After earning the inaugural title as the Toonies for Tuition Trophy Challenge champions last year, the Saskatchewan representatives weren’t expecting to take this year’s title again.
But that’s exactly what happened.
When Saskatchewan was named the trophy winner at the 2012 AGM in Sudbury earlier this month, Mike St. Amand, one of the two men behind the trophy challenge creation, was shocked.
“We were blown away,” he said.
This was especially true since they were feeling the heat from the other competing provinces, Alberta and Ontario.
“We were getting some real push from both Alberta and from some school boards in eastern Ontario,” said Mr. St. Amand.
The province’s title success lies behind the school community and the administrators who have bought into the social justice concept.
“This win really speaks to the sense of community spread across Saskatchewan schools,” said Mr. St. Amand. “Because our teachers and principals have come on board, it’s become norm in the schools to show their support to this cause.”
The second trophy was awarded to an individual school board that tabulated the highest fundraising dollars. Once again, the spotlight was back on Saskatchewan. Not only did the province take this award, but once again the school board that raised the most amount of money was Mr. St. Amand’s own board, Prince Albert RCSSD #6.
“We had other board representatives from Alberta and Ontario approach us, asking us what our secret was, especially because we’re a smaller board,” said Mr. St. Amand, who says he wants to spread their success to other provinces.
“That’s our ultimate goal; to get all the boards, both big and small to join in.”
This year Toonies for Tuition campaign raised $37,000 this year, jumping up 27 per cent from last year’s numbers.
Passing along the funds
Each year the Toonies for Tuition dollars are given to the CCSTA Endowment Fund, which distributes the monies to students and schools located in partially and non-funded provinces. Although the need always outweighs the funds available, this year the Endowment Fund was able to meet nearly half the requests made for funding.
In order to tap into the potential of this fundraising effort, CCSTA will devote more personnel and administrative resources to more aggressively solicit contributions to this fund.
“There are 700,000 students in our three funded provinces,” explained Mr. St. Amand. “Imagine if every student contributed even just one dollar. We’d more than meet the need to ensure every child has the opportunity to receive a Catholic education.”
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