Five years ago, the Spirit of Sandra Scholarships were created to help junior curlers play competitively while continuing their post-secondary education.
Since then, the Sandra Schmirler Foundation has awarded scholarships every year in the amount of $5,000 to six deserving junior curlers.
The scholars are mentored by two iconic champion curlers: Cathy Overton-Clapham and Pat Simmons. Both Cathy and Pat give generously of their time, sharing their love of the game and dedication to the Sandra Schmirler Foundation.
In turn, these young people have embraced the Foundation and Sandra’s legacy. They are eager and successful fundraisers and have raised almost $10,000 for the Foundation through their own fundraisers, which include a live auction on Facebook, a funspiel, 50/50’s, a pancake breakfast, crowd sweeps and much more.
At the end of the season, the Spirit of Sandra scholars choose amongst five different hospital applications and award a $10,000 gift for the purchase of life-saving equipment for that hospital’s NICU.
We have been enthralled by the enthusiasm of these young people. Each one of them is a leader who motivates and inspires others. They know what’s important to them and understand what drives them. More important, they understand how their lives touch others.
We’d like to share their words with you as they reflect on their past year as a Spirit of Sandra Scholar and what it’s meant to each of them.
“Being a Spirit of Sandra Scholar was such an honour and a privilege as I was able to be a part of an organization that saves so many babies lives across Canada. As a student and curler, it’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of everyday pressures. Being a part of the Sandra Schmirler Foundation allowed me to slow down and reflect on the value of helping others, and the fulfilling feeling of making a small difference in saving a life.”
Emily Plett – Carstairs, Alberta
“The Sandra Schmirler Foundation has not only allowed me to pursue my academic and curling careers but has also provided the amazing opportunity to bring my curling community closer together in support of an amazing cause. I will always treasure the connections and memories I have made with the Sandra Schmirler Foundation as they have changed my life for the better!”
Megan Daniels – Delta, British Columbia
“It is so rewarding to give back to the Foundation by organizing a fundraiser. To be part of more than just a Foundation—a legacy—is like standing on the shoulders of giants.”
Derek Leung – Toronto, Ontario
“The feeling of being named a Spirit of Sandra Scholar is absolutely amazing. This scholarship has given me opportunities, friendships and memories that will last a life time. Cathy and Pat have been incredible and have been great mentors, friends, and people who we, as scholars, aspire to be like one day.
This scholarship has introduced me to a family who ensures that the legacy of Sandra will live on forever and that babies, too sick or too small, have a chance to grow up to be a Champion like Sandra was.”
Kyle Barron – Stephenville, Newfoundland
“Born premature myself, it has been a wonderful learning experience for me to see just how much goes into supporting babies born too soon, too sick or too small. I have made many lifelong friendships because of the Spirit of Sandra Scholarship. It’s an honour to be a part of such a great Foundation.”
Hayden Forrester – Winnipeg, Manitoba
“The most significant thing I take away from my experience as a Spirit of Sandra Scholar is inspiration. My time spent with the Foundation has left me with a genuine desire to continue doing my part in ensuring the legacy of Sandra lives on, and a deep-seated faith that it will.”
Karsten Sturmay – Leduc, Alberta
The future of the Sandra Schmirler Foundation is in good hands with another generation who are committed to ensuring that she is not forgotten and that her legacy lives on.
Thank you for being a loyal donor. We hope you are as touched as we were when we read our scholars’ quotes. The future of the Sandra Schmirler Foundation is embodied in their enthusiasm to continue to fulfill our mission and help save these miracle babies lives.
If you know a junior curler who is continuing their studies after graduating from high school, please have them go to our website and apply for a Spirit of Sandra Scholarship.
It’s a life-changing experience!