On May 9, 2018, EducationMatters launched our Fuel the Future event to raise awareness and dollars to support educational enrichments for students across Calgary. The event, held at the Calgary Board of Education Centre was busy, with 128 guests, students, and volunteers in attendance.

Students from Lester B. Pearson High School, under the guidance of Red Seal Chef Martin Makulowich, prepared a selection of tasty appetizers and desserts for guests to enjoy.

Elder Randy Bottle opened the evening with a blessing and a reminder that we are here together to learn.

EducationMatters Board Chair Mike Shaikh spoke about the 120,000 students in the Calgary Board of Education who will be working, living, and contributing to our community in the coming years. He is proud of the work that EducationMatters does and grateful for the generous support the community provides.

The Lester B. Pearson High School Patriots Dance troupe presented two fantastic pieces for guests at the event (They won an award the next week at the East Side Dance Festival)

Trustee Marilyn Dennis, Vice-Chair of the Calgary Board of Education Board of Trustees thanked the dancers from Lester B. Pearson for their wonderful performance. She spoke about the power of working together and keeping the focus on student success.

Host Ken Lima-Coelho, an EducationMatters’ Student Awards Committee member, was warm and convivial. He explained, cajoled, and even used his water bottle as a microphone for a moment.

Allan Rosales discussed the View From the Inside program, a collaborative project with WP Puppet Theatre. Two Forest Lawn High School students presented thier monologues on dealing with, and breaking through the stigma of sharing mental health challenges.

Erica Wiebe talked about finding and staying with her passion for wrestling. Even when she hit a wall, believing that she could never wrestle in another match, she decided to keep pushing forward and came away with an Olympic gold medal in Rio at her very next competition.

Dr. Raj Bhardwaj spoke about having a voice inside of him that says “you’re an imposter.” When he is able to stop listening to that voice that says he can’t, is when he actually can. He finds great joy in learning and teaching others about health.

Bonnie DuPont spoke the need to be challenged by her work and have variety in her career. When asked a question by Erica about why she decided to change careers after several years of success, she simply replied “Boredom.” Bonnie also spoke to the fact that even when others say we cannot do something, we should seek out those who will rally around us, tell us that we can, and help us figure out the way!

EducationMatters Executive Director Marilyn Field thanked guests for a wonderful evening and reminded us all of the impacts our generous support can make on the lives of students in Calgary.

The event would not be complete without a huge thank you to our generous sponsors who made a great evening possible.

As well, a big thank you to our silent auction donors: Alberta Theatre Projects, Calaway Park, Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut, Office of the Mayor, City of Calgary, Eau Claire Distillery, Erica Wiebe, Laurie Sommerville Art, Nancy & Rob Close, Plant, Priddis Golf & Country Club, Resorts of the Canadian Rockies, Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Sherwood School Student Artists, Silver Springs Golf and Country Club, The Nash, Vertigo Theatre, Village Brewery

Money raised from this year’s Fuel the Future event will go towards fulfilling the grants applications we receive from schools and educators in the fall of 2018. Each year, more grants are requested than can be fulfilled. If you would like to contribute additional funds towards initiatives that will fuel our students, please donate online, or contact us for more information.