Mark Clairmont |

GRAVENHURST — With big changes in post secondary tuition fees and grants, some college and university students from Gravenhurst got great news from the Rotary Club with $70,000 for Rotary Student Bursaries.

The Rotary Bursary Endowment Fund is now accepting applications from students heading for college, university or trade schools next semester.

The fund with about $1.5 million in it, is intended to help financially strapped families of students wanting to go to university and college or adults wanting to update their skills, says Rotarian Ken Little, co-founder of the huge club and community initiative.

Last year 35 students received at least $1,000 and this year the fund will generate $70,000 in eligible funds.

This fund was initiated by the Rotary Club of Gravenhurst and has received wide community support, he said in a release Thursday.

Since the Rotary Club agreed to put up $50,000, citizens of Gravenhurst have anteed up significantly.

Rotarian Richard Augustine, treasurer of the fund, added: ‘The support of citizen donations, large and small, have contributed to this fund being one of the most successful charitable endeavors ever in Gravenhurst.

He says, most importantly, not one penny of the supporters’ donations have been spent. It is still all in the fund.

The dividends and interest from the investments this year will result in a return of more than $70,000.

The exact amount will not be known until our year end of June 30.

The average 2011 income in Gravenhurst was 30% less than the Provincial average according to Statistics Canada.

Little, chair of the Endowment Fund notes: “This fact was evident to us and the community. Local citizens had seen far too many promising young students, with excellent marks coming out of our high school but failing to go on to college or university because of their families financial situation.

“This cripples some children for the rest of their lives.

“For the community to do nothing would be irresponsible.   It is doubly irresponsible if we are able to offer help and chose not to.”

He said “the community wanted a change and the Rotary Club of Gravenhurst has been happy to be the catalyst for residents to make a difference in the lives of children of our community.”

Little said “citizens have recognized the importance of investing in our children, they are our future.

“It is no longer beneficial to have poorly educated children for our factories, because we have lost these factory jobs to third world countries. We cannot afford to abandon our children at the end of high school when we, as a community, through our taxes, have already invested over $150,000 in every one of them.”

Nineteen families or individuals have donated between $25,000 and $250,000 to the fund and each year their generosity is recognized with a bursary given in their family name, together with a history of that family or individual. Truly a family legacy.

The fund began in 2011, with three students each receiving $1,000 each.

Last year 35 students received a minimum of $1,000 for tuition, sent directly to the institution they were attending.

There are three simple components to qualify for a Bursary:

First, the student must be either: a) from Gravenhurst or, b) attended school in Gravenhurst;

Second, the course of study must lead to a diploma, degree, or certificate upon graduation;

Thirdly, the student must show a financial need.

This is not a scholarship, says Little, you are not asked for your marks.

It is a bursary, intended to help children whose families are struggling financially.

Students may obtain applications from their high school guidance office, the Adult Education Centre, on line, or by calling the Little at 705-687-7777.

Applications must be in by June 30 2019 for the 2019-2020 school term.

Like to support a great cause and receive a tax receipt, too?

Call Little at 705-687-7777 or email us

You can also visit their website at