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

Just Posted

The City of Red Deer sits at 249 active cases of the virus, after hitting a peak of 565 active cases on Feb. 22. (Black Press file image)
Red Deer down to 119 active COVID-19 cases

Province identifies 179 new cases Saturday

Red Deer Emergency Services responded to an explosion at a duplex on Rupert Crescent Saturday morning. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Firefighters respond to explosion in Red Deer early Saturday morning

There was an explosion at a Red Deer duplex early Saturday morning.… Continue reading

Terry Betts, of Kananaskis, looks at the vehicle he was hoping to sell during the Quick Times Red Deer Swap Meet in the Westerner Park parking lot Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Quick Times Red Deer Swap Meet held outdoors

A big automotive swap meet was held outdoors this year in Red… Continue reading

The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is set to re-open on July 2. (File Photo)
Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum to reopen Monday

The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum will reopen for visitors… Continue reading

Huzaifa (left), Saif (middle) and Zoya (right) were among the 60 or so Red Deerians who participated in a vigil for the victims of a recent terrorist attack that killed four people in London Ont. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Red Deer vigil honours victims of London, Ont. terrorist attack

About 60 people gathered at the corner of 49 Ave. and 50… Continue reading

A man wears a face mask as he walks by a sign for a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, May 16, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Canada paid a premium to get doses from Pfizer earlier than planned

OTTAWA — Canada paid a premium to get more than 250,000 doses… Continue reading

The Kamloops Indian Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., is shown in this 1930 handout photo. HO — Deschatelets-NDC Archives
Calls grow for Ottawa to review settlement decisions for residential school survivors

Lawyer Teri Lynn Bougie still cries when she talks about the final… Continue reading

Syringes are readied at a COVID-19 mobile vaccination clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, Friday, April 30, 2021 in Montreal. Most of the federal contracts for COVID-19 vaccines allow for Canada to donate some of its doses to other countries or international aid organizations and in at least three cases, for the doses to be resold.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada’s vaccine contracts allow for doses to be donated, in some cases resold

OTTAWA — Most of the federal contracts for COVID-19 vaccines allow for… Continue reading

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, responds to the report on the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, in Vancouver, on Monday June 3, 2019. As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk'emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Two sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

VANCOUVER — As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after… Continue reading

A woman sits and weeps at the scene of Sunday's hate-motivated vehicle attack in London, Ont. on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. Four members of a family in London, Ont., are set to be buried today. The public has been invited to help celebrate the lives of Talat Afzaal, 74, her son Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife Madiha Salman, 44, and their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Salman.THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Geoff Robins
Funeral to be held today for London family killed in attack

LONDON, Ont. — Four members of a Muslim family killed in what… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden listen to United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson deliver opening remarks at a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, United Kingdom Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau to discuss foreign policy with G7 leaders at second day of summit meeting

CARBIS BAY, CORNWALL, ENGLAND — Foreign policy is on the agenda for… Continue reading

Multivitamins are shown on the packaging line at the Pfizer plant in Montreal, Thursday, July 12, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Canadian drug companies want new pricing regs delayed again until after pandemic

OTTAWA — Almost three dozen Canadian pharmaceutical companies made a direct appeal… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — The massive $70 million dollar Lotto Max jackpot remained unclaimed… Continue reading

Most Read