Scholarships reward Manitoba's brightest

BY Myron Love . Jul 07 04:00 am

There were a number of repeat scholarship winners at the 2017 Motor Vehicle Industry of Manitoba Scholarships on Wednesday, at the Hilton Suites Winnipeg Airport Hotel.

For Ashley Weber, this was the fourth year in a row she has been awarded one of Sobering Auto Electric Ltd. Scholarships (this time Automotive Service Technician — Collision Refinishing — Post-Secondary). As Ian Rogers, the long-time chair of the board of trustees for the scholarship fund — and master of ceremonies for the evening, noted, there is no limit on the number of times a student can apply.

Weber has also won Gold three years in a row in Collision Refinishing at the annual Canadian National Skills Competition and will be representing Canada in the International Skills Competition in Abu Dhabi in October.

Other repeat scholarship winners this year include Maxx Wazney (Sobering Auto Electric Scholarship for Automotive Service Technician Collision Repair-Secondary); Bendrine Klassen (Manitoba Used Car Dealers Association scholarship — Automotive Service Technician — Mechanical — Post Secondary School this year); Darryl Merritt (who was awarded a Manitoba Public Insurance scholarship in the Automotive Service Technician — Collision Repair Post-Secondary category); Andrew Friesen (Automotive Recyclers of Manitoba Inc. scholarship also in the Automotive Service Technician — Mechanical — Post Secondary) and Brayden Robb and Jessie Posthumus, who both received Automotive Trades Association, Manitoba Inc. Scholarships. Robb’s scholarship was in the Automotive Service Technician — Mechanical — Post Secondary category while Posthumus earned his scholarship this year for Automotive Service Technician — Collision Repair — Secondary School.

Among the first-time scholarship recipients were Sobering Auto Electric winner Keenan Salazar (Automotive Service Technician — Collision Refinishing — Secondary); Don and Joyce Sobering Family Scholarship winners Wesley Wanders (Automotive Service Technician — Mechanical — Secondary) and Brian Schollenberg (Automotive Service Technician — Mechanical — Post Secondary); Manitoba Motor Dealers Association winners Bronson Ramoutar and Jessica Thomas (both in the Automotive Service Technician — Mechanical — Post Secondary category); and Christine Maloshicky (who received the other Automotive Recyclers of Manitoba Inc. scholarship also in Automotive Service Technician — Mechanical — Post Secondary category).

The Adolphus “MAC” McDonald Memorial Scholarships were awarded to first time recipients Iqbal (Garry) Uppal and Wanda Wilson (both in the Automotive Service Technician — Mechanical — Post Secondary category). The award is given yearly in honour of the late Mac McDonald who devoted his life to training and the automotive repair sector. (Cancer claimed McDonald’s life in 2005.)

In addition to Darryl Merritt, MPI awarded scholarships to first-time recipients Jay Walcer and Jessi Freund (both in the Automotive Service Technician — Collision Repair — Secondary category), Robel Feshasion (Automotive Service Technician — Collision Repair — Post Secondary) and Lyle Marlow (Automotive Service Technician — Mechanical — Post Secondary).

Marlow was a double winner on the evening. He also received one of four new scholarships provided by CarProof (the scholarship Marlow received), First Canadian Group of Companies (the winner was Justin Savage, a tire technician at Murray Chevrolet who is enrolled in the Level 1 ASEP automotive technician course starting in January), iA-SAL (who presented Selkirk Chrysler service director Evan Fortney with a scholarship to pursue Red Seal certification next year) and ADESA Winnipeg who awarded a scholarship to Murray GM Brandon service advisor Lyndon Elliott, who is enrolled in the Automotive Business School of Canada program in Barrie, Ont.

Also presented for the first time this year at Motor Vehicle Industry of Manitoba Scholarships was the MMDA’s presentation of its longstanding Gerald Rewucki Memorial Scholarship, which had been traditional awarded in conjunction with the MMDA’s annual Sales Certification Graduation breakfast. The award was established by the new car dealers to commemorate Rewucki, formerly of Eastern Chrysler, who was a founder of the sales certification program, who was killed in a vehicle accident almost 20 years ago.

Any spouse, child or grandchild of an MMDA member is eligible to apply for the scholarship. The recipient this year was Bailey Cole, whose father, Mike Cole, is the sales manager at Kelleher Ford in Dauphin. Bailey Cole just graduated from Grade 12 and is enrolled in Brandon University’s Faculty of Science in the fall.

This was the fourth annual awards evening in its present form. The criteria for the scholarship recipients include high academic achievement, volunteerism in the community and the vision statement that each student submitted with his/her application outlining their long term goals. The scholarships are for $750 and $1,000 and, Ian Rogers, the scholarship committee chair, noted, Mac Tools doubles the amount of the scholarship for any recipients who come into a Mac Tools store with scholarship in hand.

The scholarships have been given out for the past 14 years — formerly under the aegis of the Red River Exhibition Foundation. Don and Joyce Sobering founded the Scholarship program in 2002 in celebration of the 55th anniversary of their Sobering Auto Electric Ltd. The scholarships reflect Don and Joyce’s ongoing commitment to the practice of apprenticeship training in Manitoba of highly skilled technicians for the motor vehicle industry.

Manitoba Public Insurance came aboard in 2005, followed by the Manitoba Motor Dealers Association in 2006, the Manitoba Used Car Dealers in 2007, the Automotive Trades Association in 2010 and the Automotive Recyclers in 2012. Also in 2012, the scholarship fund board of trustees established the Don and Joyce Sobering Family Scholarships in honour of Don and Joyce.

Rogers pointed out the scholarship fund is administered by the Winnipeg Foundation. The scholarships are awarded from the interest earned on the principal with a portion going toward the scholarships, a small amount is set aside for expenses and the remainder is reinvested with the Winnipeg Foundation.