$125K gift to college

A $125,000 donation from the Kiwanis Club of Kelowna will support Okanagan College students going into work with children and youth.

The gift establishes the Kiwanis Kelowna 2018 Legacy Education Endowment, which will provide two annual $2,000 scholarships to students in the Early Childhood Education and Human Service Work programs. 

“We wanted to help ease some of the financial burden on these students so they can better focus on their studies, which ultimately benefits our community’s children and youth," said Bob Bissell, president of the Central Okanagan Kiwanis Community Service Society.

Students, college representatives and children from Little Scholars child care celebrated the announcement.

“We’re thankful to the Kiwanis Club of Kelowna, which has worked for more than 40 years to make a difference in the lives of children and seniors in our community,” said college president Jim Hamilton.

“With the establishment of this significant endowment, Kiwanis is helping students today and tomorrow. In turn, these students will enhance the quality of life for children and youth in our community for decades to come.”

Funds for the endowment came from the sale of the Kiwanis Tower, an affordable housing highrise for low-income seniors, which was managed by the Kiwanis Clubs of Kelowna for 40-plus years. It was sold in 2016.

The donation will support the College’s Caring Starts Here campaign, which aims to raise money for the $18.9-million Health Sciences Centre at the Kelowna campus, as well as scholarships and bursaries.

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