FOUNDATION NEWS: Significant events for medical foundation

Number of fundraising events happening in the South Okanagan-SImilkameen over the summer to assist the Patient Care Tower campaign.

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

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

Summertime and the living is oh-so-easy in the South Okanagan-Similkameen.

Amid the beach, the barbecue and the best vacation ever, there are a couple of pretty significant fundraising events this summer that directly benefit the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation’s $20-million campaign to provide the medical equipment for the new Patient Care Tower at Penticton Regional Hospital.

First up is the 19th annual Peach City Tees Up for Cancer ladies golf tournament Aug. 14-15 at the Penticton Golf and Country Club. The Tees Up group has pledged to donate $150,000 over five years to the PRH tower campaign.

Event coordinator Peggy Guest says there is still room for more golfers in this fun tourney. Contact the golf club office at 250-492-5626 or email for more information.

The following Saturday, on Aug. 22, bathtubbers take over the spotlight. The Summerland Yacht Club hosts the inaugural Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race.  It’s not too late to enter, but even if you’re not one of the nearly 20 bathtubbers who will race down Okanagan Lake from Peach Orchard Park in Summerland to Okanagan Lake Park in Penticton and return, it will be a truly fun family event with lots of other activities as well. To register or for more information, call 250-494-8312 or visit

Meanwhile, The Care Closet thrift store at 574 Main St. Penticton, celebrates its 25th anniversary on Thursday, July 23. Stop by for free cake and refreshments, and plenty of in-store specials from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The Care Closet is jointly operated by the Penticton Hospital Auxiliary, Penticton & District Hospice Society and the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation.

We continue to be blown away by the generosity of our donors. The South Okanagan Health Care Auxiliary has donated $50,000 from its Thrift Store in Oliver to the Patient Care Tower campaign. Our thanks to president Carol Howes and all the auxiliary members for their great support.

Just as incredible is the support of individual donors. We appreciate donations of any size, including a very generous donation from Lorna and Earl Hyde of Penticton. Although they have quietly requested we not reveal the amount of their donation, we can’t help but praise the Hydes for their generosity.

Even members of our Foundation board have stepped forward. Board chair Walter Despot and wife Barbara of Keremeos are donating $30,000. Walter, the former mayor of Keremeos, was also instrumental in the campaign to establish the Keremeos Diagnostic and Treatment Centre in the late 1990s.

Meanwhile, vice chair Ken Jaggard has donated $30,000 to honour his late wife, Alice and their family. Ken has been a vital member of the Foundation’s board for years – and before that the Penticton Hospital Board. It’s hard to find enough words to say “Thanks!”

These donations are equal to the amount needed to name one of the 84 single patient rooms to be included in the new PRH tower. A naming opportunity application process is in place for those who donate at least $30,000 to the campaign.

More news about the hospital expansion will be forthcoming in the coming months. The provincial government expects to name its private sector partner for the PRH project in early 2016 with construction to start next spring. For more information contact the foundation office at 250-492-9027 or visit our website

In the meantime, have a great summer!

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