Sharon Besler received her high school diploma in 1971. Upon graduation from South Okanagan Secondary in Oliver, BC she was given a cash award for her accomplishment. Today, she says “it’s payback time.”

Robert (Bob) Baker was a life-long teacher, mostly Grades 5 & 6, in Winnipeg, along with two – one-year exchanges in Australia; McKay, Queensland, and Melbourne, Victoria. The recipient of many teaching awards, his career stretched from 1967 – 2003. Along with his regular teaching duties, Robert also taught Hunter Safety courses, and was a Driving Instructor. Upon retirement, he moved to Kelowna, BC.

After graduation, Sharon obtained a position with the government in Oliver, eventually becoming a Court Clerk. Then, in 1976, the Beslers moved to Kelowna, where Sharon continued working as a Court Clerk, retiring in the early 1990s. Her husband, Raymond Besler, died in 1997. While in Kelowna, Sharon learned to sail and scuba dive. She had obtained her private pilot’s licence while still living in Oliver. In 2007, she moved to Salmon Arm.

Married in 2010, Robert and Sharon, both inveterate travellers, have been to most of the seven continents; Sharon to all but Antarctica, and Bob to all except South America and Antarctica. When not off on an adventure, they enjoy their lives in the Shuswap.

Robert and Sharon both know from their individual experiences that the playing field is not always level, and they strongly believe children are our future, so they established an endowment fund within the Shuswap Community Foundation’s Capital Fund. Earnings from the fund will provide scholarships and bursaries to students graduating from South Okanagan Secondary School in Oliver, BC who are pursuing academic or vocational education or training at an accredited post-secondary institution.

Payback, and paying it forward too.