The Serwa family has committed up to $1 million towards the construction of a new $14 million fitness and wellness centre at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus.
Cliff and Lois Serwa, honorary chairs of the college’s Thrive Here campaign, will match every dollar donated by the public up to $500,000. This is on top of a previously donated $500,000.
“We’re really hoping that it's going to inspire people in the community to join us and make that happen," said Okanagan College Foundation executive director Helen Jackman.
If the college is able to raise that additional $1 million with the help of the Serwas' matching donations, Jackman says that will put fundraising for the project over the $10 million mark, giving them enough confidence to break ground in the summer of 2024.
“Both physical fitness and mental fitness go hand-in-hand,” said Cliff Serwa, a former Kelowna MLA.
“It’s a tremendous stress reliever and the educational process is very, very draining mentally and all sorts of tensions tend to build up, so physical activity helps that and it also makes you a more receptive student and a better product at the end of your tenure here at Okanagan College.”
Serwa said the fitness centre will provide a home for the college’s rep teams like basketball and volleyball.
“The other interesting thing is it will provide a home for intramural sports, which will utilize more of the students of Okanagan College,” he said.
“And the final thing is it will give the opportunity for all the students of Okanagan College to remain physically active with a running track and an exercise room, and because of that, we’re really supported and deeply committed to the project.”
Serwa said this project must move forward for the betterment of the community, the college, its students and for the future of the city.
"It’s one of those rare win-win-win situations that we are all partners in the process and we are all winners as it will produce positive results year after year after year.”
If you’d like to help in the building of the fitness and wellness centre at Okanagan College you can go to the Okanagan College Foundation website to make a donation.