Osoyoos family makes major gift to SOGH

Pat and Herb Wycherley of Osoyoos and their family are donating $100,000 in support of South Okanagan General Hospital in Oliver. SOGH is currently undergoing a $1.25-million upgrade to its Emergency Department.

Herb and Pat Wycherley’s support for South Okanagan General Hospital is very much a family affair.

The Wycherleys, who both grew up on the Lower Mainland, moved to the South Okanagan from Coquitlam in 2007 after Herb had sold his contracting business.  Pat’s parents, Jack and Bea Becker, had previously moved to Osoyoos in the 1980s.

Bea Becker was well known in the South Okanagan.  She served for 10 years on the former SOGH hospital board, including seven years as its chair, prior to Interior Health taking over administration of hospitals across the Southern Interior in the 1990s.

Bea passed away on December 16th.  The Wycherleys and their two children have pledged to donate $100,000 in her memory to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation to help provide medical equipment for SOGH.

Herb and Pat quickly settled into the community and became actively involved.  Herb helped develop the Watermark Beach Resort and sat on the town’s design review board.  Pat served on the board for the Desert Valley Hospice Society and is a current director with the Osoyoos Credit Union. They are both active curlers and golfers.  “Being involved in so many things, we’ve met so many people by doing that,” she said.

Pat noted their donation to South Okanagan General Hospital recognizes the amount of time her parents worked and volunteered in healthcare.  In addition to Bea’s years on the SOGH board, she was an active volunteer with the Canadian Cancer Society.  Jack, a former RCMP officer, served for a number of years as the area coroner.

“The need for the South Okanagan hospital is going to mean more and more to us – and our family and friends,” Pat said.  “We’re lucky to have this opportunity to support keeping the hospital viable.”

Herb noted South Okanagan residents realize the value of SOGH and fully support its continued operation. The hospital is currently undergoing a $1.25-million upgrade to its Emergency Department and other areas.

“Because my mother-in-law put so much time and effort into the hospital, it feels good to follow that up with this donation,” Herb said.  “It’s been downsized over the years, but the fact that they still have the Emergency, X-ray and Acute Care means a lot. The services are still very good here.”