical journals in more than 30 years of practice.

At the event, Wiley will explore attitudes and myths about sexual changes in men and women, a multidisciplinary approach for low sexual desire in women, advantages of mature sex, and nine rules for great loving.

Silver Threads Service is a charitable, not-for-profit society that provides programs and services that enhance social connections and well-being for seniors, including those at risk.

Admission is free, but donations are accepted. The event runs from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Victoria Centre, 2340 Richmond Rd. Space is limited. Call 250-388-4268 to make a reservation.

For more information, go to silverthreads.ca.

Sooke Fine Arts Show looking for artists

The Sooke Fine Arts Show has begun a Call to Artists, seeking work online now through June 8 for the jury panel’s consideration.

The show features original fine art in a wide variety of mediums — from oil painting and wood sculpture to intricate fibre weavings and hand-formed jewelry from coastal islands artists only.

The community show and sale runs July 24 to Aug. 3. For more information, go to sookefinearts.com.

Realtors give $42,000 to Cridge Centre

Two important events taking place this week celebrate the continuing work of the Cridge Centre for the Family.

On Tuesday, Royal Lepage Realtors will present a cheque for more than $42,000 to benefit the four transition houses run by the Cridge. The realty firm has been a strong supporter for several years by raising money through its Shelter Fund.

The event takes place at 2 p.m. at the Cridge Seniors Village, 1307 Hillside Ave.

Community businesses are invited to attend Orange Your Workplace on Wednesday to learn how to make their workplaces safer and more supportive of women experiencing violence at home. The event is in partnership with Leadership Victoria.

There will be speakers, exhibitors and opportunities for discussion. Each participant will leave with a toolkit to use in their workplaces.

The event runs noon to 2 p.m. at the Cadboro Commons (Arbutus Room) at the University of Victoria. For more information, go to cridge.org.

Colliers raises $6,000 for new Y kitchen

Colliers Cares Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation of Colliers International, recently raised more than $6,000 toward a new kitchen for the YMCA-YWCA of Greater Victoria’s Young Moms Program at Kiwanis Family Centre.

“The addition of a brand-new, clean and beautiful kitchen has created a positive space for people to spend time together. It provides a space for us to grow, learn, connect with other moms and most importantly, eat healthy food,” said one of the participants in the Young Moms Program.

The completion of the facilities has allowed the program to invite more families to cooking groups. The new kitchen, with an improved layout and two stoves, has led to an increase in registration for a FoodSkills cooking group.

Throughout Canada, the Colliers Cares Foundation supports more than 100 local charities. For more information, go to collierscanada.com or victoriay.com.

Help ailing seniors Return to Health

Want to help other seniors or know of one who needs help after a hospital stay?

Return to Health is a Seniors Serving Seniors/Vancouver Island Health Authority partnership program to help seniors maintain their dignity, self-worth, and independence before, during and after a hospital stay. An average of 250 clients are supported each year.

Volunteers with the Return to Health program receive specialized training in seniors’ issues, stressing good communication skills and familiarity with the aging process.

Volunteers receive ongoing support, further education, updates on current events and a connection to other volunteers at monthly meetings. Initial training for the program begins in the fall.

Funding for this program comes from the Vancouver Island Health Authority, Victoria Foundation, Belsonia and Frank Paul Foundation, Coastal Capital Savings Foundation, Telus and Needs of Victoria Society.

The Return to Health program is offered without charge. Referrals can be faxed to 250-391-0895 or phone 250-216-6878.

For information or to register as a volunteer, call Seniors Serving Seniors at 250-382-4331 or visit seniorsservingseniors.bc.ca/ returntohealth.asp.

Walk and Talk to learn about diabetes

The Canadian Diabetes Association kicks off its Walk & Talk program in Victoria on Friday. The 10-week program features short talks by health and diabetes experts, followed by a group walk where participants can ask questions, share their experiences and engage with the diabetes community.

The program runs every Friday (except Good Friday, April 3) until May 15. People can walk indoors or out and the event is suitable for those with diabetes or pre-diabetes.

The program will cover a range of diabetes-related topics, from foot care to the glycemic index to general motivation and more. Guest speakers include endocrinologist Dr. Lukasz Materek, wellness expert Dr. Martin Collins and dental hygienist Cheri Wu.

The program would also be of interest to others, such caregivers, who may benefit from more information about diabetes.

The walks will be held at Cedar Hill Recreation Centre, 3220 Cedar Hill Rd. For more information, or to register, go to diabetes.ca/walkandtalk.

Pizzeria raising money for heart, stroke foundation

Pizzeria Prima Strada is holding its second Mangiamo! fundraiser for the Heart and Stroke Foundation now until March 9.

The event, whose name means “Let’s eat!,” features a $25 three-course meal with $5 donated to the foundation. Last year, hungry patrons raised more than $3,500 for the organization.

Beginning today, Prima Strada continues its Eat Well, Do Good campaign with the Mangiamo! celebration.

This year, Bella Wines will donate an additional $2 for every glass of wine ordered with the meal.

The event takes place at both Pizzeria Prima Strada locations. The restaurants will each feature their own menus, and will rotate those menus halfway through the event. Menus include an appetizer, pizza and dessert, with meat and vegetarian options.

Menus are available at pizzeriaprimastrada.com/blog.

Victorians honoured for leadership efforts

Leadership Victoria recently announced the 2015 recipients of its annual Victoria Leadership Awards in eight categories.

Established in 2004, the awards honour the accomplishments of everyday heroes, recognized for their community leadership, service and achievement. The event is a collaboration with the University of Victoria, the Rotary Clubs of Greater Victoria, the Victoria Foundation and the United Way of Greater Victoria. Leadership Victoria is a community-based, voluntary organization committed to developing, supporting, recognizing and honouring outstanding community leaders. For more information, go to leadershipvictoria.ca.

Clarence (Butch) Dick — Leadership Victoria Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding long-term service in community leadership roles such as philanthropy, innovation, mentoring and career achievement.

Bill Anderson and Bruce Parisian — University of Victoria Community Leadership Awards, which acknowledge outstanding leadership in linking UVic and the community.

Kelly Reid and Scott Treble — Rotary Community Leadership Awards, which recognize community leaders who meet Rotary values of the highest levels of ethical behaviour in business and in the community.

Alex Harned — Vancity Youth Award, which recognizes a young person between the ages of 20 and 30 who demonstrates leadership by helping to redefine wealth in a way that furthers the financial, social and environmental well-being of our members and their communities.

Maja Tait — Leadership Victoria Alumni Award, which recognizes a graduate of the Leadership Victoria program who continues to demonstrate outstanding leadership and service in the Victoria community.

Pacifica Housing Society — Victoria Foundation Community Leadership Award, which recognizes an organization that is building community capacity and achieving positive change.

Maureen Sawa — United Way of Greater Victoria Award for Collaboration and Partnership, which recognizes an individual leader in a non-profit organization who is building community capacity by creating partnerships and collaboration.

Ingrid Bergmann — Royal Roads University Leadership Excellence through Coaching and Mentoring Award, which recognizes long-term and outstanding service in community leadership roles that specifically focus on coaching and/or mentoring.

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