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Local couple helps create $50k bursary fund for Penticton healthcare students

The fund will provide up to $1,750 in awards for eligible students at Okanagan College in Penticton
Yasmin and Rick Thorpe, as well as the Penny Lane Legacy Fund presenting a $50,000 cheque to Okanagan College. From left to right: Bruce Hallquist, board member, Penny Lane Legacy Fund; Orv Robson, chairman, Penny Lane Legacy Fund; Alison Gibson, regional dean, Okanagan College; Helen Jackman, executive director, Okanagan College Foundation; Yasmin John Thorpe; Rick Thorpe. (Contributed)

The future for healthcare students across the South Okanagan and Similkameen is looking brighter, thanks to the contributions from a pair of Penticton philanthropists.

In partnership with Summerland’s Penny Lane Legacy Fund, Yasmin and Rick Thorpe have created a $50,000 bursary fund for healthcare students who reside across the region.

The Caring for Health Care Students Fund will provide $750 to $1,750 in awards for eligible students studying for a practical nursing diploma and health care assistant diploma programs at Okanagan College’s Penticton Campus.

“We know if we educate healthcare professionals in Penticton, there’s a good chance they’ll stay and work in the region,” said Yasmin. “We want to help increase the number of health care staff throughout the South Okanagan Similkameen to help ease current pressures in the system.”

The fund, made possible through a contribution from the Thorpes and investment from the Penny Lane Legacy Fund, will offer six bursaries annually.

“Health care is a personal issue for everyone,” said Orv Robson, chairman of the Penny Lane Legacy Fund. “My wife needs medical support on a regular basis, and though we’ve received great care, we also see the strain the system is under.

“It’s important for my family and society as a whole to have a functioning health care system to care for our community’s most vulnerable.”

For more than six bursaries to be awarded annually, the Okanagan College Foundation is asking for community support to help build the fund.

People can contribute here.

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