It was my first experience at Indo-style dancing. Fortunately, I had a good instructor.
Preet Dhaliwal, a nurse at Penticton Regional Hospital, was one of the organizers of a recent dinner/dance fundraiser for PRH hosted by the South Okanagan’s Indo-Canadian community.
More than 200 people turned out to the South Main Drop-In Centre in Penticton — and many flocked to the dance floor. After a moment’s hesitation, my wife and I joined them.
“Light bulbs!” Preet enthused as she raised her hands into the air. “Just give them a twist.”
Suddenly I got it. One arm goes up, an imaginary light bulb gets twisted. The other arm shoots up and another light bulb is secure – all in time with the solid beat of Indo music generating on the dance floor.
I won’t mention that I failed miserably at the “lawn mower start” and “pipe climbing” movements, but no one seemed to mind. They were much too busy having fun!
The event raised more than $13,000 – part of the Indo-Canadian community’s goal to donate $500,000 to the South Okanagan Similkameen (SOS) Medical Foundation’s $20-million campaign to provide the medical equipment in the new PRH patient care tower.
Already, more than $350,000 in donations and pledges has been raised. Organizers say they’re confident of reaching and perhaps exceeding their half-million dollar goal from hundreds of Indo-Canadian donors throughout the Valley.
Carey Bornn, executive-director for the SOS Medical Foundation expressed sincere thanks to everyone involved for their fantastic support.
“It’s incredible how the Indo-Canadian community has responded so positively to our campaign,” he said. “It speaks so well to their generosity and support for our regional hospital.”
Construction of the $312.5-million PRH expansion is now well underway. The new six-storey tower should be ready for patients by early 2019. Work will then begin on a major expansion of the Emergency Department to almost four times its current size.
John Moorhouse is the development and communications officer for the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation. For information on donating, please call 250-492-9027 or visit our website sosmedicalfoundation.com.