WATCH: Kelowna entrepreneur donates $9 million to Alzheimer’s research in honour of former premier
VANCOUVER, BC — A diamond magnate from Kelowna donates millions of dollars to Alzheimer’s research.
Charles Fipke of Kelowna says he made the $9.1 million donation, after being moved by former Premier and Kelowna MLA Bill Bennett’s fight with the degenerative disease.
Fipke and Bennett are longtime friends.
“I was stunned to learn about Bill Bennett’s illness — yet another great mind stricken by Alzheimer’s,” says Fipke in a news release. “I want to do anything I can to help UBC’S researchers to find a cure.”
Bennett’s family says they are grateful to Fipke’s generosity.
“We are very moved by his reasons for doing it,” says Bennett’s son, Brad. “We don’t know what causes this disease and there are far too many people afflicted with it, and far too many families like ours suffering the horrible consequences.”
The donation will not only fund the research, but also provide cutting-edge equipment and technology to UBC Vancouver campus labs.
Bennett served as premier in a Social Credit government from 1975 to 1986.