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Rotary Bursary Endowment Fund continues to grow

Posted on June 11, 2014 by


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GRAVENHURST — The Rotary Bursary Endowment Fund was pleasantly surprised to receive a $10,000 donation from the John and Terri Vellinga to help provide bursaries to students in need of financial assistance for their upcoming years at college or university.

Ken Little, chairman of the fund, noted on acceptance of the cheque that the Vellinga family liked the concept of creating an opportunity for children in the Gravenhurst community and with their $10,000 donation and a matching anonymous donation, there’s enough funds to create a stand-alone bursary to be given to a needy student each year.

The Vellingas have seen how important an education has been to their family.

While John was building houses for a living, his wife Terri went back to university and graduated at the age of 40. That set the stage for the rest of the family.

Both daughters, Christy and Leslie attended university; one went to Queen’s University in Kingston and the other to the University of Western Ontario in London. They both got jobs and they both had two children while pursuing their careers. They both returned to university to complete graduate studies, Christy with a masters in education and Leslie with a masters of law in alternate dispute resolution. John and Terri have seen the important role an education can take in their career developments.

“We knew firsthand how powerful an education can be to the success of children,” said Terri. “As a former teacher I know it can light a child’s fire, it teaches them how to think and solve problems, it creates a future for them and their families. Yes, it can change the world.”

John and Terri know an education is something that cannot be taken away and they believe everyone should have access to an education. They had two daughters at university at the same time and they know how important financial help is to some families.

Little noted, “Last year, about $25,000 was available from the bursaries investment portfolio, but with the generous support of the community this past year the fund has grown to over $1.25 million. As a result, the Rotary Bursary Endowment Fund will provide about $45,000 this year to students studying to obtain a degree, diploma or certificate.”

Applications for a bursary from the Rotary Bursary Endowment Fund are available now at the high school in Gravenhurst or available online at Applications must be submitted by June 30. The criteria for obtaining a bursary is simple: a) you must either live in Gravenhurst or be going to school in Gravenhurst; b) taking a course leading to a degree, diploma or certificate; and c) show you are in need of financial help. A bursary is not a scholarship and the application does not ask about your marks.