The legacy of Lambton County’s highly successful 1991 International Plowing Match (IPM) is continuing to help deserving students in Lambton County continue their post-secondary studies.
Three students were presented with IPM ’91 scholarships of $1,000 each during a presentation ceremony held at the 2014 Brigden Fall Fair.
Lambton IPM ’91 Scholarship Committee Chairman Bill Bilton noted that the IPM local organizing committee was very proud of Lambton’s agricultural community which worked so diligently to make the 1991 IPM a success.
“The weather co-operated to provide excellent conditions before, during and after the match,” he said, adding that through the various sources of revenue which included gate receipts, exhibit space rental and donations, a profit of well over $125,000 resulted and the committee decided to incorporate it into a scholarship fund to assist post-secondary students continue their education.
“All those involved from the executive on down, were true volunteers, none of them received any remuneration for their services which helped assure that the profit could be utilized for community purposes.”
Bilton said early on the committee decided that only the interest on their accrued funds would be dispersed in the form of scholarships for deserving Lambton County students in their second year of post-secondary studies.
“That way the legacy of the 1991 IPM can live on in perpetuity with these scholarships,” he added.
He noted that until recent years the committee had been able to provide four students with a $1,200 scholarship each but with the current low rates of interest, they had to reduce that to $1,000 each for three students.
He added that it’s the committee’s hope that when interest rates rise again, they will be able to go back to providing four scholarships annually.
To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must have completed one-year of post-secondary training or be enrolled in their second year of any college or university.
Selection criteria are based 50 per cent on community involvement; 20 per cent on academic achievement; 20 per cent on financial need; and 10 per cent on discretionary need.
Recipients this year included Duncan Annette, Ashley Cornelissen and Mitchell Steven.
Duncan Annett, 20, is the son of Rob Annett and Joanne Sanderson of Dawn-Euphemia Township. A graduate of Lambton Central Collegiate and Vocational Institute (LCCVI) in Petrolia, he is now attending Lambton College, where he is enrolled in his second year of the Instrumentation Chemical Engineering Technology program. He plans to work as an instrumentation technician with a special interest in agriculture. Duncan was actively involved in the Bothwell Minor Hockey league for 13 years as well as Inwood baseball for six years. He is a dedicated 4-H member, holding executive positions in several clubs and has attended several provincial 4-H events. Highly involved in his community, he was a volunteer in the “Pay it Back” program working with seniors and the less fortunate members of the community. A devoted member of Shetland United Church, through his regular attendance has been involved with many church activities.
Ashely Cornelissen, 19, is the daughter of George and Carolyn Cornelissen of Warwick Township. A graduate of North Lambton Secondary School, she is presently enrolled her second year of the Bachelor of Management and Organization program at the University of Western Ontario. Her career goal is to work in finance or accounting within the agricultural sector and later become an agricultural lawyer. Imbued with a strong interest in sports, Ashely has been actively involved in dragon boat racing, cross country, volleyball, track and field and soccer, along with both figure skating and synchronized skating. She also serves as the pianist with the Catholic Church in Watford. Ashley was recently chosen as the Brooke-Alvinston-Watford Fall Fair Ambassador and is currently serving as Lambton County’s Queen of the Furrow. Ashely makes a special effort to maintain her farm roots with her continued involvement in the 4-H program.
Mitch Steven, 19, is the son of Brian and Barb Steven of Plympton-Wyoming. A graduate of North Lambton Secondary School, he is presently enrolled in the Chemical Production and Power Engineering Technology course at Lambton College. His career goal is to become a process operator working in the petrochemical industry. Mitch has demonstrated his community service through his involvement as an active volunteer with the Forest Fall Fair as well as with the Southwestern Ont. Steam Threshers’ Association. An avid sportsman, he is a member of both the Forest Curling Club and the North Lambton Super Stroker’s Dragon boat team. Since attending Lambton College he has become an active member of its intramural sports teams as well as acting as a college resident assistant, organizing events and assisting students in need.
Also attending the ceremony was Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey who congratulated the scholarship recipients and their families on their achievement.