The Central Okanagan Bursary and Scholarship Society grew from a need to help young people pursue their education and training beyond secondary school. The expenses of post-secondary studies or trades and technical colleges, including tuition fees, reference materials, accommodation and transportation, deterred many promising students from seeking a higher education.
Several leaders of the educational and business community in the Central Okanagan joined forces to find a solution to this problem. Among the founding members instrumental in the (then called) Bursary Society were businessman Ken Harding, former KSS Administators Harry Dewar and Lou Dedinsky, and Rosemary King of the School Board office. Our organization was incorporated under the BC Society Act in 1984 as the Central Okanagan Bursary and Scholarship Society, able to hold funds in trust and to issue charitable tax receipts. COBSS has also been granted conduit status from the BC Gaming Branch to issue awards from organizations who receive Gaming funds from the province of BC.
Thanks to their efforts to garner community support for this worthy cause, the number of bursaries available to students has grown from seven in 1971 to more than 540 in 2015. These bursaries represent approximately $440,000, which is distributed to deserving local students each year to help further their education the year following graduation.
Lou Dedinsky Harry Dewar
Rosemary King Ken Harding