TRU Foundation breakfast raising money for scholarships, research, development

By Chad Klassen
November 2, 2017 - 10:31am Updated: November 2, 2017 - 3:42pm

KAMLOOPS — Hundreds of TRU supporters came together for a Thursday morning breakfast to mark the beginning of the TRU Foundation's annual fundraising campaign.

On day one, already hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cheques are rolling into the university. 

"Our goal is always just to do more than we did the year before," said TRU's director of advancement Karen Gamracy after last year's contributions of $4.4 million. "The Foundation, every year we build, more donors join us, and with so many great things happening at the university, the community really steps up."

While the province has committed $8 million to the new nursing building, to be completed by 2020, the university is still fundraising to pay for the $30.6 million facility. 

It's projects like this where donations matter. 

"Nursing and Population Health building is going to be amazing," noted Gamracy. "We've already go some private support for about $3 million in donations. There's some great opportunities for naming rooms and labs in there."

Thursday also marked the kickoff to the first-ever Day of Giving, a 36-hour fundraiser with a goal of collecting $36,000. 

Roland and Anne Neave donated $20,000 to give the Day of Giving a head-start. The couple have been great supporters of TRU over the years, contributing more than half a million dollars. 

"We started giving to TRU about 25 years ago with an endowment in honour of my father. That was set up in geography," said Roland Neave. "Later, my company Wells Gray Tours created an endowment for tourism students, and we've continued building on that."

Thursday was also about the students who are supported by donors. Jayme Burge is a social work student with three kids. She says she couldn't have done it without scholarships. After being out of school for 17 years, she was afraid to go back. 

"My high school experience was a little rough. I quit three times. I eventually did get my dipolma," said Burge. "But I just realized that it was an opportunity to better myself and it was very scary, and I took some time with the TRU student advisory committee to help make that decision to go into the Human Services program."

Burge is happy she did and thankful for all the support she's received. 

"Their contributions go beyond the financial because they've playing a role in people's lives that is just so incredible in allowing them to achieve their dreams."

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