Our Community: Restaurants battle it out for Our Place; ReStore celebrates 30 years

May the best dish win

Our Place is planning a multi-pronged approach to Hungry Hearts, its annual ­fundraiser, with a Land and Sea culinary competition, an online auction and a virtual gala.

The large-scale campaign begins with a culinary competition among local ­restaurants to find the region’s best land (mushroom) and sea (halibut) dishes.

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Participating restaurants include ­Virtuous Pie and Spinnakers, last year’s winners. Challenging them for this year’s crown will be Aura Restaurant, House of Boateng, The Snug at Oak Bay Beach Hotel, Canoe Brewpub, Il Covo Trattoria, Saveur Restaurant, Fireside Grill, Nautical Nellies, Crooked Goose Bistro, The Beachhouse ­Restaurant, Heron Rock Bistro and The Pacific Restaurant.

You can vote on the Times Colonist ­contest page until Sept. 7.

You can start bidding on a selection of auction items starting Aug. 28 on hibid.ca. There are hundreds of items including A culinary feast for eight from Zambri’s and hundreds of restaurant gift certificates.

The event will wrap up with a one-hour entertainment and information Hungry Hearts Virtual Gala on Sept. 18, broadcasted with the support of CHEK Television. It will be simultaneously live-streamed.

The auction closes 15 minutes after the live stream broadcast ends.

Money raised from this year’s gala will go toward Our WorkPlace employment services to help people get back to work.

• For more information, go to ­ourplacesociety.com.

Habitat for Humanity ReStore hits 30th anniversary

Habitat for Humanity ReStore, the social enterprise that helps fund the construction of affordable homes, is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Over the last three decades, the home improvement retail stores have helped divert 430 million kilograms of material from landfills.

The charity has given new life to new and gently used furniture, appliances, building supplies and household goods that may otherwise have ended up as waste.

“The Habitat for Humanity ReStore is a great answer for those looking to donate or to purchase household goods that are eco-friendly and affordable,” said Frank Baker, director of retail operations.

“With an uptick in renovations and home upgrades, we’re hoping people keep the Habitat ReStore in mind instead of throwing out perfectly good items.”

For more information go to habitatvictoria.com/restore.

CBC’s Bob McDonald speaks on a green future

The Canadian Club of Victoria is launching its 2021 to 2022 luncheon speaker series with A Green Guide to the Future, with Bob McDonald, science correspondent and host of CBC Radio’s Quirks & Quarks as its guest speaker, on Sept. 21 at the Grand Pacific Hotel.

McDonald has written and hosted numerous television documentaries and more than 100 educational videos in Canada and the United States.

Tickets for the lunch are $40. The event runs from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Grand Pacific Hotel, 463 Belleville St. For more information, visit Eventbrite or reserve a seat by emailing or calling Tom Williams 250-361-4842 or tweswilliams@gmail.com.

Peninsula residents’ input sought for five-year rec plan

The Peninsula Recreation Commission, which provides recreation programs and services throughout the Saanich Peninsula, is asking the public for input as it drafts a five-year strategic plan.

The commission hopes to hear from residents of North Saanich, Central Saanich, Sidney, Pauquachin First Nation, Tsawout First Nation, Tseycum First Nation and Tsartlip First Nation. The plan will reflect the needs, wishes, and ideas of the people in those communities.

Input from the community will inform the draft strategic plan, which will be prepared and presented to the commission in October.

The community and stakeholder engagement process is running until Sept. 19.

An online survey is available at surveys.crd.bc.ca. For more information, go to crd.bc.ca/panorama.

Partnership helps to fill digital learning gap in schools

London Drugs has partnered with Computers for School Plus to provide refurbished computers and other digital devices to schools, libraries, not-for-profit organizations, Indigenous communities and low-income students.

Thousands of students face a digital learning gap because of limited access to tech devices.

Computers for School Plus is a federal government program that collects donated computers, trains youth to refurbish the devices and distributes the refurbished equipment.

Since 1993, the Computers for School program has provided more than 1.6 million refurbished computers to schools across the country and has given more than 7,000 paid internships to young Canadians to allow them to acquire market-relevant skills.

“Last year, London Drugs provided over 200 computers to students across Western Canada through our inaugural Tech Drive event,” said Nick Curalli, vice-president - technology solutions.

“London Drugs has been responsibly recycling customers’ old computers and electronic devices for decades, some of which are still in working order.

“Last year, we discovered that not every family had access to necessary technology tools. By partnering with Computers for Schools Plus we were able to bring used but functional computers to families in need. With more students returning to the classroom in person this year, we anticipate and hope to support an ongoing need for families to have access to technology for their schoolwork.”

Laptops are the most in-demand with desktops, tablets and mobile phones all being accepted.

London Drugs stores in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are accepting used computers as part of the initiative. The charity partner in British Columbia is B.C. Technology for Learning

Devices for donation will face some criteria - such as no cracks in the screen and still having its power cord. Devices that don’t meet the criteria will be recycled responsibly. Technicians will conduct a complete data wipe prior to it being restored.

For more information, go to londondrugs.com/techdrive.html.

$4.7 million to support Victoria’s vulnerable residents

The City of Victoria will receive more than $4.7 million from the Strengthening Communities’ Services Program to address the effects of homelessness and keep communities safe and healthy.

“Communities across our province have been hard hit by the pandemic and Victoria is certainly no different,” said Lisa Helps, mayor of Victoria. “That’s why this Strengthening Communities program is so important. This funding will enable the city to continue to provide support for our vulnerable residents, as well as to the wider community, and to create a more resilient community for the future.”

Some of the projects the funding will support include:

• A partnership with the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness to hire and train peer-support workers to help move unsheltered people indoors.

• A partnership with the Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness to support a registered clinical counsellor, street nurse, youth outreach worker, and traditional health and wellness co-ordinator to focus on the specific needs of unsheltered Indigenous people.

• A partnership with the Burnside Gorge Neighbourhood Association to develop three small-scale pilot projects aimed at building relationships between housed and unhoused residents, and increasing neighbourhood health and safety.

• A partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association to pilot a peer assisted crisis team – an alternative service to police response to 911 dispatch or crisis calls related to mental health.

• Additional funding for bylaw officers and police.

The program is administered by the Union of B.C. Municipalities on behalf of the provincial and federal governments. It is a component of the Canada-B.C. Safe Restart agreement, which aims to support unsheltered homeless populations and address related community impacts.


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