On Wednesday, May 29th, approximately 55 enthusiastic seniors from Orchard Gardens Seniors Community and its sister community, Charles Manor, took part in the first annual Orchard Gardens Walkerthon! It was such an exciting day, despite the weathers best efforts to keep them inside with its overcast skies and sprinkle of rain, these dedicated walkers stepped out for a worthy cause, making the event a memorable and impactful community gathering. 

The Inspiration Behind the Event

Motion is Lotion

The Walkerthon is a concept that Farid Nouisser (the sales manager at Orchard Gardens) had been eager to bring to life for several years. “We’ve always had this ‘motion is lotion’ campaign; the more they move, the better,” he said. This year, the timing and circumstances aligned perfectly to make the dream a reality. The event encouraged physical activity among the residents, promoting health and wellness in a fun and engaging way. At Orchard Gardens, there is a huge value placed on the importance of daily movement for both physical and mental health, and we are so proud of this first annual Walkerthon which helped promote physical exercise in such a fun, supportive, and communal way.

Supporting the KGH Foundation

The Walkerthon was not just about physical fitness; it was also a fundraiser for the KGH Foundation, a cause close to the hearts of many participants. “Giving back to an organization that is essential to our daily survival,” Nouisser noted. “It only makes sense.” The funds raised will support the Foundation’s Area of Greatest Need Campaign, addressing critical needs and enhancing healthcare services in the region. KGH is so appreciative of many heartwarming stories and moments of various organizations, businesses, and individuals who choose to support and donate to it in many unique and beautiful ways, such as the Walkerthon. 

The Walkerthon: A Community Effort


A Shared Journey

The inaugural Orchard Gardens Walkerthon saw 35 enthusiastic walkers from Orchard Gardens, located on Gerstmar Road, Kelowna, join forces with 20 participants from its sister community, Charles Manor, in Penticton. Family members sponsored and cheered on the walkers, adding to the festive and supportive atmosphere of the event. This show of solidarity and community spirit underscored the importance of the cause and the joy of coming together for a shared goal.

A Path for Everyone

“We have a path that goes around the community; it’s about two city blocks,” explained Nouisser. “It gives them a chance to have a robust walk without leaving the property.” This carefully planned route ensured that participants could engage in a meaningful walk, tailored to their abilities, within the safety and familiarity of their community. The number of laps varied for individuals, but everyone shared the common purpose of supporting the KGH Foundation. 

Community Impact and Appreciation

Building Bonds and Making Memories

Arden Poulin, community engagement manager at KGH Foundation, emphasized the significance of such community events. “It’s fantastic to see everyone out and walking, smiling, and families coming out as well. That’s priceless,” she said. The Walkerthon not only raised funds but also fostered a sense of camaraderie and collective purpose among participants and their families.

Gratitude and Future Opportunities

The KGH Foundation was extremely grateful for the initiative of Orchard Gardens, urging others to come forward with other unique ideas and thoughts on ways to support the KGH Foundation. The success of the Orchard Gardens Walkerthon has set a precedent for future community-led fundraising events, encouraging others to contribute their innovative ideas to support the Foundation. 

Making Headlines in the News

The local news Kelowna Capital News, even featured the Walkerthon! The Kelowna Capital News loves to feature stories such as this that really emphasize what makes the Central Okanagan so very special. 

A Step Towards a Brighter Future

Looking Ahead

The first Orchard Gardens Walkerthon was a testament to the power of community spirit and the impact of collective action. As the event concluded, participants and organizers alike reflected on the achievements and looked forward to making it an annual tradition. The Walkerthon not only promoted physical activity, but also highlighted the importance of supporting essential healthcare services through the KGH Foundation and the provided ample opportunities for social connection amongst Orchard Gardens and Charles Manor residents. 

Join the Movement

The Orchard Gardens Walkerthon is more than just an event; it’s a movement that invites everyone to participate, support, and make a difference. Whether you are a resident of Orchard Gardens, a family member, or a member of the broader Kelowna and Okanagan community, your involvement can help drive positive change. Stay tuned for next year’s Walkerthon and other community events that aim to enhance health, wellness, and support for essential services.