Three local students recognized for volunteer work

Jodi Schellenberg
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Post-secondary education is not cheap but one local organization is helping three students on their way.

Three local students -- Logan Morhart, Anthony Loeffen and Quinn Smith -- were each awarded a $1,000 scholarship during a presentation by the Prince Albert and Area Community Foundation. Although Smith could not attend the event due to final exams, both Loeffen and Morhart were in attendance.

Instead of just focusing on marks, the scholarship also looks at the role each student plays in the community through school activities and volunteering.  

They are funded through the Prince Albert and Community Scholarship Fund, which was created to honour the memory of longtime community volunteers Tillie and Joe Kawula and more recently, Herschel Davidner and are funded by a variety of local businesses.

The students felt honoured to be considered for the scholarship.

“I’ve done quite a bit in the community and I find that a scholarship that helps recognize those who have done quite a bit for the community is really excellent,” Loeffen said.

Growing up, Loeffen and Morhart remembered seeing Davidner, who instigated the scholarships, in his shop and attending many community events as a volunteer.

“He always supported quite a lot of the different organizations within the community,” Loeffen said. 

The boys said it was great to be recognized, especially since they looked up to Davidner as a volunteer mentor in the community.

“Mr. Davidner was a man who did whatever he could to help benefit the community,” Morhart said. “In order to help do that he did many things including giving up his time and help donating money. In order to receive this award in honour of him is unbelievable.”

Although they were pleased to be given scholarships, both boys said that volunteering is just in their blood.

“I’ve always grown up with the service before self (attitude),” Loeffen said. “It also had to do with the different opportunities. I grew up in my church and ended up doing quite a bit through there and it is through the members I’ve done other things -- for example Habitat for Humanity.”

Morhart said the community has given him many opportunities to develop as a person and believes it is important to give back.

One of the many activities he is involved in is helping coach younger hockey goalies.

“Seeing them being able to develop when they are young and being able to enjoy the game … it is really quite interesting because I used to be that little person and there used to be people helping me,” Morhart said.

Through hockey, he has met many different people and learned new skills due to the efforts of community volunteers.

“That is just one example of where people in the community have really helped me and I’ve been able to help out other people because of it,” he said.

Loeffen felt the same way as Morhart, using his Cadets experience as an example of one of the many volunteer experiences that has helped shape him.

Originally Loeffen joined Cadets because he wanted to be a pilot but quickly learned there was a lot more to the organization, which gave him a way to grow and learn.

“As you get up through the rank, you end up teaching the ones beneath you,” he said. “You get to watch them grow up and become leaders themselves. It is a very awesome feeling to have.”

They both enjoy helping others in all their different activities, which include drama, music, Model UN, Relay for Life, as well as through their churches. Morhart also volunteers at Mont St. Joseph Nursing Home while his friend Loeffen is involved with both the SPCA and Habitat for Humanity.

“It is definitely a great feeling. It is something special,” Morhart said. “After being able to help someone, it just feels so good. Just putting a smile on someone’s face, it doesn’t get much better than that.”

In the fall, both boys will be going on to study engineering at the University of Saskatchewan. Loeffen would like to be a mechanical engineer and Morhart said he might further his education after receiving a Bachelor’s degree by getting into the College of Medicine if possible.

“I’m not 100 per cent sure yet but I have a fair idea of what I want to be when I am older,” Morhart laughed. “I’ve always wanted to be an engineer, ever since I was little.

“It is something that has always interested me, but I also find the human body very interesting and very cool to learn about so at this moment, I don’t know which one I want to be yet but I know either way I’ll have many opportunities because of what I’ve been able to do as a child in the community here and what the community has done for me.”

Smith, who will be graduating from Debden School this year, plans to attend the University of Saskatchewan College of Education. She is also heavily involved in the community, giving her time to the Winter Carnival Fundraising event, the Terry Fox Run, SRC, drama club and many others.

Grants awarded to local organizations

In addition to giving out scholarships, the Prince Albert and Area Community Foundation (PAACF) also handed out a series of grants to local non-profit organizations.

“When it comes to funding, we all know how hard it is to get and it seems to be getting harder and harder and we have to work on it,” Mayor Greg Dionne said. “Unfortunately the funding sometimes doesn’t keep up with our needs.”

The grant money comes form the United Way of Saskatoon and area, the Moffat Family Fund and the PAACF’s investment income.

The foundation’s principal is never handed out in grants, just the investment income, which means a donation to the foundation will last as long as the organization does.   

United Way of Saskatoon and area grants:

• Prince Albert Mobile Crisis to assist with transportation costs;

• Catholic Family Services for their Calming the Storm Anger Management for Teens program.

PAACF grants:

• Family Futures/Early Childhood Council for their Family Expo 2015 to provide a support groups for families with children in the daycare;

• Mann Art Gallery iMAGine Arts long-term care outreach program to create opportunities for residents of long-term care to express ideas through visual means;

• Rose Garden Hospice to assist with the creation of a 10-bed hospice for the terminally ill;

• Tamarack Foundation for Education in the Great Outdoors program, which provides an academic summer program for children with learning disabilities;

• Prince Albert SPCA for PAWSITIVE Futures to provide positive opportunities for human and companion animal interactions.

Joint United Way and PAACF grants:

• S.H.A.R.E. for their Nutritious Meals and Snacks program, in order to provide nutritious snacks as a part of a recreation program;

• Saskatchewan Association for Community Living for their Interec 2014 program, to provide inclusion companions for people with disabilities;

• Canadian Red Cross for their Disaster Management for First Nations and Métis program to train volunteers as Personal Disaster Assistants;

• Canadian Diabetes Association for their Summer Camp to provide a week-long camp experience for families of children with diabetes;

• P.A. Literacy Network for their Community Family Literacy programs that run four to eight weeks;

• Big Brothers Big Sisters of P.A. for their In-School Mentors program to extend the program to two community schools;

• YMCA Our House to provide additional services, such as laundry, food and hygiene to people staying there;

• CMHA P.A. branch for the NEST Lunch program to provide a nutritious lunch to people coping with mental illness.

Organizations: College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan College of Education, Prince Albert and Area Community Foundation Prince Albert and Community Scholarship Fund Habitat for Humanity United Way University of Saskatchewan Debden School Moffat Family Fund Catholic Family Services Storm Anger Management for Teens Family Futures/Early Childhood Council Tamarack Foundation for Education Prince Albert SPCA for PAWSITIVE Futures Saskatchewan Association for Community Living Disaster Management for First Nations Canadian Diabetes Association Big Brothers Big Sisters School Mentors YMCA Our House

Geographic location: Saskatoon

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