Oak Bay charities win after councillor scores $1,500 at AVICC

Coun. Eric Zhelka supports deer plan organization, environmental committee

Debbie Warren, Senior Engineering Project Manager (and resident of Oak Bay) presents $750 each to the Oak Bay Green Committee’s Felicity Bradley and Pamela Mountjoy of the Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society on behalf of Coun. Eric Zhelka who won the donation at the AVICC, alongside Mayor Kevin Murdoch. (Courtesy Eric Zhelka)

A pair of Oak Bay volunteer organizations are $750 richer after Coun. Eric Zhelka won $1,500 for the charity of his choice during the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities.

Fortis BC afforded the contest to all mayors and councillors during the convention in April and Zhelka’s name was drawn.

“It gives me a chance as a councillor to show appreciation for all the incredible good works that sometimes go unsung by the volunteers of Oak Bay,” he said. The cheque was presented during Monday night’s council meeting.

Zhelka chose the Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society (UWSS) and the Oak Bay Green Committee to receive half each.

Oak Bay, UWSS and the province are partners in Deer Plan Oak Bay, to study deer population with a goal to control it with immunocontraceptives.

“The entire province is paying attention to the work they’re doing here,” Zhelka said.

The longstanding Oak Bay Green Committee is a small group that helps organize the monthly plastics recycling at Carnarvon Park, among other projects over the years.

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“They’ve been just there, slightly ahead of the curve ensuring we are definitely taking care of and having a focus on the environment,” Zhelka said. “They’re small and they know where to poke at just the right time, and right now … we need a little more encouragement in that area so I want to encourage them to encourage us to do a little bit more in the area of climate change.”

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