George Blencoe, centre, presents $34,000 to Community Foundation of the North Okanagan executive director Leanne Hammond, funds raised to help create the Ruth Blencoe Memorial Award in honour of Blencoe’s late wife, a popular Vernon dance instructor. Helping create the award for Ruth’s legacy and raising funds were (from left), Kim Macaulay, Mark Bannister, Cindy Masters, Shae Smith, Pat Loehndorf, Theresa LaDuke and Rob Ellis. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

Big funds raised for late Okanagan dance instructor legacy

Cheque for $34,000 presented to start Ruth Blencoe Memorial Award

The fine arts scholarship Ruth Blencoe always dreamed of creating is off to a terrific start.

Friends, family and community members gathered outside the offices of the Community Foundation of North Okanagan, in The People Place, Wednesday to offically open the Ruth Blencoe Memorial Award with funds totalling $34,000.

The award has been created as a living legacy for Blencoe, a popular Vernon dance instructor and employee at Kindale Developmental Association, who died as a result of injuries sustained in a traffic accident Feb. 22.

More than $28,400 was raised at a community Dance For Ruth May 18, and another $5,500+ was garnered through a GoFundMe account. The donations have been used to start an endowment fund in Ruth’s name that will generate perpetual income to fund the Ruth Blencoe Memorial Award at Vernon Secondary School.

READ ALSO: Friends and students continue dance instructor’s legacy

“From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your love, support and help making Ruth’s fine arts scholarship dream come true,” said George Blencoe, Ruth’s husband.

The outpouring of support and love was evident by all at the Dance for Ruth fundraiser.

“Ruth was a very special person in our community and to all the people she touched in her lifetime,” said event spokesperson Pat Loehndorf. “The success of this event secured that her legacy will live on for many years. Our sincere thanks to everyone who donated time and funds to make this dream a reality.”

Blencoe had been on her way to work in Armstrong at the time of her accident.

READ ALSO: Vernon dance instructor remembered with love

“On behalf of the Kindale board of directors, we are delighted to have been a small part of the Ruth Blencoe Memorial Award with the collection of funds at the recent Dance for Ruth,” said Sue Phillips, chairperson of the Kindale board.

And added Kindale executive director B Elliott: “During Ruth’s short time at Kindale, she made a significant contribution and we are still missing her a great deal.”

The Community Foundation of North Okanagan is administering the memorial award. If you would like to help, donations are being accepted at CFNO. Contact them at (250) 542-8677 or info@cfno.org.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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