BRACEBRIDGE - When it comes to scholarships and bursaries your average high school B student can be forgotten.
Marching for the B student.
On Saturday, roughly 100 people marched to change that as part of Pete’s Pilgrimage for the B Student. The event aimed to raise money for a bursary that would be awarded to the kind of student at St. Dominic Catholic School who would not be recognized by more traditional scholarships.
Peter Cassidy, founder of the event and chief custodian at St. Dominic, said he had been thinking about holding an event like this for some time.
“I sometimes struggled from C to B. I worked my tail off and it used to bother me when I would sit in the front row at graduation and I would see my buddies going up to get their bursaries and I knew dang well I worked as hard if not harder than they did,” said Cassidy.
While all the details haven’t been worked out yet students will likely need to be nominated by a teacher or fellow student in order to be eligible for the bursary. Cassidy said they already have a few students selected as potential recipients.
Once all the money has been counted, Cassidy hopes to be able to issue the bursary to one male and one female student.
“It’s going to be based around attendance, dedication, commitment, work ethic, involvement in school community and you’re going to have to be registered at a college or university in the fall,” Cassidy said.
The march started just beside the Esso gas station on Ecclestone Drive and wound through town back to St. Dominic on Cedar Lane. A barbecue was held when the march reached the school and several dignitaries from local government and the school board were present. Police accompanied the march to ensure the safety of walkers as they crossed the major streets.
Cathy Doyle, teacher at St. Dominic, said she was really happy to see all the support the event got from students and the community.
“Can you get it any better weather wise?” said Doyle regarding the Saturday morning weather. “There’s been a really good turnout and a lot of support from the community with the police officers. It’s wonderful to see a lot of staff here and a lot of people from the community.”
Cassidy, who intends to retire this Christmas, said he planned the bursary as a way of saying thank-you to a school community that helped him get his own life back on track.
Sandra McGuire, educational assistant at St. Dominic, said she believes the event represents an important cause.
“I myself was a B student, and it’s nice to have the funds available for a bursary for one of our students at St. Dominic to be able to achieve their goals,” said McGuire.