Generous “Sweaters for Scholarships” campaign results in $12,600 for RD Polytechnic Student Scholarships
Community members, Alumni Association raise money for Red Deer Polytechnic scholarships
During a creative holiday-themed campaign, community members and the Red Deer Polytechnic Alumni Association (RDPAA) raised $12,600 for student scholarships, including the Student Emergency Bursary.
The Sweaters for Scholarships initiative encouraged community members to donate to student scholarships and to share a photo of themselves with friends, family or coworkers in a festive sweater to show that they had committed their support.
“Our community is generous and at this time of year, many donors think of our students’ needs and make donations to scholarships or other areas. This year, through conversations with students and alumni who have received scholarships and bursaries, we wanted to add extra impact for students to see the faces of the donors who are so generously invested in their success,” says Richard Longtin, Vice President External Relations at Red Deer Polytechnic. “Sweaters for Scholarships provided an avenue for our donors to share their photos with us on social media so that we could show students the people who are championing them.”
This initiative resonated with the Board of Directors of the Polytechnic’s Alumni Association (RDPAA). Two current members volunteered to share their stories as part of the campaign. Lynne Madsen, RDPAA Secretary (and instructor in RDP’s Bachelor of Science, Nursing program), shared her experience of needing emergency financial support near the end of her post-secondary education. “I received $500 [from the Student Emergency Bursary] and a trip to the Students’ Association Food Bank. This support at this critical time allowed me to finish my program and graduate rather than withdraw and go back to work full-time,” she said in a blog post for the campaign. Erin Bast, the student representative on the RDPAA, shared how scholarships gave her encouragement and validation that she was on the right path. “It means the world to me to be able to continue going to school,” she said in a campaign video. “I can’t believe there are people out there donating to our scholarship fund to help students receive an education.”
The RDPAA connected with alumni on social media to emphasize that even small gifts can add up to create a big impact. “The RDP Alumni Association is proud to support Red Deer Polytechnic students with this donation to student scholarships. We all know the struggles that our community faces with the rising cost of living. As alumni, we also remember the unique financial struggles of being a student, including balancing work and other commitments with receiving an education. We hope that this donation will not only support our students but that it will remind other alumni and community members of the needs of students and inspire them to show their support as well,” says Courtney Avram, Chair of the RDPAA Board of Directors.
The Sweaters for Scholarships initiative encouraged community members to share their photos to social media on National Ugly Sweater Day, which was December 16. The fundraising campaign total of $12,600 includes all gifts made to support scholarships up until Monday, December 19. However, the campaign page remains open for donations through the end of the calendar year.
Online gifts made before midnight on December 31 are eligible for a charitable tax receipt, and campaign staff hope that this incentive will inspire other community members to consider continuing to support scholarships even though National Ugly Sweater Day has passed.
Red Deer Polytechnic’s Jenica Swartz named ACAC Indoor Track Runner of the Year
Jenica Swartz named Indoor Track Runner of the Year, Ethan Duret picks up an All-Conference Award
Red Deer Polytechnic and the Athletics department are pleased to recognize Jenica Swartz of the Queens Indoor Track Team as the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Female Runner of the Year and Ethan Duret of the Kings Indoor Track Team as he was named an ACAC All-Star.
Swartz was a crucial part of the Queens team winning their first-ever championship title in Indoor Track. Duret picked up multiple top-five finishes on the men’s side at the ACAC championship.
Jenica Swartz (Queens Runner)
What a year it was for Jenica Swartz. It all started way back in August when she started training with the Queens Soccer and Cross-Country team. She was able to earn a gold medal in soccer and a bronze medal on the same weekend at the ACAC Soccer and Cross-Country Championship. Capping off the 2022 season, Swartz competed for the soccer team at nationals before flying to Medicine Hat for cross-country nationals where she ran the 6 km race that same morning and placed fourth. A few months later, she would help the Queens win the first-ever championship in program history in Indoor Track after picking up three individual golds, one silver and first place in both the relay events at the ACAC Championship held in Edmonton at the Butterdome this past weekend.
Head Coach Douglas Spicer explained that Swartz is an outstanding athlete and teammate.
“She leads by example in her training and competing in both cross-country and indoor track, along with being an integral part of the Queens Soccer program. It was a great pleasure working with Jen this year and watching her dominate the competition in her quiet, humble way.”
Last season, Swartz broke her ankle and she had to have pins put in to repair the damage. Between the 2022/2023 cross-country and indoor track seasons, she had the pins removed and in the end, she came out on top in the 300m, 600m and 1000m events at the championship.
Swartz is a second-year student-athlete at Red Deer Polytechnic and is enrolled in the Bachelor of Science Pre-Med program. She was also named to the All-Conference team.
