Three scholarships are already in place for the new Penhold Crossing Secondary School opening this August, thanks to a recent generous donation.
Stewart and Eileen Ford, longtime Penhold residents, donated $500,000 to the school. The money will be used to cover three annual awards to graduating students in Grade 12 worth $5,000 each. They will be known as the Ford Family Scholarships and be awarded in the categories of academics, citizenship and applied/practical arts.
Stewart said the scholarships are a tribute to the generations of his family who have thrived in the area, since his great-great grandfather arrived from Ontario in 1884.
“In the family I came from, giving back to the community was part of the routine,” said Stewart in a press release. “I grew up working hard and learned very young that I could direct money to do good things for other people. When the opportunity came up to support the new school, we stepped up quickly because we are so very pleased to have a school of this calibre here. Everyone is excited about the beautiful building and the strong leadership at Penhold Crossing. If this scholarship adds to this project, we are very proud.”
The Ford family business began with a machine dealership and branched into an enterprise that involved lumber, retail building supplies and horse-trading.
They were also farmers and both of Stewart’s parents were teachers. Eileen also taught briefly at Penhold School before having the couple’s two children.
The Ford grandchildren attend Penhold School now and the couple’s oldest grandchild will be a part of the first Grade 7 class at Penhold Crossing.
An open house is being held at the Penhold Multiplex on Thursday from 6 to 7 p.m. to meet Penhold Crossing staff and learn more about the school’s programs.