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Our Community: Dunahee fundraiser goes this weekend

Show your support just by watching 28 union-sponsored slo-pitch softball teams hit home runs at the Michael Dunahee Slo-Pitch Tournament of Hope, Aug. 11 and 12 at Topaz Park.

Show your support just by watching 28 union-sponsored slo-pitch softball teams hit home runs at the Michael Dunahee Slo-Pitch Tournament of Hope, Aug. 11 and 12 at Topaz Park.

In its 27th year, the tournament has become a favourite with ball teams from Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.

“This is the biggest fundraiser of the summer for Child Find B.C.,” said Crystal Dunahee, Child Find B.C. president. “The money raised through this Tournament of Hope [more than $13,500 last year] goes toward printing costs for Child Find B.C. safety literature and the equipment and materials necessary to support the All About Me ID Kit program.”

Free child care is provided, with a licensed child-care professional on site from CUPE Local 2081 (Camosun College).

Stick around to watch sky divers descend with the final game ball and pick the grand prizes, about 4 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.

Child Find B.C. is a charitable non-profit organization working with families and law enforcement to reduce the incidence of missing and exploited children. All services are provided at no cost to parents and communities.

For more information, go to

Pitch in to clean up a beach

Make a tangible contribution to help clean the environment by joining a beach cleanup organized by the Peninsula Streams Society, today at Brentwood Bay beach.

The group has been undertaking some beach and creek cleanups this year to reduce the amount of plastic and other debris entering the ocean by cleaning it up before it can enter. They also remove debris washed to shore.

About 80 per cent of plastic and other debris that ends up in the ocean originates from the land. They are trying to prevent this, while providing education to participants.

A cleanup takes place 9 a.m. to noon today at Brentwood Bay beach. Meet by the restrooms at Verdier Park, 819 Verdier Ave. If you miss the event today, the next event runs 9 a.m. to noon Aug. 25 at Bazan Bay beach. Meet by the bathrooms at Tulista park. Food and beverage will be provided at both events. RSVPs appreciated.

For more information, go to

Speaker campaigns against abuse of women

Peter Bardon will speak on how to reduce the abuse and sexual violence inflicted on women and girls on Tuesday at the Victoria Westside Community Centre.

A former Realtor in Victoria, Bardon spends the majority of his time pursuing worthy causes, notably initiatives in Africa.

He founded Compassion Globally, a charitable society with a goal to substantially reduce the abuse and sexual violence inflicted on Canadian women and girls.

Bardon is about to embark on a tour that will take him to provincial capitals across Canada.

He will give a talk between 7 and 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Victoria Westside Community Centre, 522 Craigflower Rd.

For more information, go to

Soda firm adds fizz to United Way campaign

A Victoria soft drink company shows its local love by donating proceeds from every bottle of pop sold at participating Vancouver Island grocery stores until Sept. 3.

Phillips Soda Works will donate 25 cents for every bottle of pop sold to United Way branches on Vancouver Island.

This is the third year the company has conducted the campaign to support local causes. Last year, the promotion raised $10,000 for United Way Greater Victoria and United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island to help change people’s lives for the better.

“We are thrilled to be able to team up with United Way and our local grocery partners on this campaign,” said Matt Phillips, company founder. “So much of our support comes from families who value local products with real ingredients. We jumped at the opportunity to be able to turn around and support them.”

The company sold almost 37,000 bottles of pop during last year’s campaign.

The initiative runs until Sept. 3, on craft-brewed Phillips Soda Works pop purchased at Country Grocer, Red Barn Market, Save-on-Foods, Thrifty Foods, Tru-Value and Quality Foods.

For more information, go to

Bring the family to learn to fish

Expand your family’s outdoor adventure horizons at Learn to Fish, a free family-friendly activity taking place at various Vancouver Island parks in August.

The annual program is hosted by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C., which offers introductory-level instruction on freshwater fishing.

“Learn to Fish is a great place for families to discover fishing together. It’s often the start of fishing as a family outdoor activity, giving people the experience and the confidence to take up the sport,” said Jessica Yarwood, provincial outreach co-ordinator. “For families interested in exploring the lakes and rivers on their own, including visitors who didn’t pack a fishing rod, rods and tackle may be borrowed for free with our rod-loan program.”

The drop-in events are geared for youngsters age five to 15 — and their families.

Pre-registration is required for programs in regional parks. Children under 16 aren’t required to purchase a freshwater fishing licence.

Programs cover fish identification and biology; habitat and conservation; proper fish-handling; ethics, safety, and fishing regulations; fishing tackle; and knot-tying.

