2019 President’s Gala supports transformative bursary

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April 10, 2019
When Jennifer Heculuck decided to return to school, it had been 30 years since she last sat in a classroom.
At the age of 50, the mother of two made a life-changing decision to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher and enrolled in Lakeland College’s university transfer program. 

Faced with the financial challenges many students encounter, Heculuck applied for a bursary from Lakeland’s Support Our Students (SOS) Enhanced Bursary Fund. The fund is supported by proceeds from the President’s Gala and assists students based on financial need. 

In 2018-19, Heculuck was one of 25 Lakeland students to receive a $4,000 bursary drawn from the fund and on April 4, she had the opportunity to share her Lakeland story and thank attendees of the 2019 President’s Gala for their support.  

 “Without donors like you, this couldn’t have been possible for me. What humbles me the most is that there are so many people in this room I have never met and you took a chance on people – on strangers – who you’ve never met and you helped them. That, to me, is the most amazing thing,” says Heculuck to the 180-plus attendees of the gala. 
“You took a chance on me with your kindness and generosity, trust and respect. All I can hope is that I can pay it forward and give you the kindness and respect that you deserve by being a good student. It’s never too late to go back to school and realize your dreams. I am so thankful for your support.”
 
Gala attendees heard from other SOS Enhanced Bursary Fund recipients in a special video presentation, including Amy Rosendahl, a hairstyling student, who was present to help with the Spa Raffle Package. Janet Paul was the lucky raffle winner who will enjoy a four-hour spa session for 10 thanks to Lakeland’s esthetician and hairstyling students
The seventh annual gala also featured a Luxury Raffle Package, fine dining, an acoustic performance by Charlie Major – presented by Stingray – and more at the Lloydminster campus. Emceeing the event were Quinn Hlus, a bachelor of applied science: environmental management student, and Tucker Cochrane, a bachelor
of commerce student.

Final numbers are still being tallied, but it is anticipated the 2019 President’s Gala will be another successful fundraiser for the SOS Enhanced Bursary Fund.

“We have many friends of the college to thank, especially our generous sponsors and guests, for making this year’s gala another success for our students. Building the SOS Enhanced Bursary Fund means more students can achieve their educational goals. It means more students have the opportunity to invest in themselves,” says Dr. Alice Wainwright-Stewart, president and CEO of Lakeland College. “With the support of our donors, sponsors and friends of the college, our students’ futures are bright and full of promise.”
 
 
Photos: From the top, Quinn Hlus, a bachelor of applied science: environmental management student, and Tucker Cochrane, a bachelor of commerce student, emceed the 2019 President's Gala at the Lloydminster campus. Jennifer Heculuck, a university transfer student and Support Our Students (SOS) Enhanced Bursary Fund recipient shared her Lakeland story with gala attendees. From helping to serve the meal to creating silent auction items and more, Lakeland students take an active role with the gala each year. Charlie Major headlined the 2019 President's Gala with an acoustic performance. View more photos from the 2019 President's Gala on Lakeland College' Facebook page.
 
Below: A special video presentation was shared at the 2019 President's Gala featuring recipients of Lakeland College's Support Our Students (SOS) Enhanced Bursary Fund. In this video, students tell personal stories of adversity and stress that threatened to derail their studies. Each student received $4,000 from the SOS Enhanced Bursary Fund that enabled them to continue achieving their goals.