That’s been the case for many current and former players of the Grande Prairie Junior ‘A’ hockey team thanks to a legacy left by the Royal Bank Cup in 2004.
The Storm established its “Stay in School Junior ‘A’ Hockey Scholarship fund through the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta in 2000, with a donation of $7,000. Fast-forward to 2004 when Grande Prairie successfully hosted the national Junior A hockey championship, the Royal Bank Cup, and the fund received a hefty infusion of $100,000 courtesy of the host committee.
Jordan McTaggart – student award recipient
“It was our intent from the beginning to add to this fund as part of our commitment to the club,” says Grant Menzies, chairman of the RBC host committee. “It enabled us to really give back to the community.”
The fund sees the interest earned on the $100,000 made available to Storm players in educational scholarships each year.
Current or former players who have played Junior ‘A’ hockey in the Peace Region for at least two years and are enrolled or will be enrolling within four months of the application, in a qualified educational institution are eligible for the scholarship.
Jordan Menzies – student award recipient
“It’s a legacy reminder of the Royal Bank Cup, but it also helps ensure the future of Junior ‘A’ hockey in Grande Prairie by tying hockey to education,” says Wayne Ayling, former president of the Grande Prairie Storm.
The scholarship did just that for former Grande Prairie Storm player Richard Wong who played for three years with the local Junior ‘A’ team.
Richard Wong – student award recipient
“The Storm provided me with an opportunity to make my dreams a reality during my first full Junior ‘A’ season in 2005-2006. Playing in front of an average of at least 1,500 fans is an unforgettable experience that very few people have,” says Wong.
“Not only that, but the Storm assisted in the start of my education at the Grande Prairie Regional College, in the pursuit of my professional dreams of becoming a lawyer. I am truly grateful that with the help of this scholarship, the Storm and the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta provided me an opportunity to achieve my goals and realize what was once only a dream.”
The RBC host committee’s commitment to support and increasing the Storm’s Scholarship Fund in 2004 is a gift that will ensure that the long term endowment fund will be around to help and support Storm players for years to come, says former Community Foundation chairman Keith Curtis. “It also demonstrates a strong show of support for the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta and the objective of long term endowment fund building with which the Foundation is charged.”
Student Awards are open for applications now – https://www.buildingtomorrowtoday.com/student-awards – deadline closes September 30, 2018