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Release date: September 13, 2019

The Camosun College Foundation supports Camosun students in improving the lives of people in their community, and a recent donation will make it possible for students to help even more people. Knud Boelt, a Victoria-based businessman who passed away in 2017, has donated $1 million from his estate to the college.

A portion of the gift will be used to establish the Pearl and Knud Boelt Early Learning and Care Hub in The Alex & Jo Campbell Centre for Health and Wellness. The care hub will serve as a lasting legacy to the memory of Knud and his wife, Pearl, who died in 2009. Child care educators and providers will be trained in the hub, ensuring that this gift will touch future generations. The remainder will be dispersed as annual scholarships to Camosun students in health and human services, sports medicine, and trades programs.

Boelt owned the International Little Cheese & Wein Shop in Hillside Mall until his retirement in 1988. He also co-founded the Victoria chapter of Big Brothers, now known as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Victoria and Area.

“Knud was a strong believer in the potential of young people,” says his friend, Walter Donald, who knew Knud since their mutual involvement with Big Brothers in the late 1960s. “This donation will be a lasting gift and it’s his way of supporting young people who want to learn and develop their potential.”

Donald recounts a popular quote and the former Big Brothers slogan: No man ever stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child. “It could easily be applied to Knud, for his support and generosity. He was always willing to extend his hand to any young person who needed it,” adds Donald.

“This generous gift speaks to Camosun’s reputation as a college that equips students with the skills they need to thrive and build strong, healthy communities,” says Geoff Wilmshurst, Executive Director, Camosun College Foundation and Vice President, Partnerships, Camosun College. “Knud Boelt entrusted a significant portion of his life savings to Camosun to support students, who will go on to make a lasting difference.”

“Knud would be pleased to know that Camosun students will benefit from his donation,” says estate executor Laurence Johnson, who presented Boelt’s donation to the college. “He loved to share his gifts with friends and family, and if his donation can help others share their own gifts, he’d be so happy.”

Boelt was born in Denmark in 1930. As a young man, he immigrated to Canada from Denmark and landed in Victoria in the 1960s after living and working in Montreal and Vancouver. Boelt apprenticed as a deli operator and was a passionate self-taught cook who valued vocational training.

About the Camosun College Foundation

Founded in 1981, the Camosun College Foundation has raised millions to empower students to pursue goals which otherwise might have been unattainable. Other funds have supported new classroom equipment, library books, new buildings, special projects and so much more to ensure our educators teach in modern facilities. With the help of our community, the Foundation touches lives and helps students succeed every day. The Camosun College Foundation is a registered charitable organization under the Income Tax Act and is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.

Learn how to make a donation by visiting camosun.ca/foundation.

Media enquiries

communications@camosun.ca

(click to enlarge)
Knud Boelt’s executor and friend Laurence Johnson presents a cheque for $1 million to Geoff Wilmshurst, Camosun College’s Vice President, Partnerships.
Knud Boelt’s executor and friend Laurence Johnson presents a cheque for $1 million to Geoff Wilmshurst, Camosun College’s Vice President, Partnerships.

Pearl and Knud Boelt in an undated photo from the estate archives.
Pearl and Knud Boelt in an undated photo from the estate archives.

Last updated: September 12, 2019 2:30 pm

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