Donations help achieve great things

·2 min read

Through this type of generosity, many great opportunities arise for residents who may not otherwise have the chance to experience. Many organizations received in-kind donations this year, giving them the opportunity to use the funding to complete projects or purchase much-needed equipment. These donations are much appreciated, and it is not just one organization that benefits: it is the whole community.

Some of the more prominent donations would be those made to the Fox Creek School. Thousands of dollars in scholarship funds for post-secondary education were awarded to the graduates earlier this year. Due to the surrounding energy companies’ contributions, many students can enroll in a higher education level without financial pressures. Paramount Resources, Chevron Canada, XTO, Repsol, Murphy Oil and Shell have all played a part in contributing to the students’ successes for many years. The contributions to the school go far beyond just issuing scholarship funds. The energy companies also contribute towards in-school learning projects such as the Registered Apprentice Program (RAP), Learning Commons room and the outdoor learning space. All three projects developed are to enhance education and provide the opportunity for students to expand their skills. To close out 2020, SemCAMS Midstream donated $10,000, which will go towards building the remainder of the greenhouse for the outdoor learning space next year. Chevron Canada was another major contributor issuing a donation of $20,000. These funds will cover the 2021 scholarships, redesign the Learning Commons space, and other items required to complete the greenhouse.

As education plays a big part in one's future, Ovintiv, formerly Encana, also contributed to the school uniquely. The energy company sponsored $20,000 for local students who wanted to participate in pre-employment training and skill development programs. The training was extensive and involved attending classes to be safety trained in all courses related to working in the oilfield. As well, driver training and exams were offered to students getting near the legal age of driving or those wishing to obtain their Learner’s Permit.

The energy companies continue stepping forward with their contributions to the local health care industry. Through their donations, the Fox Creek Hospital can have state-of-the-art equipment to care for their patients and enhance the lab department. The Friends of Fox Creek Hospital Society is a non-profit group responsible for obtaining donations and purchasing medical equipment based on the needs of those working in the hospital setting. New equipment was introduced this year due to a substantial donation of $25,000 from Chevron Canada, a $4,000 contribution from Ovintiv, personal contributions made by a few residents and the Class of 2019 school graduates. Regardless of the amount donated, it is the meaning behind the gesture and knowing the funds will be used to improve patient care.

Vicki Winger, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Whitecourt Press