The United Nations Pilgrimage for Youth Competition was again held in the Summerland IOOF Hall on Feb. 19. Judges Bob Chalmers and Anne Kemp from Summerland again provided their service and we were delighted that Sharon Cartmel from Penticton was available to assist us to make our third judge.
Four students competed; three from Pen High (Jolene Hayter, Jelayna Ruthford and Dillon Brown) and one from Summerland Secondary (Ellen Ruthford). There were no students competing from Princess Margaret, which was disappointing. The winner of the competition was Jolene Hayter from Pen High and runner up was Jelayna Murdoch, also from Pen High.
The winner will go on a trip in July to the United Nations in New York with other winners from the rest of Canada, U.S. and several from Europe. This will be the 63rd year that The Odd Fellows and Rebekah Lodges have sponsored this all-expense paid trip for a student in Grade 11 (must still have one year of high school to go).
The Rebekah Lodge Faith #32 in Summerland with several members from Penticton has initiated this competition for the Okanagan. Last year, one student from Kelowna participated and won. There is a lot of work that goes into preparing for these ‘speak offs’ in hopes we will have an Okanagan student able to go on this trip.
Each Lodge in B.C. works to have teas and flea markets, and we assist with the Light Up with our chili night and assist with the Summerland Fair in order to have our share of the funds by the end of each February to send an Okanagan student. We are also committed to providing bursaries each June for our secondary schools in Summerland and Penticton.
We are a fraternal order committed to serve our communities, our young people and our elderly in need. We support visual research, arthritis, and we provide bursaries at an international, provincial and community level.
We are very proud of our Okanagan students who have participated — this is the fifth winner in our area. We wish we had the funds to send them all because they are all dedicated and excellent students, Penticton, Summerland and Kelowna can be very proud of them. It was hard work, and required a lot of initiative and research. We wish we could send them all, they really deserve it, but we Rebekahs are in a recession just now too, so one student is all we have funds for. Maybe soon when finances pick up. But for now, thanks kids, you are great. We are proud of you all. This was our fourth year participating in the Okanagan, so until next year, thank you all.
Faith Rebekah Lodge #32 Summerland