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History-making $4M donation to South Okanagan Community Foundation

‘Words can’t capture the magnitude of Mr. Pankiw’s gift to the community’: Foundation
The Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen has received its biggest donation in history of $4 million from its founding donor, Mr. John Pankiw. (Submitted)

The Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen has received a historic $4 million donation from its founding donor, John Pankiw.

This donation stands as the largest contribution ever received by the Foundation from an individual, family, or business.

The gift will be used to create an Endowment Fund in which the donation is invested and portions of the earnings are given as annual grants to support local charitable programs. The original donated amount remains untouched and invested, creating an enduring resource for the community.

“I consider it a privilege to be able to create a family legacy that will benefit our community in perpetuity,” said Pankiw.

Pankiw is a longstanding philanthropist in the community, having made generous contributions to many organizations such as the SOS Medical Foundation and Okanagan College.

“Words truly can’t capture the magnitude of Mr. Pankiw’s gift to our community,” said Robin Robertson, board chair of the Community Foundation. “Mr. Pankiw was integral to the creation of the Foundation over 30 years ago, and today, he continues to make a profound impact on both the Foundation and our community.”

Pankiw was one of the founding donors of the Community Foundation when it was established as the Penticton and District Foundation in the early 1990s. The first grants from the Community Foundation went out to six local charities for a total of approximately $2,000.

Today, with the inclusion of Pankiw’s gift, the Foundation manages assets totalling $20 million and has distributed over $9 million in grants throughout its history.

“Mr. Pankiw’s gift will have a positive impact for generations to come. We are truly honoured and humbled by his longstanding support, the trust he has placed in our Foundation, and for the deep care he has for our community,” said Robertson.

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Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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