Don Evans, Rotary 5040 district governor (left), and Sandra Lewis, Rotary Club of Quesnel president (far right) present Robert Leclerc, secretary treasurer of Quesnel Amateur Radio Club (centre left) and Bob Holowenko, vice president of Quesnel Amateur Radio Club with a cheque for $8,600 to fund their ham radio project.

Don Evans, Rotary 5040 district governor (left), and Sandra Lewis, Rotary Club of Quesnel president (far right) present Robert Leclerc, secretary treasurer of Quesnel Amateur Radio Club (centre left) and Bob Holowenko, vice president of Quesnel Amateur Radio Club with a cheque for $8,600 to fund their ham radio project.

Cariboo Rotary clubs receive $64,000 for wildfire recovery projects

Donations from across country result in $16,000 per club for wildfire prevention and recovery

Firefighter training, fire department equipment and VHF radio repeaters will be seeing an influx of cash soon.

More than $64,000 has been donated to Rotary clubs throughout the Cariboo for wildfire recovery and prevention efforts.

Rotary District 5040 governor Don Evans was in the Cariboo to give out the money – $16,000 to each of the four clubs spread from 100 Mile House to Quesnel.

“It started when the fires were burning,” says Evans.

He touched base with his partner governor in Alberta to see what was done by Rotary following the Fort McMurray fires.

The answer was a wildfire fund.

The district, which stretches from Tsawwassen to Prince Rupert, set up an account and started accepting donations.

One of the first cheques written came from the club in Fort McMurray.

Donations came from as far away as Ontario, says Evans, and individuals also donated to the fund.

“It’s just built over time. This month, what we are doing is dispersing all of the funds.”

The Rotary district asked each club to come up with a project for the donations, that would go to either wildfire prevention or long-term sustainable recovery.

“What the clubs have put forward are mostly around future prevention, which is exciting. The creative things each of the clubs have put forward, from just training the volunteer firefighters so they don’t have to stand and watch, so they are certified to take action. These are important steps that can make a difference should a similar thing start in the future,” says Evans.

In Quesnel, $2,500 raised at the 2017 Rotary Fall Fashion Show was added to the total.

The Rotary Club of Quesnel identified the Quesnel Amateur Radio Society’s VHF radio repeater network as one project worthy of funding, presenting the group with $8,600 from the total donation.

Radio Society vice president Bob Holowenko and secretary treasurer Robert Leclerc hope to have the station operational ahead of this year’s dry season.

“The project goes towards communications that will help us in the event of the wildfires happening again,” says Rotary Club of Quesnel president Sandra Lewis.

“If telecommunication lines go down – cell lines, landlines – one thing that we’ll always have is the ham radio.”

The Quesnel Rotary club is also looking to support other local wildfire recovery projects with the remainder of the donations, and funding allocations will be announced as the projects are developed.

Rotary District 5040 will also be working with both the Quesnel and Williams Lake Rotary clubs to help them procure equipment for local fire departments in those areas, as well with their own donations.

Evans and his wife Deb are on their third trip to the area since Evans became governor. The first took place in July, and the second took place shortly after the fires. They also visited Prince George when much of the Cariboo was evacuated.

“We know that the long-term effects of the fires are still being felt, with people that didn’t return and businesses that didn’t make it through,” says Evans.

“But we see optimism and we see the communities getting going again, so that is encouraging.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Trees sold at Kersley Christmas Trees, just south of Quesnel, can reach up to 16 feet. Although you’ll probably need something bigger than a car to take it home. (Submitted Photo)
Kersley couple celebrating 25 years of Christmas tree sales

Jim and Kathy Dyer say coming to their farm to pick a tree has become a tradition for many families

Arrow Transportation Services Ltd. brought a pickup truck load of non-perishable food donations in colourful Christmas-themed bags to the Quesnel Salvation Army Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. From left, Steve Williams, Adam Ligertwood and Anita Reid from Arrow present the donations, which totalled 880 pounds, to Salvation Army Major Debbie Gatza. (Lindsay Chung Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Quesnel Salvation Army very grateful for community support

Arrow dropped off 880 pounds for the food bank Nov. 30, and a QDA food drive is currently underway

Kyle Aben, the City of Quesnel’s carbon review co-ordinator, worked to create the city’s climate plan and is asking the public for feedback. (Quesnel Cariboo Observer File Photo)
Quesnel sets out climate plan for city operations, community

Nearly 70 per cent of emissions from city operations are related to transportation

Barkerville Historic Town and Park launched its Greetings from History campaign Dec. 1 and is hoping to raise $30,000 to send 2,000 “Letters for the Lonely.” (James Douglas Photo)
Barkerville launches Greetings from History letter-writing campaign

Historical characters hope to write 2,000 personalized letters to those living in seclusion

Quesnel author L.G.A. McIntyre will be signing copies of her new book, The Prince: Lies of Lesser Gods Book Four, Saturday, Dec. 5 from 1-5 p.m. at Books and Company. (Photo Submitted)
Quesnel author L.G.A. McIntyre signing newest book Dec. 5

The Prince is Book 4 of the five-book Lies of Lesser Gods series

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

An 18-year old male southern resident killer whale, J34, is stranded near Sechelt in 2016. A postmortem examination suggests he died from trauma consistent with a vessel strike. (Photo supplied by Paul Cottrell, Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
“We can do better” — humans the leading cause of orca deaths: study

B.C. research reveals multitude of human and environmental threats affecting killer whales

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

BIG SALMON ranch in Washington State. (Center for Whale Research handout)
Non-profit buys Chinook ranch in hopes of increasing feed for southern resident killer whales

The ranch, which borders both sides of Washington State’s Elwha River, is a hotspot for chinook salmon

Gaming content was big on YouTube in 2020. (Black Press Media files)
What did Canadians watch on Youtube during isolation? Workouts, bird feeders

Whether it was getting fit or ‘speaking moistly,’ Canadians had time to spare this year

Most Read