Al Neale believes people should get a second chance in life, especially when it comes to education. Several years ago, he established the Al Neale Bursary Fund for a mature student who decided to upgrade his/her education at Okanagan College.

He recalls a heart-warming story related to him by Clyde Tucker. A man had left the work force to return to school to upgrade his education. “The man turned out to be a brilliant student who excelled in his studies… he shone,” said Al. That story confirmed his idea that a bursary for mature students was worthwhile. Al notes this bursary, originally intended for one student, has grown over the years to where it provided two bursaries in 2008.

Establishing a college bursary was not the first time Al had made a contribution to the Foundation. This man, who dearly loves animals, became active in the Shuswap branch of the BCSPCA. There he met a charter member, Beryl Herdan, and they became life partners. Together they established an endowment fund for the local branch and it too has grown over the years.

“You don’t have to make gigantic contributions to the Foundation,” emphasizes Al who is pleased to see the endowment and bursary funds grow. “You can contribute a small amount and add to it annually. A small amount grows into a bigger amount… it multiplies.” He adds that the principal always stays with the Foundation but the interest it generates goes into the funds.

Both Al and Beryl are proud of the accomplishments the Shuswap branch of the BCSPCA has made over the years. From a shed-like dog pound in the Industrial Park, the local branch raised money, grew and completed its new shelter on Auto Road in 1986. A resident of Salmon Arm since 1979, Beryl was part of local branch start-up and has held board every position but the treasurer’s job. Her volunteer work now involves “doing memorials“.