Ethan Duret (Kings Runner)
Ethan Duret is a second-year student-athlete with the Kings Indoor Track and Cross-Country team. He is from Red Deer and went to high school at Notre Dame Ecole Secondaire where he ran for their cross-country and track team before moving over to the Polytechnic. He is a five-foot-nine runner and is enrolled in the Bachelor of Commerce program.
Earlier in the Indoor Track season at the Grand Prix hosted by Red Deer Polytechnic, Duret earned himself two first-place finishes and a gold and bronze medal in both relay events. At the Championships, it was a much different story, Duret could not find the podium in the individual events but helped his team to a bronze finish in the 4x200m relay. He ended his weekend with two fifth-place finishes in the 300m dash and 600m run.
Spicer said he is a terrific athlete who is well-suited for indoor track, as he has natural speed, along with the endurance that he developed during the cross-country season.
“Although he did not finish in the top five in cross-country, he trained hard and developed a solid aerobic base which we refined during indoor track. This added more speed and endurance which suited his 600m and 1000m races in particular. Ethan is a goal-setter who asks a lot of himself and works hard to achieve his goals.”
Duret will also be graduating from the program following the end of the academic year.
Kings and Queens hockey teams crowned ACAC Champions – Queens go back to back!
The Kings and Queens Hockey Teams are ACAC Champions
The Red Deer Polytechnic Queens win in overtime and become back-to-back champions in women’s hockey as they swept the Ooks in the best-of-five-game series with a 2-1 victory. After the Ooks dominated the majority of the period, the Queens would strike first with 46 seconds to go in the opening frame. On a two-on-two rush, forward Brenna Reid (Bachelor of Kinesiology) slid the puck over to her teammate Natalie Buttle (Bachelor of Kinesiology), who would wrist it past the NAIT goaltender for their third straight opening goal of the series.
At the end of the first 20 minutes, the Ooks outshot the Queens 10-4 as once again goaltender Tanya Disotell-Dunsmore (Bachelor of Science in Pre-Opt) was helping her team out in the pack of the net. The Ooks would tie it up at one after a misplayed puck in the Queens end landed on the stick of forward Jessica Engelbrecht (Bachelor of Business Administration) who would wrist it over the blocker of Disotell-Dunsmore.
The Ooks continued to dominate the game as they held the Polytechnic to six shots in the middle frame and put up 12 more to give them a total of 22 shots in the 40 minutes played.
This game would need overtime, but it sure did not take long for the Queens to become back-to-back champions as forward Avery Lajeunnesse (Bachelor of Education) wrapped the puck around and snuck it between the pad and the post to defeat the Ooks 2-1, 45 seconds into the overtime period. It was a delayed call, but the Polytechnic is now back-to-back champions.
Queens goaltender Tanya Disotell-Dunsmore stopped 30 of 31 shots on her way to being named the player of the game as they clinched the gold medal in the 2022/2023 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference Women’s Hockey Season.
What a way to end the 2022/2023 RDP Athletics schedule with the Kings also winning the championship on Friday night.
The Red Deer Polytechnic Kings swept the NAIT Ooks in the best-of-five-game championship series and win their first championship since the 1993/1994 season.
The first period went uneventful for the second straight game. But the Kings were surely making Ooks goaltender Ryley Osland (Business Administration) sweat a little as they fired 17 shots on goal in the first 20 minutes. NAIT, on the other hand, had just three shots and would start the second period on the penalty kill. But the Ooks would kill it off and moments later would open up the scoring of Game 3. Off a faceoff, in their own zone, the Kings could not clear the puck as the Ooks were forechecking. This led to the puck landing on the stick of forward Dylan Stewart (Open Studies), who would rifle it past Kings goaltender Arik Weersink (Bachelor of Business Administration) for the early lead.
The Kings would return the favour with under two minutes to go. Defenseman Layne Toder (Management Certificate Skywing) sauced over a pass to forward Holden Knights (Bachelor of Education), who finished it off with a highlight reel goal as he backhanded the puck over the glove of Osland into the top corner of the net to tie it up at one.
After the second period, the Kings still were outshooting the Ooks 24-19 but NAIT controlled the pace of the game in the middle frame as they made Weersink work for all 14 saves in the 20 minutes and just held the
Polytechnic to seven shots.
Under two minutes into the final period, forward Erik Miller (Business Administration) would walk into the Ooks zone beat a diving defenseman and sneak one past Osland for their first lead of the hockey game. This would ultimately be the series-clinching and game-winning goal as the Kings defeated the Ooks 2-1. At the end of the game, the Polytechnic outshot NAIT 28-24.
As he stopped 26 of 28 shots, Ryley Osland was named the player of the game with the Kings goaltender Arik Weersink also being honored with the player of the game award.
This would end the RDP Athletics schedule for the 2022/2023 season with the Awards Banquet happening on Wednesday, April 5 to recap all the amazing moments that happened across all the sports teams and recognize all the student-athletes who contributed to an incredible year at the Polytechnic.
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