(Originally posted online on the Durham District School Board website at http://www.ddsb.ca/MediaDesk/SchoolNewsHighlights/Pages/2014-2015/2014-12-10.aspx or on The Chronicle website at http://chronicle.durhamcollege.ca/?p=3186 )
Thirty-eight Durham Region charities have been dealt a winning hand by the Blue Heron Charity Casino.
The biggest winner was the Port Perry Hospital with a $250,000 jackpot.
The Baagwating Community Association donated $552,500 during its annual Christmas Cheque Presentation and Reception where they donate money to non-profit and registered charities in need of assistance. The event happened on Nov. 27 at the Health and Recreation Centre in Port Perry.
The Baagwating Community Association of the Blue Heron Charity Casino was established in 1997 and consists of active members of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.
“We get to see how in our surrounding community people are active and doing things for others and that’s what this is about,” said Gary Edgar, chair of the Baagwating Community Association.
One of the organizations to receive a cheque was the Durham District School Board’s First Nation Literacy Partnership Program (FNLPP).
“This next one is very near and dear to my heart,” said Edgar, a retired Durham District teacher, who was one of four people to start the program.
The FNLPP received $5,000. FNLPP is a partnership between Durham Region Police Service, Rotary Club of Port Perry, Rotary Club of Oshawa, Rotary Club of Whitby Sunrise, Baagwating Community Association, Ontario Provincial Police, North-South Partnership for Children, UOIT, Durham College and the Durham District School Board.
“Every dollar we receive from the Baagwating Community Association goes right into the purchasing of books that have been written by First Nations authors,” said Martyn Beckett, director of education, who accepted the cheque.
The books that are purchased are then shared with different schools within the Durham Region.
“They really embrace the books and the opportunities to build cultural learning, cultural awareness and celebrate the full diversity of the school board,” said Beckett.
After accepting the donation Beckett surprised Edgar with some recognition of his own.
On Nov. 17 the Durham District School Board inducted three people into the its Hall of Fame, one of those people being Edgar.
“The trustees of the Durham District School Board did recognize Gary for his leadership, contribution to the community and as a former student of the Durham District School Board,” said Beckett.
Beckett then asked the crowd to show their appreciation for Edgar with applause and handed him a certificate of recognition.
Along with the Baagwating Community Association handing out donations there was also a Toy Drive being collected by the Durham Regional Police. There were overflowing tables filled with toys.
“We said we would share our profits with the community,” said Edgar. “I don’t believe that too many people thought that would happen.”