Those involved in the local business sector have to be among some of our community’s greatest unsung heroes.
Every year, store and business owners come through time and time again when approached for raffle and draw prizes for countless charity events. On a larger scale, their generosity and community support shows up in spades.
Never has this been more true than for the South Okanagan Similkameen (SOS) Medical Foundation’s campaign to raise a whopping $20 million to provide the medical equipment for the new Patient Care Tower at Penticton Regional Hospital.
Raising such a large amount of money over five years is truly a daunting task. However, we’re amazed at how quickly the entire community has responded.
In addition to individual donors, a growing number of businesses have also stepped forward.
Cherry Lane Shopping Centre this week launched a campaign – dubbed “Stories Building Storeys” — which allows local residents to write a few words about their personal experiences at PRH. These stories, written on head-shaped cut-outs, will then be posted at key locations around Cherry Lane which will become a major community hub for the foundation’s PRH campaign.
Save-On-Foods has just announced a $40,000 pledge through their More Rewards points program. Customers are invited to donate their More Rewards points to the SOS Medical Foundation. Every 1,000 points donated will see one dollar go to the PRH tower campaign, which will then be matched by Save-On-Foods.
The Stawarz family, owners of the Tim Hortons franchises throughout the South Okanagan, has pledged at least $100,000 over five years in revenues from their annual Smile Cookie campaign which continues until Sept. 20.
CIBC has pledged $50,000 to become the first financial institution to donate.
Penticton Foundry Ltd. was one of the first companies to become involved when it pledged $50,000 in March. Foundry president Brian Bendig recently presented a second $10,000 cheque towards that commitment.
Kudos still go out to David Kampe, owner of Peters Bros. Construction, who contributed an incredible $2 million in March, on top of his earlier donation of a prime property on Industrial Avenue valued at $1.5 million.
Of course, it’s not all about the business community. Local non-profit organizations have also come through.
The Peach City Beach Cruise has donated $10,000 from its 15th annual classic car show in June.
Our thanks to the Peach City Tees Up for Cancer ladies golf tournament. The 19th annual Tees Up tourney at the Penticton Golf & Country Club in August raised $44,000 towards their $150,000 commitment.
The inaugural Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race hosted by the Summerland Yacht Club on August 22, generated $18,444 for the new hospital tower.
Hospital and health care auxiliaries in Penticton, Summerland and Oliver have also stepped forward with their own funding pledges totalling almost $1.5 million.
The $325-million PRH expansion, due to start next spring, will be the largest construction project ever undertaken in our region. The SOS Medical Foundation still has a long, long way to go in our fundraising, but we’re certain we’ll reach that $20-million goal. Stay tuned … undoubtedly there’ll be a lot more news to come.
John Moorhouse is the development and communications officer for the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation.