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Summerland couple provides generous donation to hospital fund

Neal and Louisa Carter of Summerland, former owners of Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc., have donated $250,000 to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation’s $20-million campaign to provide all the medical equipment for the upcoming expansion of Penticton Regional Hospital.
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December 22, 2015 - 1:00 PM

PENTICTON - A Summerland couple are the latest South Okanagan residents make a generous donation to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation.

Neal and Louisa Carter, who farm more than 60 acres near Summerland, stepped forward this week with a $250,000 donation to the patient care tower at Penticton Regional Hospital.

The Carters recently sold Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc., the company they used to successfully develop the non-browning, genetically modified Arctic apple.

The couple remains enthusiastic fruit growers even after the sale of their company, where they will continue on as members of the board. They have resided in Summerland since 1992 when they first purchased one acre on Tada Avenue. Three years later they purchased the 21-acre plot upon which they currently grow apples and reside. They also grow cherries on 40 acres of leased land.

The couple got their start in the area in the early 1980s, moving to the Similkameen from Vancouver to live in a small cabin on a relative’s property while they picked fruit. They quickly adapted to a rural lifestyle and eventually purchased their own orchard.

Today the farm remains a family affair, with son Joel and nephew Neal Vander Helm both assisting.

“If there was a place to put a donation, it’s certainly a good recipient because it benefits an awful lot of people. It was a pretty simple decision on our part. We really wanted to be a part of this,” says Neal.

The couple have no plans to leave Summerland and will continue to farm, with an eye to leaving the main farm operation to their son and nephew in the future.

Construction on the patient care tower at Penticton Regional Hospital is expected to get underway this spring.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2015

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