Michelle August and Matt August, co-founders of August Family Foundation, COHA volunteer Shirley Jensen and Michael Humer President of COHA board cut the ribbon on the association’s new August Centre Thursday. —Image: contributed

Michelle August and Matt August, co-founders of August Family Foundation, COHA volunteer Shirley Jensen and Michael Humer President of COHA board cut the ribbon on the association’s new August Centre Thursday. —Image: contributed

Kelowna family makes large donation to Central Okanagan Hospice Association

The August Family, through its family foundation, has given the hospice association $221,000

A large donation by a Kelowna family foundation is helping the Central Okanagan Hospice Association realize its dream of creating an integrated unit at the Kelowna Hospice House for its community outreach programs and administration.

And, as a result of the $221,000 gift from the August Family, the new unit will be known as the COHA August Centre.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony in connection with the naming of the centre will take place today at 3:30 p.m., with the COHA board saying the donation has helped the association create the new space that will integrate the community outreach programs and administration in a “welcoming, warm, and inviting space.”

“The board of directors is pleased to recognize the August Family for its generosity in donating $221,000 to renovate a new space for our community to receive support and resources in a welcoming, warm and comfortable environment. This is an exciting time for COHA to recognize the August Family’s contribution in a significant way” said Michael Humer, president of the COHA board.

Entrepreneurs Matt and Michelle August founded the August Family Foundation to give back to the community, which they say has given so much to their family legacy in the Central Okanagan.

“COHA was the recipient of our uncle Gary’s fundraising memorial event and the 2016 and 2017 Okanagan Dream Rally to help create a new welcoming space to support the delivery of COHA’s programs and services,” said Matt August. “Our family is honoured to have the centre named after us and is privileged to be associated with an organization that recognizes the importance of humanity.”

The August Family operates a luxury automobile retailer in Kelowna and organizes the annual Okanagan Dream Rally, which features well-known local personalities driving luxury cars from Kelonwa to Penticton and back with children battling serious illnesses as their passengers.

COHA serves the Central Okanagan from Peachland to Oyama and exists in the belief that, through skilled and appropriate support and a sensitive and caring community, persons may be free to attain the degree of preparation for death and resolution to bereavement that is satisfactory to them.

In partnership with the Central Okanagan Hospice Palliative Care Program of Interior Health, COHA says it is committed to helping people with a serious illness live to the fullest until they die, and to help their loved ones be supported in their grief.

In residential care facilities, at Kelowna General Hospital, Central Okanagan Hospice House, and in private homes, the association has more than 200 carefully screened and trained volunteers who provide practical and emotional support for individuals living with a serious illness, as well as for friends and family of those individuals.

Services provided by COHA include vigil services, bereavement group supports, professional counselling, wellness program and a comprehensive lending library.

COHA is a non-profit organization and all its programs and services are provided at no cost.

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