One of the biggest — and most heartening — surprises I’ve discovered in the eight months I’ve been with the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation has been the unexpected generosity of local residents.
Such was the case recently when Janet Brouwer walked into our office beside the front lobby of Penticton Regional Hospital.
Janet quietly said she’d like to make a donation and asked if it would be alright if she wrote a cheque.
When told, of course that would be fine, Janet then revealed she wanted to donate $10,000 towards our campaign to provide medical equipment for the new Patient Care Tower at the Penticton Regional Hospital. Wow! Somehow managing to recover from having our jaws drop wide open, we gratefully accepted Janet’s gift.
A retired teacher, Janet told us she taught for 35 years in Penticton at Carmi, Uplands, Nkwala and O’Connell elementary schools before ending her career a dozen years ago. I’m not sure how many of her former students still live in the Penticton area, but I bet it’s substantial.
There are family ties too. Janet’s sister, Alvina Brouwer, worked for 33 years in the hospital’s finance department. A few minutes later, Alvina walked in and also made a donation.
Just another day at the Foundation office, it seems.
Our sincerest thanks to members of the Penticton Rotary Club for their incredible donation of more than $250,000 for the PRH tower. The donation includes $100,000 from Rotarian John Pankiw who said he would match the total donations from other club members. Peter and Fran Beulah of Summerland also pledged $30,000.
I recall my very first day on the job with the Foundation back in February, when I accompanied our executive-director Janice Perrino and Lori Motluk of Interior Health who addressed a Rotary luncheon meeting about the pending hospital expansion.
A club member quietly mentioned to me afterwards that he hoped Rotary would donate $250,000. “Really?” I thought. Really.
Medical students utilizing residence
It has been almost six months since the April opening of Jobling House, the residence at Penticton Regional Hospital for visiting medical students and locum physicians.
The six-room facility located near the hospital’s psychiatric unit off Industrial Avenue, is almost always full, showing the huge need for the new premises. Our thanks again to the family of Lloyd and Lotta Jobling, who donated more than $500,000 in their estate for the residence.
Jobling House replaced the aging trailer near the PRH parking lot entrance off Government Street, which at times almost seemed to be enjoyed more by the marmots living underneath, than those visiting students who opted to stay there.
Fundraising efforts by the healthcare auxiliaries in Summerland, Penticton and Princeton have been given a big boost from WestJet.
The airline has graciously donated three pairs of tickets to anywhere WestJet flies which will be raffled off by the auxiliaries to assist their various campaigns.
Members of the Penticton Hospital Auxiliary are already selling raffle tickets for $5 each. Top prize includes two WestJet tickets plus $500 in spending money. Draw date is Dec. 21.
I’ve already bought three tickets so the prize is obviously spoken for — so sorry, but buy a ticket anyway!
John Moorhouse is the development and communications officer for the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation.