Penticton News

Penticton hospital tower fundraiser closer to goal with $1 million donation

Claire and Ed Festel, pictured here during a trip to Banks Island in Canada’s far north, left a Whitehorse apartment building in their will to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation. The building was recently sold for more than $1 million to help provide medical equipment for the Penticton Regional Hospital expansion.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED

PENTICTON - An estate donation from a Penticton couple has put the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation’s hospital tower fundraising campaign to within 80 per cent of its goal.

John Moorhouse with the foundation says the $1 million donation from Ed and Claire Festel's estate has put the fund to the $16 million mark of the $20 million campaign.

The donation comes from the couple’s estate following the sale of a Whitehorse apartment building that Ed left in his will to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation, according to a media release.

Claire died in June 2014 at the age of 57 and Ed died in August 2016. He was 65.

Ed was from in Switzerland and was an experienced pilot who moved to Canada in 1984 to build the Frances Lake Wilderness Lodge on Frances Lake in the eastern portion of the Yukon Territory. Quebec-born Claire was involved in the Yukon mining industry when she and Ed met in Whitehorse in 1994.

The couple shared a passion for life in the north.

The two made many trips to remote parts of the north over the years, but when Claire’s health began to fail, the two moved to Penticton in 2009, where Ed became an active member of the Penticton Flying Club, Moorehouse says.

He also helped resurrect the local branch of the Civil Air Search & Rescue Association.

Moorhouse says the money from Festel’s donation has provided a big boost to the medical foundation’s $20 million campaign to provide medical equipment for the Penticton Regional Hospital expansion, due to open in April, 2019.

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