The Royal Bank opened its first branch in Penticton in the early 1920s and shortly afterwards moved to its current downtown location at Main Street and Nanaimo Avenue (shown in photo). The RBC Foundation has donated $70,000 to help provide medical equipment for the Penticton Regional Hospital expansion. Photo courtesy of Penticton Museum & Archives

$70,000 donation to Penticton hospital campaign

The RBC Foundation has donated $70,000 to the Penticton Regional Hospital expansion

With its Penticton ties dating back almost a century, RBC couldn’t pass up an opportunity to support Penticton Regional Hospital.

The RBC Foundation said it is proud to announce a $70,000 donation to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation’s drive to provide the medical equipment for the PRH expansion. The Royal Bank of Canada has a history in the community, opening its first Penticton branch in the early 1920s.

Related: Hospital on time, on budget

Amy Bergen, manager of RBC’s Apple Plaza branch, said each of the two current branches in the city has about nine employees, plus a number of investment and mortgage specialists and other partners.

Bergen grew up in Abbotsford but has long had close ties to Penticton.

“We came here almost every single year on vacation, so that made the move easy,” she said.

Bergen, her husband and their two teenaged children have lived in Penticton for 13 years. She has been with RBC for the past three years, including the past year as manager at the Apple Plaza branch.

For RBC to support the hospital campaign was not a difficult decision, she said.

“RBC has always looked for ways to support community initiatives, and it’s not just RBC. It’s our employees who have a personal wish to do this. It goes hand in hand,” said Bergen. “One of my banking advisors plans a different community event every month that we support or go volunteer our time.”

Related: Summerland auxiliary donates to Penticton hospital

RBC said part of its corporate philosophy is an understanding that wealth refers to more than just one’s finances. It also includes a sense of prosperity and well-being in the communities in which we live and work.

“Being in community, we have clients who use the hospital as well,” Bergen said. “It just makes everyone grow together and everyone prosper.”

Carey Bornn, executive director of the SOS Medical Foundation, said RBC’s gift provides a real boost to the $20-million PRH equipment campaign.

“This donation from RBC reflects what tremendous support this project has received from all sectors of our community. Simply outstanding,” he said.

The new six-storey PRH tower is expected to be ready for patients in April 2019, after which construction will begin on phase two of the hospital expansion, including a major upgrade to the emergency department.

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