Kevin Huey (left) with partner Donald Schmidt, has made a $65,000 donation to Penticton Regional Hospital in memory of two close friends who passed away in recent years. (Submitted photo)

South Okanagan hospital reaches $20M fundraising goal

Penticton Regional Hospital reaches $20M goal with final donation from local man

Kevin Huey’s emotions quickly rise to the surface when discussing the deaths of two of his very close friends.

Ted Papenfus, who had a history of heart trouble, died suddenly in November 2015 at age 67 while he and Bob Tait were vacationing in Palm Springs.

The couple had been partners for 43 years and Papenfus’ death was especially hard on Tait who passed away in May 2018, essentially of a broken heart, according to his friends.

Tait could not imagine life without his partner.

Now, Huey has made a $65,000 donation to the South Okanagan Similkameen (SOS) Medical Foundation in his friends’ memory.

READ MORE: ‘It feels lived in on day one’: Penticton hospital’s David E. Kampe Tower opens

His recent gift marked the successful completion of the Medical Foundation’s $20-million campaign to provide medical equipment for the Penticton Regional Hospital (PRH) expansion including the David E. Kampe Tower.

His donation to PRH is meant to honour the couple who, due to Papenfus’ heart problems, had made a number of visits to the emergency department over the years.

“They always talked about how wonderful their experience at the hospital was,” Huey recalled. “It just struck me it would be very fitting to give this money to the hospital in their memory. They were such wonderful people.”

READ MORE: Going to the new Penticton hospital tower? Here are the access points

Huey was born in Princeton but moved to the Penticton area in 1990 to run the Kaleden Irrigation District and later to take over managing the Keremeos Irrigation District as well.

Huey and his partner Donald Schmidt retired at the end of 2018 and have done a fair bit of travel, which Papenfus and Tait also always loved to do.

“I’d like to thank the SOS Medical Foundation and all the staff at PRH for continually working to make this hospital a wonderful, caring place,” said Huey.

The new PRH patient care tower opened in April 2019. Construction is now underway on Phase 2, including a major upgrade to the emergency department, scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2021.


 

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Hospitals

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police make arrest in suspected arson in downtown Penticton

‘Numerous tips’ came in after RCMP released survelliance photos

RCMP investigating man reportedly hiking nude on Summerland’s Full Frontal trail

Potential charges against the man could include indecent exposure.

Morning Start: One Year on Uranus Is 84 Years on Earth

Your morning start for Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020

‘Perfect storm’ causes influx of black widows in the Okanagan

The region’s only venomous spider has come out in full force this year

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

Grand jury indicts police officer in Breonna Taylor death

Officer Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment

Grizzly bear spotted in North Okanagan

Two residents warn of sightings in the area

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Kelowna resident searching for ferret that went missing from beach

Dexter the Ferret is smaller than average and likes to chase squirrels

Refresh of Liberal government’s agenda comes amid new looming COVID-19 crisis

Lockdowns saw fed spending soar to historic levels in effort to offset pandemic’s blow to Canadians’ livelihoods

Attorney General defends Kelowna Mountie involved in rough arrest

Tyler Russell filed a lawsuit against Const. Siggy Pietrzak in June of this year

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

Most Read