Their attachment to the Okanagan and its residents began when the couple moved to Penticton in 1993 and started volunteering for the arts community. Murray was a director with the Okanagan School of the Arts while Patti got involved with some of the musical presentations that were happening; together they volunteered with the Okanagan Symphony for several years.
“I was involved in many other things and he was always there, quietly backing me up,” said Patti, who spent 17 years with the Penticton Tuneagers as both a member and for 11 years as its director while Murray looked after the sound production. She was the musical director for the Penticton Light Opera and a member of the Penticton Singers and Players.
When Murray died in August of 2012 Patti wanted to continue to give something back to the community but she wanted to ensure that it would serve as a personal memorial to her late husband.
As a couple that had been engaged with much of what was happening in Penticton she was also familiar with the work of the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen but was still deciding what she wanted to do to pay tribute to Murray.
One day she was at lunch and met with Aaron McRann, the executive director for the Community Foundation who shared more about the organization at which time, Patti made her decision.
“When you get to a certain age, you really don’t want to have a lot of Christmas gifts and things so I made the Patricia and Murray Craig Memorial Endowment Fund mostly because it’s a continuing thing and when something happens to me that it will go on and people can donate to it.”
She’s encouraged family members to give her a cheque that she in turn gives to the Community Foundation along with her regular contributions to the organization.
“This is a memorial that can go on, basically in perpetuity,” said Patti. “It will go on even after I’m gone.”
As she’s continued to learn more about how the Community Foundation works she was surprised by the number of different ways its contributions benefit others.
“To me, it’s a much broader spectrum that benefit from it than I anticipated,” said Patti, noting having the ability to decided how and where a fund is used is comforting and re-assuring.
The Patricia and Murray Craig Memorial Endowment Fund has been designated for the Okanagan Symphony.
Patti said she’s grateful to the Community Foundation for helping her to find a nice way of giving back to the community and to her late husband and encourages others to find out more about what the organization does.
“It makes me feel good that maybe somebody years from now will look at the program, scan down the endowment and say, ‘Oh, I remember her,’” said Patti.