“Do more. Be more.” These words sound a little like the mantra of a motivational speaker. They are, in fact, the name given to a new five-year strategic fundraising plan for Rosthern Junior College (RJC). The plan includes the ambitious goal of raising $1.5 million to be allocated toward three clearly defined strategies:
- Grow student enrolment
- Develop and enhance the facility
- Enrich student programming
Encouraged by increased student enrolment and a projected budget surplus, board chair Tammy Forrester and vice-chair Peter Hooge unveiled the plan at the school’s corporation meeting and again at a fundraising and appreciation dinner. Both events were held at the school on Nov. 22.
“As a board, we look forward to the path that we are walking with enthusiasm and interest,” said Forrester in her report to the corporation. “[We know] that it will not be easy nor straight, but the rewards for RJC in the end will be worth the road taken.”
RJC student council representatives presented the board with its first donation toward the “Do more. Be more” campaign: a cheque on behalf of the student body for $5,000.
No strangers to doing more and being more, the three featured speakers at this year’s banquet, all with connections to RJC, were each named to CBC Saskatchewan’s Future 40 List, which identifies men and women under 40 years of age who are making a difference in their communities. Using a late night television talk show format, dubbed “Menno-Nite Late Night,” teacher Ryan Wood interviewed the three guests:
- Matt Love served as dean of boys at RJC from 2004-09. At Saskatoon’s Aden Bowman Collegiate, where he currently teaches and coaches football, Love coordi-nates a program for Grade 9 students called Collective Voice. The program integrates English, social studies and arts education with a focus on social justice issues at local and global levels. As students learn about first nations and other cultures in their community, and issues related to racism and oppression that these groups face, they report on what they are learning via a weekly radio broadcast, which airs on Saskatoon’s community radio station, CFCR.
- Tom Regier, who graduated from RJC in 1995, has been a scientist with the Canadian Light Source at the University of Saskatchewan since 2009. Canadian Light Source is this country’s only centre for synchrotron particle-acceleration research and Regier operates one of its most successful “beamlines.” Confessing that he was “kicked out of physics class” while a student at RJC, Regier went on to earn his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Saskatchewan while working at Canadian Light Source.
- DeeAnn Mercier also attended RJC, graduating in 2003. Her claim to the Future 40 title comes as a result of her work as communications and public relations coordinator for Lighthouse Supported Living, which offers emergency shelter, assisted living and affordable housing for those who need it. Through the Up Capital Campaign, which Mercier coordinated, Lighthouse raised $4 million in 11 months for improvements to facilities and services. Through her involvement with the Plan to End Homelessness and Poverty Awareness Week, Mercier has become an outspoken advocate for the people served by Lighthouse.
More than 200 supporters braved wintery weather to attend the dinner, bid on a variety of silent and live auction items, enjoy the musical stylings of siblings Leah and Philip Klaassen, and be inspired to do more, be more and give more on behalf of the school.
—Posted Dec 10, 2014