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Scholarships help fund education pursuits of athletes

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Elena Maystruk
Elena Maystruk
Elena Maystruk was a journalist at the Woolwich Observer where she covered news, business, sports and human interest beats. She has previously worked with university and independent publications in Toronto, covering everything from the city music scene to the local branch of the Occupy movement. She is a long-time community enthusiast and volunteer in Waterloo Region and part of the 2012 Media Studies graduating class at Guelph-Humber University. Maystruk is currently a staff writer for the Strathroy Age Dispatch.

They may have moved out of Woolwich but Graham and LuAnn Snyder showed this week they have no intention of stopping the program started in Elmira 10 years ago when the first Dan Snyder Memorial Scholarships were given out. Once more they made the dreams of three local athletes that much more attainable when they gifted Trinda Crawford and Eric Hanley $1,200 each to go towards their education, at Conestoga College and Ryerson University respectively, on the evening of August 21.POST_SnyderScholarship2

“Some of the values we talk about in our application are perseverance, dedication, hard work – those are qualities that Dan had, and helped him to get ahead in the game that he loved to play. He was always very involved with things other than hockey, as well. This is a real privilege for us to do this again each and every year,” said Graham Snyder during the small ceremony at the family’s new Waterloo home.

The scholarships are given out in memory of the couple’s son, NHL player Dan Snyder, who succumbed to injuries following a car accident in Atlanta in 2003.POST_SnyderScholarship1

With her award, Crawford, a player with Woolwich Ringette, gets some help starting in a health sciences program. Hanley, a local hockey player, goes on to an engineering program.

Brady Campbell, former Sugar Kings right-winger and the third recipient of the scholarship, was presented with his plaque and cheque earlier this summer before the prospect headed to the University of Maine on a hockey scholarship from the NCAA.

“They just showed a lot of determination in achieving their goals – it’s a real honour to recognize these people and have them learn a little something about Dan,” Snyder said as his wife handed out the plaques.

The future for Crawford and Hanley is still full of uncertainty and possibilities, they both agree. Elmira’s Hanley hopes his upcoming co-operative work experiences will help him make a decision on his future career in steel or oil refinery. And does he hope to keep up with his love of sports?

“If I can, as much as I can,” he said.

Crawford is staying closer to her Heidelberg home, looking forward to a pre-health science course at Conestoga College with dreams of becoming a paramedic or a nurse.

“I’m very appreciative of this scholarship that I’ve gotten, it’s going to help me a lot,” she said.

As in previous years, a panel of judges including the Snyders chose the recipients. Over the years the scholarship has given out over $35,620 to athletes from the Sugar Kings team, Woolwich Minor Hockey and Woolwich Community Open categories. To apply for next year’s scholarships, visit www.37risingstars.com.

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