The Seven Oaks Education Foundation is a small, community based organization making a huge difference in the lives of students who want to further their educations after high school.
The Foundation is dedicated to provide graduating students of the Seven Oaks School Division with scholarships to assist in their post-secondary studies.
The volunteer board of directors is made up of educators, Seven Oaks parents, area business and community leaders.
The organization raises funds and welcomes sponsorships for its growing list of scholarship awards. Scholarships are presented annually at each of the three high school graduation ceremonies.
Dennis and Pat Horsford are a Seven Oaks couple who sponsor an annual scholarship in memory of their son Andre, who was a proud graduate of Garden City Collegiate.
"The scholarship is a small way to give back to a great school," Pat Horsford said.
The SOEF is generously supported by the Seven Oaks School Division, educators, businesses, and residents with close ties to the Seven Oaks district.
On Feb. 8, 2013, the Foundation held its annual fund-raising dinner and concert. It was another fun, sold-out event.
Ted Ash, board member and fundraising chairman said, " education is a way out of poverty and to a very successful life."
The Foundation is a registered charity, so tax receipts are issued for donations of $10 or more. And "100% of all donations go directly to scholarships and bursaries," treasurer Wayne Shimizu said.
The Foundation was established just 10 years ago with a modest start-up fund.
Now the endowment is over $500,000. Last year $41,000 was awarded to over 100 graduating students. Many students rely on the scholarships to make post-secondary learning a reality.
Each of the three Seven Oaks high schools — Garden City Collegiate, Maples Collegiate and West Kildonan Collegiate — select their scholarship recipients based on criteria established by the foundation board, school administration and sponsoring donors.
"We welcome input from the community and wish that everyone would realize the powerful impact the support means to the students", said Margaret Brett, president of the foundation.
For more info, contact the Seven Oaks Education Foundation at 204-586-8061
Derek Dabee is a community correspondent for The Maples. You can contact him at email@example.com.