Hodge Podge by Charlie Hodge – Community loses a loyal, long-time friend

Larry Chalmers, article for Lucille & Mike HainesCommunity loses a loyal, long-time friendKelowna, and the province of British Columbia, lost a loyal friend and fine fellow earlier this month with the death of Larry Chalmers.Few people have given so much for their community and did so in a humble and focused manner.Long-time Kelowna residents will remember Larry as a sound family and community minded man who chased visions, listened well to others, and worked hard and passionately for causes he supported.Larry was a huge supporter of the downtown core and actively involved in various community and business events over the years.I am not sure how I missed the news that Larry Chalmers had passed away on May 2, at the age of 68. Thankfully Larry’s long time associate and buddy Vern Boehlke informed me last week of his Chalmer’s demise.To suggest Larry will be dearly missed by his family and the community of friends that surrounded him seems trivial, however it is very true. Chalmers truly was a ‘warm and generous man’ with a very quick wit and an infectious sense of humour.Larry never really stopped working to make the Okanagan a better place to live.Among his many years of community service Larry was an Okanagan MLA (named Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food), served as  President of the Okanagan Mainland Real Estate Board, President of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, and Chair of the Economic Development Commission.He was a well known and respected real estate agent for almost 50 years specializing in commercial real estate and land.However, despite his love for work and community, there was no question that his first and greatest passion was family – holding a deep love for his daughters Jennifer and Nicole whom he bragged to everyone were the most treasured part of his life.Despite his dedication to family and work, Larry was also free spirit in many ways and loved to travel the country on his motorcycles. In later years Larry practically lived on his Gold Wing, and served as Chapter Director of the Gold Wing Road Riders Association.Larry is survived by his loving daughters Jennifer (Tim) and Nicole.

A celebration of Larry’s life is set for the Laurel Packing House on Saturday, June 8 at 2pm.Friends are encouraged to send their thoughts and stories about Larry to larrychalmersmemories@gmail.com


Looking for something enjoyable to do this weekend?I highly recommend taking in the annual Angel Awards this Sunday, June 2, at the Mary Irwin Theatre at the Rotary Centre.The Angel Awards will see 10 talented solo or group entertainers compete for the top prize in the afternoon event. Proceeds from the excellent event will be donated to the Walk to Fight Arthritis particularly Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.Judges chose the top finalists in various categories from online submissions. The various talented finalists will be accompanied Sunday in their performances by a variety of local professional musicians. The eventual winner will receive the Angel Award as well as a $2,500 prize.Candidates on stage will include vocalists, pianists, tap dancers,For more information go to www.angelaward.ca


A tip of the hat to long time friend Michael Haines who has once again refused to allow his life challenges to slow him down. Mike has decided to start sharing his life story with anyone who will take the time to listen to him.Mike has lived with the not so nice challenges of Cerebral Palsy for decades now and is no stranger to most Kelowna residents.Recently, however, Mike has taken up public speaking for an income, telling his stories to groups and organizations as a lunchtime speaker or talking to business and corporations.“During our initial meeting you will be uncomfortable with my challenge. I will arrive in my electric wheelchair, and my speech is slurred. I want you to be prepared.“I will do my part in making you comfortable. Within ten minutes I will have you laughing at yourself,” Mike tells people in his recent information brochure.I recommend you call him up and see what he is willing to offer your group or company in the way of motivation and insight.You can reach mike at 250-861-5169 or by email at michaeldhaines1@michaeldhaines.com


Hockey widows can begin to count down the days to the end of the NHL playoffs as the semi-finals begin this weekend.As predicted by many the final two matchups include LA versus Chicago while Pittsburgh takes on the Boston Bruins. I am predicting a Chicago-Pittsburgh final, a prediction shared by most hockey fans.Chicago will take out LA in six games while Boston will force Pittsburgh to game seven with Sid the Kid winning in overtime.

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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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