Kamloops locals, James and Jessie Fedorak, are well-known in the community as educators and philanthropists, notably as long-time supporters of the Royal Inland Hospital Foundation. Their charity has been extended recently with a generous gift of $250,000 to the RIH Patient Care Tower. The funds will be used in support of a new operating room, located within the new tower, which is scheduled to open in summer of 2022.
“We were regular contributors to the Foundation, but we stepped up our contribution amount after we attended a meeting requesting funds for a 9 station microscope. We were so impressed by Dr. James demonstrating this piece of equipment, which enables earlier detection of breast cancer. It is also capable of examining data from the regional hospitals as well as RIH. To us, this emphasized how important it is to keep up with new technology. The additional funds that we decided to donate allowed us, through the Foundation, to obtain the latest and greatest equipment. The new patient care tower means that there is extra demand for new equipment. We are responding and are most pleased to do so. We encourage everyone to contribute what they can to this great endeavour,” explained James Fedorak.
The timing of the gift also coincides with a landmark for James and Jessie – on October 22, 2020, they are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. The couple met and married in 1960, and moved to Kamloops (Jessie’s hometown) from Edmonton in 1971. James served as the Dean of Continuing Education and Community Services at Cariboo College (now Thompson Rivers University) for 10 years before moving to the Ministry of Forests, where he worked for 14 years before retiring. During this time, Jessie worked as a substitute teacher. The couple has one daughter, Teressa, who also works at Thompson Rivers University as an educator.
James has served on many community and service Boards, and is currently Board Advisor to the Kamloops Society of Alcohol and Drug Services’ Phoenix Centre. In addition to community volunteer work, James and Jessie enjoy square dancing, round dancing and ballroom dancing.
James and Jessie’s donations to the Foundation over the years have resulted in total contributions of over $500,000. The Foundation is very grateful for their charitable contributions. “James and Jessie Fedorak have been friends of the Foundation since the 1980s. We cannot thank them enough for their incredible support, which has positively impacted many areas of the hospital. Their gifts have allowed for various equipment purchases, which have made treatment faster, easier, and more effective for thousands of patients over the years,” praised Heidi Coleman, RIH Foundation CEO.