Ds Scholarship

Wyoming Community Foundation now offering scholarships

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The Wyoming Community Foundation plans to begin offering a pair of annual $1,000 scholarships in 2022 to students in the central Lambton County community.

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The foundation recently pledged to announce this year’s recipients of $30,500 total funding for nonprofit groups and community projects serving residents within the boundaries of the former village that is now part of Plympton-Wyoming.

“It’s always been about this amount we give,” foundation president Pat Davidson said of the annual grants, but the upcoming two annual grants are new.

“It’s something we decided to do to try and help young people from the former village of Wyoming,” Davidson said.

It offers a scholarship of $1,000 to a Wyoming student who graduated from Central Lambton Collegiate and Career Institute, and high school in Petrolia, as well as $1,000 to a first-year Wyoming student at Lambton College.

Davidson said recipients will be selected based on a combination of scores, need and community involvement.

Students will apply for scholarships through the schools.

“I hope the kids can benefit from it and we can see that it benefits someone locally,” she said.

This year’s other foundation grants include another $5,000 to Plimpton-Wyoming as part of a five-year pledge to support the Plimpton-Wyoming Health and Wellness Center, as well as $10,000 to support the Wyoming Lions Club’s pledge for the same newly built center in a former bank building on the community’s Main Street.

The foundation also awarded $10,000 to the 388th Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion for a new asphalt road, $2,000 to Wyoming Minor Ball for equipment upgrades and $3,500 to the Plympton-Wyoming Agricultural Society to upgrade kitchen equipment at the fairgrounds.

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The corporation was formed in the late 2000s with $600,000, roughly half of the money the municipality received from the sale of the assets of the former Wyoming Hydro-Electric Commission to Hydro One.

Davidson, a former mayor of Wyoming and Plimpton-Wyoming who served as a representative for Sarnia Lambton, said the municipality asked community members at the time of the sale how they wanted the proceeds to be used.

Besides establishing the foundation, half of the proceeds from the sale were used at a new Wyoming firehouse, she said.

“We were really lucky at that time,” Davidson said. “The land was donated by a very good benefactor and then we took half the money from the sale of the Hydro Commission and built the hall” at no cost to the local taxpayer.

Besides this initial capital investment, the foundation has received several bequests over the years.

“We had one very large and two smaller ones,” she said. “We’ve been very fortunate that way.”

Davidson said some groups that normally apply for funding have not applied this year because the pandemic has limited their activities. She said that having fewer applications allowed the foundation to award the full amounts it had applied for this year.

The foundation places a call each year for applications, and its five volunteer members meet in the fall to consider applications.

“I think it’s a fantastic organization,” Mayor Lonny Napper said of the foundation. “They are really dedicated to the city. They have definitely made an impact on him and we are so grateful to have them.”

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Davidson said the foundation has given a total of about $510,000 since its inception.

Davidson said other organizations she has helped over the years include the local Firefighters Association and a project several years ago to create a walking and biking trail between Wyoming and Reese Corners.

“We’ve definitely been instrumental in helping that in a big way,” Davidson said.

“It’s really nice to be able to give this money” as an “early Christmas present,” she said of the foundation’s December funding announcement.

It’s not a high-profile institution but we’re doing a great job,” Davidson said.

pmorden@postmedia.com

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