Rita and Gerry Chu love the charms of Salmon Arm—the small town feel and the many amenities —Nature trails, musical events, art gallery, museum, theatre, film society and more. All run by volunteers! They would like our town to retain this community feel and want to support the volunteers who make this wonderful lifestyle possible. They have decided that instead of making many small donations to various groups, they want a larger donation to benefit the community. After all, their loyal patients are all members of the community and many are also volunteers. Through this fund the Chu’s can support their patients and the larger community.

In 1976 they were a young couple freshly graduated from The University of British Columbia

In 1976 they were a young couple freshly graduated from The University of British Columbia—Gerry from the Dental School (‟76) and Rita from Dental Hygiene (‟75). While waiting for Gerry to graduate, Rita furthered her knowledge in different dental practices including the UBC Dental Faculty. In March they signed up to come to Salmon Arm for a one-year adventure. It was not the prettiest time of the year, but after four months they decided this is the place for them–a place to raise a family. They surprised their friends and relatives who expected them to return to Vancouver. Gerry was born and bred in Vancouver and Rita, originally from Burns Lake, spent her university years in the big city. But they fell in love with Salmon Arm because of its many natural charms and the genuine community spirit powered by volunteers.

Gerry and Rita established a well-respected and busy dental practice and raised two daughters: Carina born in 1980 and Kristy in 1984. Gerry relates with pride that Kristy has just finished Dental School and has joined his practice. Kristy has lived in two of the most livable cities in the world‟– Vancouver for her undergraduate degree at UBC and San Francisco for Dental School at the University of the Pacific–yet she wants to make her life in Salmon Arm. This is a satisfying family story.

Why did they choose to set up a discretionary family fund? They were among the visionary founders of the Shuswap Community Foundation; and they know this is a good organization, run by dedicated, knowledgeable and hard-working volunteers. And finally, they like the Foundation, because as Gerry says, “It is satisfying because we can see where the money goes.” They will leave the distribution of grants from their fund to the Directors to determine.

Their overriding sentiment–a town needs a balance between business and the amenities that contribute to a quality life and Salmon Arm has this balance because of its volunteers and the Shuswap Community Foundation.