Mercier donates $250,000 to TRU
Guy Mercier believes in education — and it’s one of the reasons the former owner of Acres Enterprises is giving Thompson Rivers University $250,000.
Mercier, who sold his construction company last year, made the donation to the TRU Foundation at its 21st annual gala dinner on Saturday, Feb. 2.
Mercier’s company first worked on a project at the university in 1990. He’s worked on the main library several times, on the Brown Family House of Learning and on the Campus Activity Centre.
“My parents instilled in me a belief in education,” Mercier told the audience at the Grand Hall in the Campus Activity Centre.
“We have been very involved with TRU’s growth over these last 22 years and can see that universities are important to individuals, families and communities.
Mercier designated his donation to be used for student endowments and to help with renovations to the Old Main Building.
The gala is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the university, with money generated through tickets — it was a sell-out, with 500 people attending — silent and live auctions and donations from supporters.
Through the years, the gala has raised $917,712 from tickets, sponsorships and auctions, said Karen Gamracy, the foundation’s director of advancement.
That amount doesn’t include major donations like that of Mercier and others in the past.
The endowment fund, which hands out about $1 million in awards to students annually, now stands at about $12 million, Gamracy said.
“We’re very lucky. We have fantastic support from our community for the university and our students,” she said.
This year’s gala featured entertainment by guitarist Tina Hebner, the TRU Bhangra dance troupe, the Tara School of Irish Dance, the Columbian Dance Group, Let’s Move Studio and the Kelowna Dance Band.