The Adams family arrived in Salmon Arm in 1979, Doug having been transferred from Winnipeg by his accounting firm, Dunwoody & Company, now BDO Canada. Both he and Donna immediately became staunch community supporters and volunteers.
Doug joined the Kinsmen Club, and Donna became a Kinette. While President of the Kinsmen Club in 1986, Doug spearheaded fundraising efforts for the building of the SASCU Recreation Centre. He also headed up fundraising for the building of what is now the Nexus, the sanctuary at the United Church. Donna taught Sunday School there for many years. They both find it very gratifying that today their grandchildren enjoy the use of these facilities.
In 1988 Doug joined the board of RJ Haney Heritage Village and Museum as its treasurer, holding that position for five years. From 1994 – 2014 he served as President. He then assumed responsibility for the Canada 150 project, fundraising for the creation of the Montebello Block Museum. The new Sprig of Heather Restaurant is now near completion, and the final component will be the Children’s Discovery Centre which will be situated in the former location of Marjorie’s Tea Room. When the museum and village open again, there will truly be something for everyone to enjoy.
Over the years, Doug and Donna were instrumental in creating many of Haney’s events, including the very popular Hallowe’en Spooktacular and the Dinner Theatre, developed over 25 years ago.
Donna, neé McMillan, remained home to raise their two children, Angela, born 1977, and Bradley, born 1979, for their first 12 years in Salmon Arm. She returned to teaching in 1991, teaching grades 2 and 3 at Sorrento Elementary for ten and a half years. Each year she would bring her students to Heritage Day at the RJ Haney Museum and Heritage Village. She says she amassed quite a collection of heritage children’s clothing over the years, as the kids loved to dress up for the occasion. Doug, in the meantime, continued in his career as a Chartered Accountant, retiring from BDO Canada in 2009.
Doug and Donna met in high school, when both began attending Grade 9 in Waskada, in southwestern Manitoba. Both attended one room schools, Doug for eight years and Donna for three years before the consolidation of schools. Doug obtained certification as a Chartered Accountant in Winnipeg, and Donna earned an Elementary School teaching degree at Brandon University.
Over the years Doug has been recognized for his community service several times, including the Community Service Award from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of BC, Rotary Canada’s Paul Harris Award, and the Queen’s Jubilee Award. He is quick to acknowledge Donna as the force behind the scene, acting as an excellent sounding board, and providing a lot of volunteer activity.
Now both retired, they are able to indulge their love of travel, having visited 50 countries to date, in between participating in downhill skiing, snowboarding, volunteering, and golf.
Doug and Donna were very aware of the benefits a discretionary endowment provided to the Granting Committee of Shuswap Community Foundation, as Doug spent six years as a Director of the Foundation. Creating a discretionary family endowment that allows the board to direct the fund’s earnings where they will provide the most benefit in the Shuswap was a natural choice. Both their families are interested in local history, so creating an endowment to benefit RJ Haney was another natural fit for their Estate Planning.
“The best thing we ever did was move to Salmon Arm, and we wanted to acknowledge that by giving back to the community that has given our family such a great life.” Doug and Donna expect to continue living a great life here in Salmon Arm for many more years.
Both the Doug and Donna Adams Family Endowment and the Doug and Donna Adams Museum Endowment are open to contributions at any time.