The Friesen family has donated $150,000 to Okanagan College in Kelowna. (Submitted)

The Friesen family has donated $150,000 to Okanagan College in Kelowna. (Submitted)

Okanagan family donates $150k to support local college students

“It’s a privilege to give back to the community that’s given so much to us,” said Dianne Friesen.

A long-time Kelowna family has made a major donation to Okanagan College in support of future students and the health sciences sector.

The Okanagan College Foundation announced Friday they received $150,000 from the Friesen family, which will help equip the college with a new health sciences centre on the Kelowna campus.

The Friesen family has a long history with the college. Dianne Friesen worked at Okanagan College in the mid-1970s, and in 1984, her husband Rod launched Voyager RV. Now their son Jason, who runs the company and hires graduates from the college’s RV technician program, also donated $30,000 towards a new trades training complex.

This will support the therapist assistant lab, which educates students how to work as assistants to occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and more.

“As you get older you start thinking more about health care, and having it available in your city. We’ve been fortunate to experience excellent care throughout our 47 years living here with our two sons, and most of our grandchildren being born at Kelowna General Hospital,” said Rod.

Dianne echoed the words of her husband.

“We realize just how important our health care workers are. It’s a privilege to give back to the community that’s given so much to us,” she said.

READ MORE: ‘The best small city in North America’; Mission Group speaks to Kelowna’s potential

Both gifts from the family support the Our Students, Your Health campaign, as well as the Bold Horizons campaign.

Vanessa Marshall, a second-year therapist assistant student, expressed her gratitude at the gift.

“It’s clear to me that without support from individuals and families in the community, like the Friesens, the therapist assistant lab would not be up to par to the extent that it is in the new centre, especially with the new equipment that we’ve been graciously provided with this year,” she said.

The college also announced it would be launching a $30,000 award fund to support students in the therapist assistant program. Three awards will be given annually, over the next five years.

The Okanagan College Foundation is now $1.5 million away from meeting its fundraising goal for the health sciences centre. To learn more or to donate, visit OurStudentsYourHealth.ca.

READ MORE: Snow storm warning issued for three B.C. highways

READ MORE: $15K in designer sunglasses stolen from Okanagan business

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: phil.mclachlan@kelownacapnews.com


 

@newspaperphil
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Charity and Donations

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

Just Posted

A group of youth in Kelowna's Knox Mountain Park are suspected as having violated the B.C. Wildlife Act by harassing a pair of nesting bald eagles with a drone Friday, April 16, 2021. (Conservation Officer Service photo)
Nesting bald eagles harassed by youth-piloted drone in Kelowna

Conservation Officers are hoping to hear from anyone who witnessed the Knox Mountain incident

Nick Clements captured a photo of the Northern Lights over Oyama Friday night, April 16, 2021. (Nick Clements photo)
PHOTOS: Northern Lights colour Okanagan night

Residents saw the dazzling green aurora borealis throughout the valley Friday night

Vernon's spring leaf pickup program is underway. (File photo)
Vernon rakes up residents’ bagged leaves

Pickup this week, must be in clear plastic bags

Coldstream students took over the Your Letters page in the April 9, 2021, edition of the Vernon Morning Star to offer advice to adults about COVID-19. Interior Health took notice and offered their praise. (Vernon Morning Star)
Coldstream students’ COVID advice praised by Interior Health

Grade 2 and 3 classes from Coldstream Elementary took over the Morning Star’s Letters page April 9

Vernon Girl Guide Mabel Smith sells cookies to staff at Watkin Motors Ford prior to the suspension of sales. (Facebook Photo)
Vernon Ford dealership shines with diamond award, again

Watkin Motors earns Ford of Canada president’s award for superior customer service

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a quick roundup of the stories that made headlines across the Okanagan, from April 11 to 16

Vernon Jubilee Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared over in surgical unit of Vernon hospital

The outbreak affected four staff, 10 patients and led to three deaths in just over two weeks

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Most Read