Central Okanagan Foundation Volunteer Organization of the Year Award

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Central Okanagan Foundation's Volunteer Organization of the Year 2023 - Finalists

The 49th annual Civic & Community Awards finalists will be celebrated on April 24 at the Civic & Community Awards Gala, taking place at the Laurel Packinghouse.

Enactus Okanagan College 

Food should not be wasted, and no one should go hungry, and that’s why Enactus OC created Unusually Good Food, a business turning non-store quality apples into apple chips for donation to schools and food banks. They also make apple juice to sell across Western Canada to help fund the program. Enactus OC created excellent programs in 2023, including “Elevate”, designed to empower Indigenous youth and “Revive”, working with renewable energy. For all their hard work, these 46 students earned several national Enactus awards, individual awards and bursaries last year. 

Okanagan Forest Task Force 

The Okanagan Forest Task Force took environmental protection into their own hands last year. The group hauled out approximately 800 pounds of garbage dumped along Beaver Lake Road. And that’s only a small fraction of the more than 250,000 pounds they picked up in the last year. Since January 2023, close to 104,000 pounds of garbage and over 150,000 pounds of metal have been removed from backcountry recreation areas. With a goal to keep our forests clean and stop illegal dumping, there are now 2950 members volunteering to make this a reality. 

RDCO Emergency Support Services 

When the McDougall Creek Fire threatened our community, a team of 173 Emergency Support Service volunteers at RDCO sprang into action. Volunteers manned reception centres in West Kelowna for three months, helping displaced people find accommodation, reuniting separated families and providing up to date information. The ESS was also activated for 17 other fires in 2023, helping 55 adults, 12 children and 11 pets to find lodging and food during hard times. RDCO’s aid is invaluable for responding to the needs of our residents during an emergency. 

The recipient of this award will receive a $3,000 donation from Central Okanagan Foundation.

Award sponsored by:

Award Criteria

  • Awarded to a volunteer organization that has provided outstanding community services, with direct benefits to the city of Kelowna.
  • Services may be related to the environment, health and social services; arts and culture; recreation; education; or neighbourhood/community improvements.
  • Selections are based on the organization's achievements and contributions for the year 2023.
  • Past information may be included, but should primarily be regarding the current award year.

Nominations for the 49th annual Civic & Community Awards are now closed. Check back in fall 2024 for information about the 50th annual awards nomination period.

Past Recipients of the Award
  • 2022 - Central Okanagan Food Bank
  • 2021 - Canadian Mental Health Association
  • 2020 - Central Okanagan Region Nutrition Society - Meals on Wheels 
  • 2019 - Project Literacy Central Okanagan Society
  • 2018 - Helping Out People Exploited (HOPE) Outreach
  • 2017 - Central Okanagan Search & Rescue
  • 2016 - Kelowna Gospel Mission
  • 2015 - Hands in Service
  • 2014 - United Way of the Central & South Okanagan Similkameen
  • 2013 - Freedom's Door
  • 2012 - Karis Support Society
  • 2011 - NOW Canada Society
  • 2010 - Canadian Mental Health Association
  • 2009 - Rotary Clubs of Kelowna 
  • 2008 - Kelowna Salvation Army
  • 2007 - Central Okanagan Hospice Association
  • 2006 - Rotary Club of Kelowna
  • 2005 - Central Okanagan Bursary & Scholarship Society
  • 2004 - C.O.R.N.S./Meals on Wheels
  • 2003 - Emergency Social Services
  • 2002 - Sunshine Dream for Kids
  • 2001 - Kelowna Community Resources Crisis Line
  • 2000 - Kelowna General Hospital Volunteers
  • 1999 - Kelowna Hostesses