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Scholarships to be given to students by Oshawa Folk Arts Council

Stu Smith, leader of The Par Four, board member Elsie Swerdfeger, Oshawa city representative and councillor Nester Pidwerbecki and board member Richard Davidson are ready for the Oshawa Folk Arts Council’s inaugural Scholarship Gala on Sept. 29. (Photo by Dave Flaherty)

By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express

The Oshawa Folk Arts Council will be handing out $1,000 in financial assistance to four Durham Region post-secondary students at its inaugural Sponsorship Gala later this month.

The sponsorships are available to any students from the region who are attending Durham College, UOIT and Trent University.

Richard Davidson, a board member of the council and chair of the gala organizing committee, says incentive behind the event is twofold, first, to support local students but also to raise the profile of the Oshawa Folk Arts Council.

“We want to do different things,” Davidson says, explaining the council is probably known most for organizing the annual Fiesta Week celebrations.

However, Davidson says many people in the community still aren’t aware of the council and the work it does.

In the past, the council has donated to area post-secondary institutions, with the money going to scholarships and bursaries.

But Davidson notes that unless someone was present to see the scholarships handed out, they wouldn’t necessarily be aware of where the money came from.

So to him, this new gala event is a perfect way to get the council some recognition while continuing its support for the students.

The gala is set for Friday, Sept. 29 at the Jubilee Pavilion. Doors open at 6 p.m. and dinner is served at 7:45 p.m.

The evening will also feature a cash bar, silent auction and door prizes.

Well-known local classic rock group The Par Four will provide entertainment.

Davidson notes the keynote speaker and master of ceremony for the evening are two Durham College graduates, CTV’s Carol Charles and Dr. Diana Petrarca, an associate professor at UOIT.

Tickets are $85 and can be purchased by contacting Davidson at 905-441-6372, Gabriele Albrecht at 905-449-4016 or Wilson and Lee Music at 905-725-4706.

Application forms were distributed to local secondary and post-secondary schools earlier this year and Davidson says students have until this Friday, Sept. 15 to apply.