HodgePodge By Charlie Hodge: Charlie’s Christmas Angels

Charlie’s Christmas Angels

By Charlie Hodge.

Only time and space for a few more Charlie’s Christmas Angels submitted by readers and sprinkled with a few of my own.

A visit to the respiratory unit at Kelowna General Hospital garnered a number of nominations including hard working and compassionate workers Tracey Heyworth, Richard Milo, Robyn, and Todd. The biggest angel of all from that unit though (in my world anyway) is Dr. Graeme McCauley who has literally saved my life more than once.

Friend and fellow city councillor Loyal Wooldridge sent an angel: “One of my clients (Loyal is a hair dresser) Pam Watland, who works with Hands In Service, has been volunteering for over 20 years to support the most vulnerable. She even brought me snacks on a day that we (Council) made a significant and difficult decision – since she knew how much stress we were under. She quietly goes about her work.”

Speaking of hair dressers and such, without question Colleen at Kelowna Hair Design earns the nod. Nicknamed the ‘hairdresser for the not so rich but famous’ Colleen apparently broke both arms while walking her dogs in a bizarre and scary accident yet returned to work way too early, “because I had a couple of clients that needed their hair done and I could not let them down.”

Josh and Lindsay Stilborn of The Re/Covery Spa get a nomination as well. Not only have they opened a new shop and donated a number of sessions to people who were in need – they are also caring community sorts always ready to help.

Reader Mara Sprogis nominates Vaclav Tvrdik as her angel, “as many others in this complex should as well. Vaclav moved in this gated community last year and has been shovelling snow from my walkway and double driveway whenever we get snowfall as well as many other neighbours in the vicinity. He does this out of the goodness of his heart to help people and very seldom gets a thank you.

“A Merry Christmas to you Charlie and to your wife Tez. I read your column every week and look forward to reading it. And thank you for your service on our council.”

Thanks Mara. Speaking of council I point the angel wand at so many of the City of Kelowna staff as well as those working with the Journey Home program for their selfless, volunteer work and compassion dealing with our homeless issues. It is a difficult and draining scenario but especially harsh during the cold weather. Sadly many of those out there helping are doing so for free and still being abused or criticised when in fact they are saving lives and doing work above and beyond their job description. Blessings to you.

Speaking of angels working on the street or those who live on the street I want to thank social worker and street worker veteran Ben Goerner for his years and years of help and for keeping myself reminded of what really counts in life.

No angel list would be complete without a tip of the hat to Downtown Kelowna Association Executive Director Mark Burley who took on a role he had no idea would hold such challenges. His positive attitude and desire to do the right thing is humbling.

On a personal level a few angel wings to Dan and Louise McCauley who moved from Nelson to Kelowna a year or two back and made Kelowna a better place due to their passion and compassion. They owned Blaylock Mansion in Nelson when we first began a book writing project and have retired and moved here while still waiting for the completed manuscript. Dan gets wings for simply not killing me by now.

Wishing all of you the very best of the holiday season.

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Charlie Hodge is a best-selling author, writer, a current Kelowna City Councillor, and a Director on the Regional District of the Central Okanagan Board. He spent more than 25 years as a full-time newspaper journalist and has a diverse background in public relations, promotions, personal coaching, and strategic planning. A former managing editor, assistant editor, sports editor, entertainment editor, journalist, and photographer, Hodge also co-hosted a variety of radio talk shows and still writes a regular weekly newspaper column titled Hodge Podge, which he has crafted now for 41 years. His biography on Howie Meeker, titled Golly Gee It’s Me is a Canadian bestseller and his second book, Stop It There, Back It Up – 50 Years of the NHL garnered lots of attention from media and hockey fans alike. Charlie is currently working on a third hockey book, as well as a contracted historical/fiction novel. His creative promotional skills and strategic planning have been utilized for many years in the Canadian music industry, provincial, national, and international environmental fields, and municipal, provincial, and federal politics. Charlie is a skilled facilitator, a dynamic motivational speaker, and effective personal coach. His hobbies include gardening, canoeing, playing pool, and writing music. Charlie shares his Okanagan home with wife Teresa and five spoiled cats.


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