Sandra Schmirler Foundation Announces 6 Spirit of Sandra Scholars

OTTAWA – The Sandra Schmirler Foundation today announced the successful applicants for the Spirit of Sandra $5,000 junior curling scholarships. “The response from young competitive curlers across Canada was incredible,” said Theresa Breen, Foundation Chair. “The Board was very impressed with the applicants and their outstanding achievements in academics, competitive sport and community involvement.” This is the inaugural year for the $5,000 scholarships, which will be funded annually through crowd sweeps at Season of Champions championships. “The Foundation is indebted to the Canadian Curling Association for providing this opportunity for competitive curlers to engage with fans at major curling events and collect money to fund this new initiative,” stated Breen. The 2013 Spirit of Sandra Scholars are: Jocelyn Peterman from Red Deer, Alta.; Kristen Streifel from Clavet, Sask.; Shannon Birchard and Derek Oryniak, both from Winnipeg; Matthew Smith from Keewatin, Ont.; and Cathlia Ward from Fredericton, N.B.. For more information on our scholars, click here. In addition to the financial support these scholars will receive, they will also be mentored by world championship curlers Jon Mead and Cathy Overton-Clapham, who have volunteered their time to help these young curlers realize their own dreams. “Jon and I are thrilled to be able to work with this very talented group of young competitive curlers,” said Overton-Clapham. “We hope that together we can help them to build their competitive skills while balancing curling with school,” added Mead. The six scholars will join Cathy and Jon in Winnipeg in August for a two-day training session. Each of the scholars has committed to organizing a fundraiser in their local community to build awareness and raise money to support the mission of the Sandra Schmirler Foundation: to donate to Neonatal Intense Care Units (NICUs) in hospitals across Canada for the purchase of life-saving equipment for babies born too soon, too small or too sick. Two of the applicants for the Spirit of Sandra Scholarships were born premature and spent time in a NICU at their local hospitals. About the Sandra Schmirler Foundation: The Sandra Schmirler Foundation was created in January 2001 as a legacy to three-time world curling champion and Olympic gold medalist Sandra Schmirler, in recognition and celebration of her love of family. The Foundation raises and donates funds across Canada for the care of premature and critically ill babies recognizing that all “Champions Start Small.” The Foundation has now donated over $2.3 million to 31 neonatal intensive care units in hospitals across the country.