College alumni challenge to support new daycare

Challenge to alumni of Okanagan College to raise funds for Penticton campus new child care centre

Allison and Quentin Markin have launched a donation-matching challenge to alumni of Okanagan College to help raise $20,000 towards the college’s new child care centre.

Both attended the college for the first year of their post-secondary education and are appealing to Okanagan College and Okanagan University College alumni to raise funds for the new child care centre, which is currently under construction at the Penticton campus.

Related: More daycare spaces in Penticton

The siblings were inspired to donate to the child care campaign in honour of the family’s long-standing ties to the college, and for their parents Allan and Evelyn, on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary.

“We wanted to recognize our parents and their connection to the college,” said Allison Markin. “Our parents gave us an appreciation for the transformative power of education and we wanted to pay it forward to the next generation of learners.”

The siblings are prepared to match donations from alumni who contribute before the centre opens this fall, up to a collective total of $10,000. The matched gifts go towards the college’s “Bright from the Start: Building for the Future” campaign goal of $700,000.

“It takes alumni to support college students and the next generation of learners,” said Allison, who also volunteers on the campaign committee. “By doubling the donations, we hope to raise $20,000 to give the child care centre a boost and our future students a bright start.”

The new child care centre will provide 64 new child care spaces for infant and toddler care, ages three to five daycare, preschool and after-school care. It will serve families in the South Okanagan, including Okanagan College students and employees and be operated through a partnership with the Penticton and District Community Resources Society.

The siblings originally moved to Penticton with parents Allan and Evelyn in 1988 when Allan took on the role of campus director for the college. Both parents are well known for championing many educational, fundraising and community-based initiatives in the Penticton area, including the Mad Hatter’s Ball, a fundraising event for the college.

Due to their parents’ involvement at the college, when it came time to consider their post-secondary options, both siblings chose to get their start at the Penticton campus, before going on to complete degrees elsewhere.

Allison is a marketing expert with her own consulting business and has previously utilized her expertise at the college as an instructor and a communications specialist. Twin brother Quentin is a highly-regarded international lawyer.

“It’s wonderful to see our alumni taking active roles to make a positive impact for our students and the broader community,” said Kara Kazimer, president of the Okanagan College Alumni Association.

“We hope Allison and Quentin’s generosity will initiate a momentum among the 3,000 alumni in the South Okanagan and they will rise to the challenge by maximizing the funds raised to benefit families in the region.”

Alumni can donate at www.okanagan.bc.ca/alumni and share their support online using the hashtag #BrightStartChallenge.

Non-alumni can make a donation or learn more about the innovative project by visiting the Okanagan College Foundation website at www.okanagancollegefoundation.ca.

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