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RAYS 2023 Fall Update to Donors and Friends

On behalf of RAYS students, their families and our volunteers, we want to thank you for investing in the future of our local area youth. Your support makes a real difference.

RAYS Scholarship and Bursary Committees have met regularly through 2023 to coordinate with school guidance counsellors and interview candidates for awards. We were delighted with the strong, worthy applicants for all award programs. Congratulations to RAYS students, graduates and volunteers for a special 2023.


In 2023, Riley Farness graduated from Nipissing University with a Bachelor in Social Work. For this 2023-2024 year, Riley is pursuing a career-related position within the community prior to beginning her Masters’ degree in social work in 2024. Tim Speyer has returned to his Aero-Space Engineering program after a successful coop program within this specialized area. After careful deliberation, Ella McLean has decided that a career in health care is more appropriate for her and has been accepted to Western University’s nursing program. Ella was offered a seat in all 4 universities in Ontario offering such a program!

2023 Scholarship Award Recipients

RAYS Board approved scholarship awards of $20,000 over four years for three high school graduates beginning university programs in September 2023.

  • Fisher Monahan, of Glen Huron, commenced a Bachelor of Arts Program at Lakehead University
  • Addison Payment, of New Lowell, began a Studies in Life Sciences Program at University of Toronto
  • Justin Rowbotham, of Creemore, began a Computer Science Program at Western University

In addition, RAYS awarded an Award of Merit ($2000 one-time) to two students:

  • Alexis Proud, of Creemore, is pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts at OCADU.
  • Marcus White, of Nottawa. is enrolled in Studies in Life Sciences at University of Toronto.


RAYS Board approved bursary awards ranging from $1000 to $3000 for 4 new high school graduates beginning college programs or apprenticeships in Fall 2023.

  • Taylor Borges, Creemore, is enrolled in a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program at Georgian College in Barrie
  • Natalie Carlson, New Lowell, is enrolled at Ridgetown College in Environmental Management
  • Jordan Morris, Stayner, has started a Heavy Duty Diesel Mechanic Apprenticeship
  • Connor Walker, Cashtown, is attending Ridgetown College for a Diploma in Agriculture

The Bursary Committee is working with several other students who are pursuing various requirements to enter post-secondary trade or apprenticeship programs throughout this 2023-2024 academic year.

RAYS scholarship and bursary students are busy in their educational and training programs. Overall, in 2023, RAYS donors are supporting a total of 13 local area students with scholarships, two students with Award of Merit, and 17 with bursaries.

The generous support of donors like you makes a significant difference to our students. Recent graduate, Rosalyn Martin noted that receiving both mentoring and financial support for four years from RAYS had “alleviated financial stress, allowing me to spend time volunteering, getting involved in community work and developing career networks”.

Since 2012, RAYS has:
  • awarded 31 university scholarships: 18 students have graduated
  • awarded bursaries to 71 students in college programs, apprenticeships, and trade schools
  • attracted over $500,000 for funding scholarships and bursaries

We want you to know that both the students and their families tremendously value the generosity of RAYS donors.

Other developments at RAYS

  • RAYS AGM held on May 7, 2023 with over 40 attendees. The meeting included presentations from three students – all so well received. Wonderful to hear how well the students are doing in their programs
  • RAYS Board: At RAYS AGM May 2023 the following Board members were confirmed Barbara Lemaire (Board Chair and Scholarship Chair), Nick Forrest (Bursary Chair), Craig Lillico (Treasurer), Susan Tremblay (Fund Development), and Serge Lafleur (Secretary). Three outgoing Board members: Geoff Davies, James McSherry and Rina Barone were warmly thanked for their years of dedication to RAYS.
  • RAYS Summer Awards event honouring the 2023 award winners brought together new students, their families, RAYS sponsors and volunteers. Thank you to Barbara and Pierre Lemaire for hosting.
  • RAYS community outreach has continued with articles in the Creemore Echo; and regular features on Facebook and Instagram.
  • A RAYS representative was active in the selection of the youth ambassadors at the 2023 Collingwood GNE.
  • E-Transfer for Donations: RAYS Fundraising continues to attract new and returning donors. A convenient donations process has been welcomed by many – Donors can donate through e-transfer to
  • RAYS benefits tremendously from the involvement of our volunteer committee members – Erik Fish, Catherine Fuller, Christine Jenkins, Lynda Jeffery, Ron March, Susie McLeod, Heather Rowell and Diana Wiszniewska. We thank them for their commitment and efforts in delivering our award programs and assisting in our governance.
  • RAYS commends the volunteers, coming from a wide variety of careers and professions, who serve as mentors for all Bursary and Scholarship recipients. There are over 30+ of them and our current and graduating RAYS students often comment on the value of their ongoing relationship with their mentors.

Your support of RAYS and local area youth is highly valued. You’’re investing in a brighter future.

Donations to RAYS are welcome payable to RAYS Resources for Area Youth Success, P.O. Box 2052, Creemore, ON L0M 1G0, online at, or by e-transfer to

Best regards,
Barbara Lemaire, Chair of the Board, RAYS
Susan Tremblay, Chair, Fund Development