John Moorhouse is the development and communications officer for the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation.

Community support keeps pouring in for Penticton hospital

$16-million mark topped for South Okanagan-Similksmeen Medical Foundation campaign

It’s so gratifying to see such a positive reaction from the community over news of the $1-million gift for Penticton Regional Hospital from the estate of Ed and Claire Festel.

It was announced the couple had left a Whitehorse apartment building in their will to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation. The property was recently sold for more than $1 million which gives a huge boost to our $20-million campaign to provide the medical equipment for the PRH expansion.

Related: Festel estate gives $1 million to Penticton hospital

We’ve now topped the $16-million mark. Incredible, but that still leaves some $4 million to go. Construction of the new David E. Kampe Tower remains on schedule for an April 2019 opening.

Curling gift for the hospital

As excitement over Penticton hosting the Scotties national women’s curling championship continues to grow, staff in the obstetrics department at Penticton Regional Hospital are equally excited about a pending $35,000 gift from the Sandra Schmirler Foundation.

At the same time as the Scotties Tournament of Hearts is being held at the South Okanagan Events Centre from Jan. 27 to Feb. 4, the Schmirler Foundation is donating $35,000 for a neonatal infant resuscitation warmer at PRH. The funding stems from their annual nation-wide telethon on TSN, this year being broadcast live from Penticton on Sunday, Jan. 28. Members of the Ottawa-based Schmirler Foundation board will be coming to Penticton for the telethon and touring our hospital prior to the cheque presentation.

Sandra Schmirler, of course, was a former world and Olympic champion curler who died of cancer at age 36 on March 2, 2000. The Schmirler Foundation was formed in 2001 and donates to newborn intensive care units at hospitals across Canada.

Teeing up for charity

Admittedly it seems strange talking golf in January, but when a charity golf tournament raises $67,000 it’s definitely something worth shouting about.

The inaugural EllisDon golf tourney was held last August at the Penticton Golf and Country Club with a full complement of participants helping raise funds for the PRH tower campaign.

EllisDon Infrastructure, the province’s private sector “P3” partner in the PRH expansion project, plans to hold the tourney again this year. There’s also the annual Peach City Tees Up for Cancer ladies golf tournament entering its 22nd year in 2018. Both are tremendous, fun events.

Quiet success stories

One of Penticton’s quiet success stories is The Care Closet thrift store at 574 Main St.

The shop is co-owned by three local charity organizations — the SOS Medical Foundation, the Penticton Hospital Auxiliary and the Penticton and District Hospice Society. They recently shared $36,900 in net profits from the last three months. A big thank you to the management and volunteers at The Care Closet — and to all their customers who support it.

The Hospital Auxiliary’s Meals on Wheels program also operates the Breakfast Learning Club which prepares free breakfasts for about 115 students a day at West Bench, Columbia and Queen’s Park elementary schools.

Thank you to three Penticton physicians — Dr. Susie Tebbutt, Dr. Majid Zolein and Dr. Ehsan Davani who recently donated $600 to help the Breakfast Learning Club give students a nutritious start to the school day. It’s amazing how many youngsters quietly admit they don’t get breakfast at home.

Snuggle buddies for the kids

Kudos as well to the folks at the Signature B.C. Liquor Store who have again donated two dozen teddy bears to be given to children following surgery at Penticton Regional Hospital.

The snuggly toys were delivered to the PRH pediatric department by members of the Penticton Shrine Club. Our thanks to everyone involved — the youngsters will love them.

John Moorhouse is the development and communications officer for the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation. For information on donating, please call 250-492-9027 or visit our website

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