Joan Donald and husband Jack address a group gathered in the foyer of the Red Deer College Arts Centre after donating $3 million to the college on Wednesday. The money will go towards new Donald Health and Wellness Centre in the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. (Photo by Jeff Stokoe/Advocate staff)

Joan Donald and husband Jack address a group gathered in the foyer of the Red Deer College Arts Centre after donating $3 million to the college on Wednesday. The money will go towards new Donald Health and Wellness Centre in the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. (Photo by Jeff Stokoe/Advocate staff)

Donald Health & Wellness Centre gets $3 million

Jack and Joan Donald fund wing at Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre

Health education at Red Deer College received a shot in the arm on Wednesday when philanthropists Jack and Joan Donald donated $3 million to the post-secondary institution.

The money will go towards the construction of the Donald Health & Wellness Centre, a wing in the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.

Retiree Jack Donald said supporting health and wellness appeals to them.

“In your later years, you need more health care. Health care is becoming more and more complex so people need more training to administer and provide it to look after people as they get older,” said Donald who founded and built Parkland Industries Ltd. with his wife Joan.

“Everyone in the room, if you look around us here, is getting older one year at a time,” he said after the funding announcement was made at the Arts Centre foyer at the college.

He also said it’s nice to be able to help out the community now.

“We’re trying to do things while we’re still here to enjoy seeing it happen and helping it happen, and working towards it so that it does happen,” Donald said.

RDC president Joel Ward said the Donalds are correct when they talk about preparing for an aging population by focusing on technology and health care professionals. The college is positioned to do just that.

He said Donald Health & Wellness Centre will be home to the college’s School of Health Sciences.

“There will be lots of classroom space and lab space to support our programs whether it’s nursing, practical nursing, health care aide, medical lab technician, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and new programs that we have on the books that we’ll be announcing fairly soon as well,” Ward said.

In addition to increasing programming opportunities on campus, the wellness centre will be another major step in RDC’s efforts to attain polytechnic university status, a designation that would allow the college to offer its own degrees.

The $88-million Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, funded by a combination of donations, partnerships and government funding, will welcome students in the fall of 2018 and will host five events during the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

He said RDC has raised more than half of the $30 million it will put towards the Canada Games Centre.

“We’ve got three more major announcements coming in the next 12 months. We’re very optimistic we’re going to reach our target. The facility will be open on time. It will be under budget actually a little bit, and it will be ready for the games in 2019.”

Joan Donald said the Olympic-sized ice surface and other sports amenities being built at the Canada Games Centre are very much needed.

“This is going to bring it all right here. I think it’s the most wonderful thing Red Deer has done in a long time,” she said.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

People board and leave at the Century Park light-rail transit station in Edmonton on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Racism is a real problem:’ Growing number of attacks against Black Muslim women

‘Racism is a real problem:’ Growing number of attacks against Black Muslim women

Alberta Health Services declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Revera Aspen Ridge on Feb. 1. (Photo by Advocate staff)
Two COVID deaths linked to Revera seniors residence in Red Deer

35 active COVID cases at seniors residence

Red Deer musician Lorry Boschman has written a song about love in the time of COVID-19. Proceeds from his single, Romance during a Pandemic, will be donated to the local United Way. (Contributed photo).
Local musician records a song about love in the time of COVID-19 — for charity

Lorry Boschman will donate some proceeds to the United Way

Preliminary data shows Alberta’s suicide rate declined in 2020 — but some mental health critics say it’s too early to draw any conclusions since more dire pandemic impacts are only now being felt. (metrocreative stock)
Alberta’s suicide rate seems to have declined in 2020

But some experts say it’s too early to credit the pandemic

Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre can accommodate up to 20 patients requiring a ventilator, says Alberta Health Services.  File photo by Advocate staff
Opinion: UCP government reneging on Red Deer hospital funding

Another year, another Alberta budget and another blow to central Albertans. Budget… Continue reading

Seattle Storm guards Sue Bird, right, and Jordin Canada pose for photos Wednesday, March 3, 2021, on the roof of the Space Needle in Seattle after they raised a flag with the team's new logo on it. Bird re-signed with the Storm earlier in the week. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Sue Bird staying busy with 20th Seattle season on horizon

Sue Bird staying busy with 20th Seattle season on horizon

Lille players celebrate after Jonathan David scored his side's second goal during the French League One soccer match between Lille and Marseille at the Stade Pierre Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve-d'Ascq, France, Wednesday, March 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
David scores 2 as Lille wins to stay two points clear of PSG

David scores 2 as Lille wins to stay two points clear of PSG

Canada defender Shelina Zadorsky, right, passes the ball in front of Argentina forward Sole Jaimes (9) during the second half of a SheBelieves Cup women's soccer match, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. Alphonso Davies and Shelina Zadorsky have been named Canada Soccer’s players of the month for February. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Phelan M. Ebenhack
Davies, Zadorsky named Canada Soccer’s players of the month for February

Davies, Zadorsky named Canada Soccer’s players of the month for February

Manchester United's Fred, left, and Crystal Palace's Jordan Ayew challenge for the ball during the English Premier League soccer match between Crystal Palace and Manchester United at Selhurst Park stadium in London, England, Wednesday, March 3, 2021. (Mike Hewitt/Pool via AP)
Grueling season starting to catch up with Man U, Leicester

Grueling season starting to catch up with Man U, Leicester

Gary Sanchez goes deep, Yankees hit three home runs to beat Blue Jays 4-1

Gary Sanchez goes deep, Yankees hit three home runs to beat Blue Jays 4-1

Toronto Raptors guard Norman Powell (24) dunks as Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. The undermanned Toronto Raptors, down five players and six members of their coaching staff due to health and safety protocols, are scheduled to host the Detroit Pistons in their first action since last Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Carlos Osorio
Powell, Lowry do their bit but undermanned Raptors beaten handily by the Pistons

Powell, Lowry do their bit but undermanned Raptors beaten handily by the Pistons

Canada's Ghislaine Landry, left, runs past France players during the Women's Rugby Sevens World Cup in San Francisco, Friday, July 20, 2018. The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, grounded last year by the pandemic, will return for the women in May. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jeff Chiu
World Rugby unveils condensed 2021 sevens schedule with Vancouver a question-mark

World Rugby unveils condensed 2021 sevens schedule with Vancouver a question-mark

Most Read