There are few people in Penticton or the South Okanagan that haven’t been affected by David Kampe’s generosity in some way.
A move to recognize Kampe’s philanthropy by naming the new Patient Care Tower at Penticton Regional Hospital for him is gathering momentum and was discussed at the Regional District Okanagan Similkameen board meeting last week.
Chair Michael Brydon said the RDOS board doesn’t want to step on anyone’s toes, but the unofficial consensus is that they would like to see the hospital expansion named in honour of David Kampe.
Kampe, owner of Peter’s Bros. Construction, has already donated over $6.5 million to the medical foundation, along with numerous other good works: Peters’ Bros. is a major sponsor of the annual Peach Festival along with covering the cost of tickets to Vees games for youth, to name a couple.
MLA Dan Ashton said it would be a very honourable move to name the new tower for Kampe.
“I can’t think of a more deserving individual whose contribution has been immense, not only the public ones toward the hospital but what this gentleman and his company have done for many individuals in the South Okanagan,” said Ashton.
The stumbling block is that naming rights to the tower has been set at $10 million.
“The regional district and the hospital district don’t really have a lot of say in this, because the naming rights and the dollar amounts are specified by a policy,” said Brydon. “We are trying to be pretty careful not to step on anyone’s toes, simply because that’s part of their fundraising strategy.
“The Medical Foundation has gone out and said we’re going to raise $20 million bucks, which is an astonishing amount of money. And they need all the tools, all the arrows in their quiver, including naming rights.”
Related: Property donated by Kampe
Brydon said that while Kampe’s donations may not meet the required mark, he has given a lot by any standards. A senior citizen, Kampe has suffered some recent health setbacks, and Brydon said the view was expressed that the policy shouldn’t be the issue, that it was time to recognize Kampe for his generosity.
“I think his net total so far is about $6.5 million, which in this province buys you a hospital,” said Brydon. “That’s my personal view, it has nothing do with the hospital board.”
“For his contributions in the past, his contributions presently and the contributions that he and his company will probably be making in the future, I think that he is a logical choice for a name right on that hospital,” said Ashton, who pointed out that the Centre of Excellence at Okanagan College’s Penticton campus is named for Jimmy Pattison, after a $3-million contribution plus a challenge to match that. Pattison’s name is also on the Surrey emergency centre after a $5-million contribution and a $5-million challenge for others to come forward.
Kampe does his good works quietly, and it would be hard to say how far they extend. Brydon points out that Kampe was responsible for creating a skating rink in a West Bench subdivision.
“It was typical Dave Kampe. He says well, the kids need somewhere to skate. So he gets guys to pave it,” said Brydon, adding that in following years, boards, benches and lights were added, thanks to Kampe and his family.
“He’s got a record, a longstanding record of digging into his pockets for the city,” said Brydon.