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

Forward Elan Bar Lev Wise of the West Kelowna Warriors (right, shown playing for the Vernon Vipers in 2019) has been suspended nine games by the B.C. Hockey League for being the instigator and aggressor in an after-the-game fight with Vernon’s Kjell Kjemhus Monday, April 12, at Kal Tire Place. Kjemhus was given a two-game suspension for his role in the fight after the game was over. (Morning Star - file photo)
West Kelowna Warriors forward handed lengthy suspension

Elan Bar Lev Wise fought Vernon Vipers forward Kjell Kjemhus after BCHL game was over Monday, April 12; Kjemhus suspended two games

Vernon residents were able to bring propane fire pits down to Polson Park, between Jan. 25 - April 5 to enjoy with their family bubble, similar to those provided for residents at Predator Ridge. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Fire pits a flop in Vernon’s Polson Park

City spends estimated $2K on temporary program, few, if any take advantage; option closed now

Sheila Derbyshire dressed up as a scary clown to surprise her daughter, Talyn, at Len Wood Middle School in Armstrong April 12, 2021, for her 13th birthday. (Sheila Derbyshire - Contributed)
Armstrong mom sends in the clowns

‘Halloween freak’ celebrates daughter’s 13th birthday in style

Taxes are going up slightly for homeowners in 2021 to give businesses a break. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Tax shifts burden from Vernon businesses to homeowners

New rate for residential 2.67 per cent or $42 for average home

City of Armstrong community services manager and chief bylaw officer Warren Smith stands with the new food waste bin and garbage cart to be delivered to eligible residents later this month. (Brooke Hovey photo)
Armstrong changes waste collection system

Residents to be given new bins as part of the new system which goes into effect May 1

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. sees 873 more COVID-19 cases Tuesday, decline continues

Hospitalizations up to 377, two more deaths for 1,515 so far

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

Conservation officers caught three men over fishing bull trout in Kinbasket Lake. (Facebook)
B.C. men fined $1.7K for overfishing near Revelstoke, Golden

The seized fish were donated to the Golden Food Bank

NorKam secondary student Karis Wilson in the outfit that got her sent home from school on Feb. 23, 2021. (Kamloops This Week photo)
Clothing that ‘detracts from learning process’ removed from SD73 student dress code

Policy change underway after student in knee-length dress, long-sleeve turtleneck sent home

A shop up on Grand Oro Road near Twin Lakes burned down on Monday. (Facebook)
Fire rips through shop in small South Okanagan town

The building was destroyed despite community efforts to fight the fire

WATCH: Conservation group releases short doc on saving South Okanagan’s ‘precious’ Sickle Point

Sickle Point, the last intact wetland near Skaha Lake, is facing the prospect of development

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Skaha Lake Middle School. (File photo)
COVID exposure at Penticton middle school

Skaha Middle School is the latest in growing lists of exposure in the Okanagan

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Most Read