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Private donor quadruples donations to Oak Bay Rotary scholarship funds

The club has awarded more than $25,000 to Oak Bay High students
Future grads at Oak Bay High will have greater scholarship opportunities available through the Oak Bay Rotary Club. (Black Press Media file photo)

A $20 donation becomes $80 with the latest donation initiative for the Oak Bay Rotary Club and its foundation as it builds scholarship endowment funds.

Over the years, the club has awarded more than $25,000 to Oak Bay High students.

The club has a 2021 goal of increasing its endowment fund to $100,000 to create new educational scholarships through Threshold Housing and increase the amount of current scholarships.

Through a generous private gift, all tax-deductible donations over $20 will matched 4:1 until July 31.

The Sno’uyutth Legacy Scholarship, a post-secondary scholarship for Indigenous graduates of Oak Bay High, is among the existing scholarships. Those have helped five students since inception in 2015. The scholarship grew out of the excess funds raised for the Community Association of Oak Bay’s Sno’uyutth pole project. The $100,000 commissioned piece of public art stands outside the secondary school.

Original funds have been augmented with several benefit concerts, including two featuring Canadian jazz great Joe Coughlin performing in the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre at Oak Bay High. Another Coughlin concert, featuring a big band led by Juno Award-winning saxophonist Phil Dwyer, was twice postponed by the pandemic but is still in the works.

RELATED: Oak Bay quietly marks five years since the Sno’uyutth welcome pole went up

Ellery Kirkland was the first Sno’uyutth Legacy Scholarship recipient. She is completing her chemistry degree at UVic this year and starting her career with ScotiaBank.

“I’m incredibly grateful and humbled to be the first Sno’uyutth Legacy scholar,” Kirkland said in a news release. “The scholarship led to many wonderful connections in my life including my career at ScotiaBank.”

Other recipients include Alex Ross in 2017, Emma Antoine-Allan in 2018, Ariel Shellenberger in 2019 and Aidan Gowier in 2020. The next Sno’uyutth Legacy scholar will be chosen this month.

Donates can be made online at, or by mail to the Oak Bay Rotary Club Foundation at #207B-2187 Oak Bay Ave. Victoria, B.C. V8R 1G1.

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