Remembered as a selfless young woman who always put others first, Hayley Gardner’s spirit is very evident in the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta’s Hayley Gardner Memorial Fund.
With a motivation not only to keep Hayley’s memory alive but to help others follow their dreams, the fund provides a student award to a Peace Wapiti Academy graduate who demonstrates commitment of love and help of others, who has modeled acceptance and tolerance, and has served others before themselves.
“There is a phrase over at PWA, “Once a Titan, always a Titan’. Through this fund she can continue to support her fellow PWA Titans,” says Hayley’s mom Shelly Logan.
A gentle soul with a sparkling personality, Hayley passed away as a result of a vehicle accident in October 2013. At just the young age of 15, she had already left an indelible mark on her community.
Hayley gave herself willingly to many causes including assisting at the annual Clairmont Seniors luncheon, as a member of the Peace Wapiti Academy (PWA) First Responder program, and dedicating her time at National Aboriginal Day festivities as well as the annual seniors Christmas Dinner, along with her sister Shyraun, through the Grande Prairie Friendship Centre youth group.
Due to Hayley’s strong commitment to volunteerism, at the age of 13 she was recognized by the Friendship Centre as an Aboriginal Youth Role Model in the category of Community Service. Hayley led by good example; always offering to help at the end of the evening with no job too big or too small.
After Hayley’s untimely death, it was the staff and students at PWA who spearheaded the idea of creating a bursary in her name.
“After the accident happened, my aunts went to chat with the Indigenous students who attended PWA. Through that conversation, the idea of starting a bursary came about and both her Dad and I decided it would be a good idea to follow through with that,” says Shelly.
The Hayley Gardner Memorial Fund provides a student award to a Peace Wapiti Academy graduate that demonstrates everything Hayley represented.
“For us, Hayley’s parents, having established the Hayley Gardner Memorial Fund meant that Hayley would be continuing to help others with their education, and she would be continuing to do what she did best…helping others,” says Shelly.
“Hayley left amazing footprints here on Earth and will continue to do so for many of the students at Peace Wapiti Academy through this fund with the Community Foundation.”
Student Award Recipients – L to R – Jeremy Rogg, Daniel Goodswimmer, Simon Bossen
The Community Foundation is proud to be able to support post local post secondary students achieve their dreams. Since 2014, the Hayley Gardner Memorial Fund has supported 5 students totaling $1900.00.