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Our Community: Chef cook-off fundraiser kicks off, 1,000 burpees for charity

An upcoming cook-off fundraiser for Our Place’s first long-term women’s addiction recovery community on Vancouver Island launches with chefs picking their protein

An upcoming cook-off fundraiser for Our Place’s first  long-term women’s addiction ­recovery  ­community on Vancouver Island was launched this week, with chefs picking the protein for the dishes they’ll create.

Eight of Victoria’s top chefs will be cooking savoury dishes for the Hungry Hearts gala, set for Sept. 21.

Attendees at the event, which is open to the public, sample the dishes and pick their favourites, with the winner getting bragging rights for a year.

This year’s chefs include: Kristian Eligh of Marilena Cafe and Raw Bar, Castro Boateng of House of Boateng Café and Catering, Nicolas Fennell of Fireside Grill, Curtis Toth of Delta Hotels Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort, Laurie Munn of Boom + Batten Restaurant and Café, Ken Nakano of Inn at Laurel Point, Kreg ­Graham of Oak Bay Beach Hotel and Kelsey McInnes of ­Virtuous Pie.

The women’s addiction recovery facility is set to open in the fall at New Roads Therapeutic Recovery Community. Janice Kalin, director of ­philanthropy at Our Place, said the new therapeutic recovery ­community for women will run alongside, but be ­completely separate from, the men’s program.

Tickets are $200 for the Sept. 21 event, which starts at 5:45 p.m. at Delta Hotels by Marriott Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort, 100 Harbour Rd.

• For more information, or to purchase tickets, go to or call 250-940-5060 extension 5108.

>>> 1,000 burpees for charity to raise funds for KidSport

A Victoria fitness instructor and a firefighter will be leading family, friends, clients and supporters in doing up to 1,000 burpees during her Burpees for Charity event to raise funds for KidSport Greater Victoria, at Royal Athletic Park on July 6.

A burpee is a workout exercise that includes a jump, a squat and plank and a push-up in sequence.

It’s probably the least-favourite exercise, even for the most dedicated athletes.

Led by Baylea Wilkins and Michelle Maynard, the annual event has raised more than $435,800 for ­KidSport Greater Victoria since it started in 2021.

The two hope to surpass the $500,000 mark this year.

Individuals and groups are encouraged to sign up to perform burpees, to sponsor someone or just to donate.

KidSport is a non-profit that provides financial ­support for families in need to get children involved in organized sports.

The event takes place Saturday, July 6 at Royal ­Athletic Park, 1014 Caledonia Ave.

• For more information, or to register, go to ­

>>> Photo exhibit in Nanaimo celebrates Indigenous youth

Images capturing moments of joy, challenge, ­community and triumph are all part of Photovoice, an exhibition of 36 photographs by Indigenous youth at the Nanaimo Harbourfront Library.

The exhibit, which continues until June 28 as part of National Indigenous History Month, is a ­collaboration between the Ladysmith-based Kw’umut Lelum ­Foundation and the Vancouver Island Regional Library, and is supported by Save the Children Canada’s National Reconciliation program.

The photos are from Indigenous youth who ­participated in 2023 Tribal Journeys and the Queen Liliʻuokalani Outrigger Canoe Race in Kona, Hawaii.

“The Photovoice project challenged Indigenous youth to explore the concepts of culture and ­identity through the lens of a camera, while participating in Tribal Journey and canoe races,” said Sharon Hobenshield, executive director of Kw’umut Lelum Foundation.

“It is an initiative designed to empower Indigenous youth by giving them the tools to capture and share their cultural experiences through photography.”

The initiative includes an online fundraising ­auction featuring select works from the exhibit. All proceeds will support the foundation’s Snuw’uy’ulh for ­Success project, which aims to foster educational and ­developmental opportunities for Indigenous youth.

The exhibit is available for viewing during regular opening hours at the Nanaimo Harbourfront Library, 90  Commercial St. in Nanaimo.

• For more information, go to

The online fundraising auction runs until June 28 at

The Kw’umut Lelum Foundation is led by nine Coast Salish Nations: Halalt, Lyackson, Málexeł, Penelakut, Qualicum, Snaw-naw-as, Snuneymuxw, Stz’uminus and Ts’uubaa-asatx.

>>> Push For Your Tush walk steps up against cancer

Colorectal cancer survivor Michael Butterfield is ­hoping people will come out in support as he kicks off Victoria’s first Colorectal Cancer Canada’s Push For Your Tush fundraising initiative, at Clover Point Park, July 7.

Push For Your Tush is a five or 10-kilometre walk or run that takes place across the country each July in support of Colorectal Cancer Canada. It’s the national organization’s largest annual fundraiser, with the ­proceeds going toward colorectal cancer research and programs.

Butterfield is the ambassador for the local event as well as the initiative’s top fundraiser, raising more than $2,200 to date.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of ­cancer-related deaths in Canada. But with early ­detection and treatment, patients with localized colon cancer have a survival rate of 90 per cent after five years.

Registration is $35 for individuals, $75 for families. The community event starts at 9 a.m. with registration, a welcome/warm-up at 10 and the start of the walk/run at 10:15 a.m July 7 at Clover Point Park, 1250 Dallas Rd.

• For more information, or to register, go to ­­­

>>> Coast Capital executive honoured for advocacy

An executive at Coast Capital has been chosen as a recipient of the Gary Gillam Award in recognition of her work as an advocate for social purpose on a national scale.

Maureen Young, vice-president of social purpose at Coast Capital, is the co-founder and former chair of the Youth Futures Education Fund, a provincial ­government-funded program that provides young adults who have been in government care access to funds for basic living expenses like food, rent, ­technology and childcare.

She was also instrumental in developing and ­implementing Coast Capital’s inaugural social purpose impact plan.

The award was established in honour of Gary H. Gillam, a former director of Credit Union Central of Ontario (now Central1) and CEO of Unicoll Credit Union (now Alterna Savings).

As part of her award win, Young was allocated $2,500 to donate to a local charity of her choice. She has selected the Threshold Housing Society, which provides support for youth at risk of homelessness, as the beneficiary of the donation.

>>> Still time to submit videos for new Defender awards

There is still time for non-profits and charitable ­organizations to submit videos of their work for a chance to receive a new Land Rover Defender.

The British adventure brand’s Defender Service Awards will award a new Defender 130 vehicle to the winners in six categories: Veterans and Civil Servant Outreach Award; Community Services Award; Search, Rescue and Emergency Support Services Award; Outdoor Accessibility and Education Award; Animal, Wildlife and Marine Mammal Welfare Award and The Defender Service Honourees (past 2021, 2022 and 2023 finalists who are given a second chance to win).

Organizations in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada can submit videos to show how a new Defender would support their respective missions.

Last year’s winners include Squamish Search and Rescue Society for the Search and Rescue Award; ­Honour House Society for the Veterans Outreach Award; Manitoba Underdogs Rescue for the Animal Welfare Award; Kairos Adventures for the Community Services Award and Youth Sports Alliance for Outdoor Accessibility and Education Award.

Submissions will be accepted until July 29. You can nominate organizations or organizations can nominate themselves.

Each of the 30 category finalists will receive $5,000 US, with category winners receiving $25,000 US.

The finalists’ videos will be posted at for public voting beginning in October, with winners announced in the fall.

• For more information, go to