Hands-on instruction includes casting and retrieving. All the fishing equipment is provided, and the two-hour programs run rain or shine.

Rod-loan programs allow families and other groups to try fishing without having to purchase gear.

Families and groups can borrow spinning rods with reels and a basic box of tackle for up to a week. Permanent rod-loan sites include the corporate office in Victoria and the Vancouver Island Trout Hatchery, where the public can visit during business hours and borrow a rod and tackle for free.

Program cost is free, thanks to support from the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, Columbia Basin Trust, Rapala, Ram Trucks Canada and Yamaha Motor Canada, but donations are gratefully accepted.

Learn to Fish times and locations:

• Aug. 7, 14, 21, Gordon Bay Provincial Park, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

• Aug. 11 and 18, Horne Lake Regional Park, 10 a.m. to noon

• Aug. 12, Westwood Lake, Nanaimo, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

• Aug. 13, Fuller Lake, Chemainus, 6 to 8 p.m.

• Aug. 15, Glen Lake, Langford, 6 to 8 p.m.

• Aug. 20, St. Mary Lake, Salt Spring Island, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more information, go to

Students learning at sea in the Arctic

Three students from Vancouver Island are spending part of their summer cooler than most of their peers as members of the Students on Ice Arctic expedition, a hands-on experience for youth to expand their knowledge of the changing circumpolar world.

Justin Clark of Victoria, Mark Frank-Perry of Ahousat and Fraser Byers of Salt Spring Island are part of a group of 130 students from 20 countries taking part in an immersive learning journey through western Greenland and the Canadian High Arctic.

The expedition, which started July 23 and runs until Tuesday, has been exploring communities and coasts of the western coast of Greenland, across the Davis Strait and through the entrance to the Northwest Passage.

This year’s education pillars are climate-change adaptation, ocean literacy, sustainable-development goals, and truth and reconciliation.

The team will participate in excursions around icebergs, glaciers and bird colonies; hikes across tundra; visits to remote Arctic communities including the UNESCO World Heritage Ilulissat Icefjord and Canada’s Pond Inlet; citizen science to better understand the health of the coastal environment; education with Inuit leaders about history, politics, culture and the social and environmental challenges they face; and connections with students and educators from around the world.

Of the 130 students on board, nearly 40 per cent are Indigenous from the Canadian Arctic, Greenland and Alaska.

For more information, go to

200 cyclists coming for MS ride

A local fundraiser will be among nearly 200 cyclists expected to be on Vancouver Island roads as part of the MS Bike Cowichan Valley Experience, Aug. 11 and 12.

To Heather Armstrong, finding a cure for multiple sclerosis and enhancing quality of life for people living with the disease is a very important part of her life. When she was diagnosed in 2006; her mother had been diagnosed decades earlier, Driven by her and her mother’s diagnosis, Armstrong has been involved with the local branch of the MS Society of Canada for more than 14 years, and shows her ongoing commitment through fundraising and volunteering.

“This year, it will be my 12th year riding in MS Bike Cowichan Valley Experience. One of my fondest memories was at last year’s MS Bike event when I was asked to share my story at the dinner. I was quite nervous. I had my notes in large text and I took a big breath and began,” said Armstrong. “Afterwards, I was humbled by the standing ovation I received and recall being told the audience was so focused that you could hear a pin drop. I still remember my husband and team members smiling and clapping.”

Armstrong’s team, MS Derailleurs, will be part of the nearly 200 cyclists of all abilities and ages coming together to pedal up to 148 kilometres through the Cowichan Valley and Shawnigan Lake in support of those affected by multiple sclerosis.

Funds raised from the event support the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. The society funds research into the cause, treatment and cure of MS, as well as providing services, programs and advocacy for Canadians affected by the chronic disease.

For more information, go to

Rider pedals in honour of his son

On Aug. 18, Curtis Anderson will be cycling from Port Hardy to Victoria in 24 hours with the hope of raising $200,000 and awareness for the Heart and Stroke Foundation Canada.

He will be riding in honour of his son, Aidan Anderson, who has Hunter syndrome and will likely need heart surgery in the near future.

For more information, go to the Action for Aidan Facebook page or

Media tournament raises $50,000

The latest B.C. Ferries Media Charity Golf Classic has raised $50,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Victoria and Area.

Co-founded by Global TV’s Keith Baldrey and the Times Colonist’s Les Leyne, the day of golf has raised more than $770,000 to support programs for children and their families over the past 13 years.

This year saw 132 participants enjoying a day golf at the Bear Mountain Resort at the end of June.

For more information, go to