Kelowna couple speaks about million dollar donation to students

Mystery donors identified

The mystery has now been solved.

Lance and Tammy Torgerson are behind the $1 million donation that will see every grade 12 student in School District 23 receive $500, no strings attached.

"Well it didn't stay quiet for long, the kids are so excited."

Tammy Torgerson tells Castanet, "it was never about us — our oldest is (graduating) from grade 12 and they are never getting back the year they lost."

The generous donation caused a stir in Kelowna, to say the least.

Torgerson says she and her husband Lance have been looking for the right way to give back to the community and they decided after watching firsthand the impact COVID-19 and the resulting restrictions had on their son and his peers, this was the right move at the right time.

"When you're from a small city you have friends all over the city, the kids are all connected through the high schools, just to lose those opportunities on sports teams and the parties and everything that goes along with it. It was a tough year for them."

Torgerson says they chose the public school system because both of their children went through public schools and they felt that those were the children who need it the most.

"We earmarked that $1 million mark and it really coincided with the size of the public school (system)."

Letters have been sent home to parents in order to collect the necessary banking information for the students. Eligible students have until June 23 to register and it may take several more weeks before the money is distributed.

"I remember being 18 and if somebody gave me $500 that was like, 'oh my gosh it's incredible.' I know they're going to appreciate it and put it to good use."

Lance Torgerson is a prominent local businessman whose latest venture includes owner of Vantage Hemp Co. and CEO of Vantage Living Inc.

More Kelowna News