A local “Toonies for Tuition” campaign will ensure that young people in unfunded Canadian provinces receive a Catholic education.
On April 29, Chairperson Patrick Daly, along with secondary student council presidents from the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board, presented a cheque for $29,498.45 to Marino Gazzola, President of the Canadian Catholic School Trustees’ Association (CCSTA) for the national Toonies for Tuition Initiative. Toonies for Tuition (CCSTA Charitable foundation) provides tuition assistance to Catholic students in provinces that have limited or no public funding for Catholic schools.
Commending and thanking students, staff and parents for their generous support of the campaign, Daly explained that, unlike Ontario students “who are blessed to have publicly funded Catholic education,” students in unfunded provinces have to pay the cost of tuition out of their own pocket.
“I want to express deep appreciation to all of you, and through you, all the good and generous people in our system who have made it possible for young people in other provinces to receive a Catholic education.”
Ontario is one of only three provinces that have a fully funded Catholic education system. Manitoba and British Columbia are partially funded while the east coast provinces receive no funding at all.
Catholic schools in the eastern provinces are private, indicated Gazzola, adding that tuition can cost anywhere from $3,000 to as much as $12,000 a year.
“So the Toonies for Tuition Campaign raises money in the three funded provinces to help out the unfunded provinces.”
Last year, CCSTA received $130,000 worth of tuition requests. The association was able to support $75,000 of the total requests.
Gazzola said his dream is to be able to fund every single dollar of requests.
“I’m confident that we’re going to make that happen and it will be because of actions like what you have done with this campaign,” he praised. “It’s outstanding and I can’t thank you enough.”
“You’ll never know how far your contributions will go and how much they will mean to some parents and students.”