Campus Life  

Season’s Eatings fundraiser surpasses fundraising goal

Laura and Mark Hetherington

An evening celebrating festive cooking virtually is resulting in a very real-world impact for Okanagan College health care students.

Season’s Eatings, a virtual cooking class and wine tasting fundraiser hosted by the Okanagan College Foundation, raised $315,000 on the evening of Dec. 3, surpassing its $250,000 goal.

The virtual cooking and wine tasting class featured Okanagan College Culinary and Pastry Arts instructors and their students who walked participants through how to cook a gourmet dinner consisting of mouth-watering stuffed turkey breast with cranberries and brie, warm brussels sprouts salad and potatoes pave. Quails’ Gate Winery Senior Sommelier Louise Dabisza guided participants on a tasting of three wines to pair with the meal.

“We’re still digesting what our community was able to accomplish,” says Helen Jackman, Okanagan College Foundation Executive Director. “We’re so grateful for our community’s generosity. Thanks to our events sponsors and our donors who sliced, diced and donated during the event, we’re now getting closer to our $5-million fundraising goal.”

Norrie Cochrane and Bob Thompson

With expected gifts, the Okanagan College Foundation has raised $3.5 million to help open the doors to a state-of-the-art Health Sciences Centre in Kelowna that will educate eight frontline health care professions.

In addition to the Chef and students, Season’s Eatings featured Toby Tannas, co-host of Beach Radio’s morning show, as the host for the evening. Throughout the cooking, Tannas would announce gifts from participants, who would often cite their own health care stories as what inspired them to give.

Season’s Eatings also featured appearances from Kelowna City Councillor Maxine DeHart, who is the Campaign Ambassador for Our Students Your Health campaign for a new Health Sciences Centre. DeHart dropped off several physically-distanced gifts to participants on their doorsteps.

“Cooking has a way of bringing people together, and Season’s Eatings did not disappoint,” says Jane Hoffman, title sponsor for the event.

“From the safety of our own kitchens, we were able to raise our spirits and funds to support our community’s health. Thank you to everyone who gave, the evening was a huge success.”

Season's Eatings Dec. 2020

Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton took part in the cooking class as an apprentice chef. He says he’s proud to raise awareness of the impact of Okanagan College graduates on our health-care system.

“I also appreciate everyone who took part in Season’s Eatings. Their generosity will help ensure that our students have the opportunity to study in a world-class Health Sciences Centre, continuing the College’s tradition of providing professionals who play an important role in the quality of life in our communities,” says Hamilton.

“We’re also proud to showcase our College’s chefs and students whose culinary skills in the kitchen helped create an enjoyable, safe and memorable evening for our guests.”

Based on the positive feedback from the event, the Okanagan College Foundation is planning its next virtual cooking class fundraiser to take place in 2021.

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