Valley First

“Experience of a lifetime” provides support locally and abroad

"Experience of a lifetime" provides support locally and abroad

January 5, 2018

Penticton, B.C. - Climbing to the top of one of the tallest free standing mountains in the world was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences that Jim Lamond and Kevin Tom have ever had. However, it was the financial aid that they were able to provide locally in Penticton and abroad, as a result of the trek, that gave them the greatest reward. In August 2017, Jim and Kevin began their journey to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and collected pledges from family, friends and colleagues.

Kilimanjaro Summit

Lamond shares, “Knowing that we had such a strong community of people rooting for us every step of the way was extremely motivating and we are very appreciative of everyone who provided support.”

By the time they successfully reached the summit, the pair had collected over $3,000 in donations to be split between Penticton Search & Rescue and Fields of Life; an organization that builds schools within impoverished countries in Africa.

Tom says, “When it came to local support, the choice was obvious with Penticton Search and Rescue. What they do for our communities is invaluable, and they are all volunteers who risk their lives for others. They are a prime example of the selflessness and kindness within our community.”

Both Tom and Lamond work in leadership roles within the credit department at First West Credit Union and they were quick to point out some of the transferable lessons learned through the Kilimanjaro trek.

Lamond explains, “Having a goal is critical in many aspects of life whether it’s a personal goal similar to our Kilimanjaro climb, or relating to our professional lives. Goals can create that extra push that we all need sometimes.”

Tom adds, “I was reminded about the importance of being able to encourage others to keep moving towards a goal, despite the challenges. We were at 19,000 feet, lacking oxygen, but we knew that we needed to finish the task at hand. We all need a little encouragement, and leaders must lead.”

About Valley First

Valley First is a premier provider of banking, investment and insurance services for residents and businesses in the Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson valleys. As a division of First West Credit Union, B.C.'s third-largest credit union with 51 branches and 37 insurance offices throughout the province, Valley First brings innovative products, an extensive branch network and local decision making to the banking experience. For more information on Valley First, visit

Follow us
Twitter: @valley_first

Have a question? We can provide you with the information you're looking for.


Use our contact form to send us a message—we'll be sure to reply to you with the details you're looking for shortly.

In Person

If you're more comfortable coming in to see us, we'd be happy to chat with you about the questions you have.

By Phone

If you'd like to call us, here is a complete list of our branch and insurance office numbers.


Social Feed

Visit us on Facebook or Twitter

Sign up for our e-Newsletter