Grande Prairie Regional College is looking to the public to top up a lofty fundraising campaign. It has been working on its Vital Campaign for the past three years with a goal of raising $20 million by the year 2020.
The school is now 90 per cent of the way there, thanks to a pledge of one million dollars made by Seven Generations Energy Thursday. This year’s charity golf tournament brought in about $400,000 of that, and President and CEO Marty Proctor says he doesn’t expect the rest will take very long.
“We’ve been talking quite a bit in our company about how we can get more of our people up here in Grande Prairie, and what better way than to get them educated here and have them get to know this community and love it like we do and want to be here to fulfill their career ambitions.”
7Gen’s contribution will go to expanding health programming at the college and is the single biggest gift from a donor the school has ever received. It brings the campaign total to $18 million.
“We’re now at a point where we’re saying we’re in the final stretch of the campaign and we would like to wrap it up next year and hit that $20 million by 2020,” says GPRC President Don Gnatiuk. “We’re hoping that our citizens and staff and students and so forth will come forth and help us get this over the hurdle, and there are other people we still need to talk to.”
Gnatiuk adds that the name of the Vital campaign came from the community itself, based on responses to a survey. Cabinet Campaign Co-Chair Bridget Hennigar says it’s very appropriate.
“In this campaign, the giving is a big part of it, but also it’s the relationships we build; that’s vital.”
She argues GPRC is vital to the community, as she attended the school herself, raised a family here, and went on to hire several graduates that have become like family.
Other major commitments through the campaign so far include the RBC Centre for Student Wellbeing, TD support of Indigenous student culture, CIBC’s donation to the Accessibility Supports and Disability Services program, Motion Canada’s investment to the millright program, a tractor-trailer from FluidPRO for professional driver training, and a High Performance Training Centre.