May 2, 2020
Last week, our friends at Okanagan College and the Okanagan College Foundation formally announced a partnership that had been the culmination of months of hard work. In the fall of 2019 we were approached by Okanagan College to help support their forthcoming, state of the art Health Sciences Centre - slated to open in 2020.
As a foundation, this was a little new to us. However, we knew we had to be involved. To that end we worked feverishly together to ensure we could help support this wonderful project and stay true to our foundations mandates, focus, and rich history that was graciously stewarded by our founders (Albert and Sandra Stober). In addition, we were steadfast on ensuring that our contribution would help not only support the development of the Health Sciences Centre but also ensure a significant amount of financial support to students in need (through scholarships, bursaries, and awards) who will ultimately populate the programs and the building.
Accordingly, we were thrilled at their formal press release that announced this contribution to our community at large. Over the next 5 year, our foundation will contribute $500,000.00 to this project. Furthermore, this will unlock an additional $250,000.00 for scholarships, bursaries, and awards that will help support countless students for years to come. As a family and a foundation, we are both thrilled and honoured to be able to step up in such a big way to help those who help our community. Please see below for the press release from last week.
One of Kelowna’s best-known families is giving back to the Okanagan in a major way.
It was announced today that the Stober family, through the Stober Foundation, is committing $500,000 over five years to help develop a state-of-the-art Health Sciences Centre at Okanagan College.
At a time where our frontline healthcare professionals are being recognized for their heroic efforts against COVID-19, this new addition to OC will help aid in that fight.
The Health Sciences Centre on the Kelowna campus will train 450 students per year over the next four decades.
It will serve as a leading-edge training hub for students who will move on to provide care in the region’s hospitals, long-term care facilities, pharmacies, rehab centres, dental clinics and mental health services.
“Now more than ever, we recognize the critical role of frontline health care professionals,” says Keith Z. Brewster, executive director of the Stober Foundation.
“COVID-19 continues to highlight the dedication and commitment of all those on the frontlines in our community, specifically health care professionals.”
Photo Credit: Contributed
Keith Z. Brewster (L) and Ken Stober
To honour the Stober family and this generous donation, the Okanagan College Foundation is establishing a $250,000 award fund.
It will provide vital financial support to 100 students, helping them achieve their education goals and progress to these vital careers in healthcare.
“Okanagan College has been educating health care professionals since the early 1960s,” said Jim Hamilton, OC president.
“Our graduates – and many of our current students – are serving on the frontlines during this public health crisis. We are exceptionally proud of all of them, and of the quality of education they received.”
The BC government contributed $15.4-million in funding towards the $18.9-million Health Sciences Centre.
It will be equipped with leading-edge technology to mimic modern healthcare workplace settings, replacing aging health labs and classrooms that were built in the 1960s.
If you’d like to learn how you can become more directly involved, please visit the YMCA Okanagan website at; https://www.okanagan.bc.ca/Campus_and_Community/Our_Campuses/centralokanagan/building_for_the_future/Health_Sciences_Centre.html