Dr. Matthew Osepchook and Travis Nakken’s volunteer efforts were recognized by the Rotary Club of Nelson Daybreak (RCND) on Tuesday morning.
This is the first time the RCND has given a service award for community leadership and involvement with the intent to honour young adults, ages 25-40.
Osepchook has been practising dentistry for 12 years and moved to Nelson in May 2001 with his wife and two children. He and his wife have since had a third child and they are expecting their fourth this summer.
During his practice here in Nelson he has seen a huge need for helping the community, whom are unable to get regular dental care.
According to Rotary, he has helped many individuals and families with free or low cost dentistry for basic dentistry and major plans that include beautiful restorations. For three years Osepchook and his team have offered free dental exams in the Community Connect Day. All the people he screens that day are invited to have free dental work done.
An increase in dental health health generally improves a person’s overall heath.
While accepting the award, Osepchook thanked his staff for all their time and efforts and credited his motivation to serving the Lord.
“I really just want people to know the love of the Lord that he’s shown me. We fix some people’s teeth and I’m very happy about that but it’s just a shadow of the greater love that has ever been shown to me than the one who laid his life down for me so I am in continually in his service.”
Osepchook is also on the committee that has spearheaded the start on a “low income clinic” for Nelson and area and has donated his office as the location of the clinic.
Travis Nakken is the president of The Lions Club of Nelson and has been an active Lion’s member since 2009. He also is a building contractor operating Honest T Contracting in Nelson. Nakken said he grew up in a family dedicated to service but his passion for service in Nelson began when he met his wife Heather Shippit.
Nakken’s dedication to community service is evident in his participation in the Lion’s wood sales project, park maintenance, the ice skating rink, and the annual variety show. He has also coordinated the Lion’s community grants program whereby the club disperses their funds received from the Osprey foundation to applicants and has dispersed the Lions scholarship funds at LVR high school.
As a volunteer Travis has also built stage sets for several theatrical productions at Capitol Theatre and for Mt. Sentinel school where his wife is a drama teacher.
Travis was involved with the effort that created the new skate park at Art Gibbons Park. Rotary added that without the involvement of Nakken and the Lions, the skate park would not have been finished as it is today. The Lions Club took on the responsibility of issuing tax deductible receipts for the many donations received in the Square Foot Campaign as Nelson Daybreak Rotary and KLOSPS are not registered charities. The receipts were a great way to encourage donors.