Presenting a group of year-end stories for the year that was, is always a challenge as stories come and go, and in this day and age they do so in faster and faster ways.
Looking back on 2017, it really was the year of Mother Nature with floods to start the year, fires through the summer, wind storms knocking down trees, massive waves wiping out stretches of highways, dumps of snow closing down roads and an endless onslaught of events that delighted weather watchers around the region.
But if there was one thing that was noticeable above all else this year, it was the human spirit that is alive and well, not only in these parts, but across all of humanity.
At a time when the world seems more and more challenged, from weather events, to increases in crime, to wayward politicians and a news cycle that never sleeps, it was people that made a difference in our community and continued to persevere and triumph in challenging times.
We saw it time and again this year, from the community coming together to ward off floods that threatened much of Kelowna and Lake Country. If you needed sandbags filled, or help of some sort, there was always someone to answer. Whether it was your neighbour fighting off high waters or your friends giving you a place to stay, the people of this area responded with great honour and selflessness.
When summer arrived with its fire season that is going to be the new normal, the people that worked tirelessly at emergency operations made us proud each and every day.
When chaos struck, you were there to offer help. As overdoses piled up, our first-responders put their lives on the line to help people. In tragic circumstances, our police continued to work for the community.
So it is at this time of the year that we offer our heart-felt best wishes to those of you who fight every day for this community, helping out the homeless, supporting community causes, giving each other a hand up.
Keep it up everyone! There are more challenges ahead. But we know that fighting spirit is out there and ready to accept the next challenge.
All the best this holiday season. Let’s do it all over again, in 2018.