The Okanagan Sikh Temple and Cultural Society gives boost to health care students

By College Relations | December 22, 2021

Sikh Temple Gift
Okanagan Sikh Temple and Cultural Society members Amarjit Singh Lalli, Sewa Bains and Andy Sandhu

A $25,000 gift from the Okanagan Sikh Temple and Cultural Society will empower health care students as they pursue their education at Okanagan College.

The Sikh Community began collecting donations from their congregation to support the College's $5-million Our Students, Your Health campaign and was able to raise the funds in six months.

Amarjit Singh Lalli, President of the Okanagan Gurduara, says their community believes in the importance of acquiring knowledge and passing it on to future generations, which made it easy to get behind the project.

“Our community felt an obligation to support a facility that will change countless peoples’ lives,” says Lalli.

“Going through this pandemic we all understand the importance of health care.”

Lalli is a former Okanagan College alumni, graduating from the business program. His son is also a recent graduate of OC's Bachelor of Business Administration program.

Gurpreet Dhatt is a member of the Okanagan Gurduara and teaches in the College’s nursing department. While Dhatt says her day job is educating new nurses, she felt compelled to get involved in fundraising for the state-of-the-art Centre.

“I felt a responsibility to get involved and give back. We received a really enthusiastic response from the community that they wanted to be part of the fundraiser too,” says Dhatt, adding the Sikh community also raised funds for the north campus of Okanagan University College when it was fundraising years ago.

“I’m very proud that our community is making a difference.”

Okanagan College Foundation Development Officer Holly Routley says the gift is heartwarming and will inspire students knowing the community is supportive of their education.

“To see the community come together and rally for the education of future health care professionals means a lot to our students,” says Routley.

Routley says the Foundation receives thank you letters from health care students, many who are working part-time jobs in the health care sector while they finish their programs.

“Students share that they feel grateful to the individuals and organizations who are helping make this state-of-the-art learning facility possible.”

Routley adds that the there is still time to give the gift of health care this holiday season.

The Okanagan College Foundation is encouraging the public to help them raise the final $750,000 needed to complete the Centre. Gifts of $1,000 or more will be featured on a donor wall located in the main entrance of the Health Sciences Centre.

To learn more or to donate visit

Tags: OC Foundation, Health Sciences Centre, Kelowna



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