Nicol Community Fund starts up Feb. 1

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Lindsay Core keeps hearing the same thing: we’re glad you’re doing something to help rebuild the Nicol Scholarship.

For over 30 years, students at LCCVI in Petrolia could apply for a $10,000 US scholarship thanks to the generosity of Robert Nicol.

The Petrolia native served in the military instead of attending high school. When he came back, he was too old to go back to school.

Instead, he went to work, eventually moving to the US but he never forgot his hometown and the high school he wanted to attend.

Later, he set up the scholarship which has given hundreds of students a good start on their college career.

The scholarship was only designed to run 25 years but with good management, it’s still providing funds to students although far fewer than it used to. Last year, just three teens were awarded a scholarship.

That’s where Core comes in. The former Nicol Scholar decided it was time for the alumni to step up to the plate.

Core set up a Facebook page to find other alumni who might be willing to contribute.

The response, she says, has been “fantastic.

“Everyone I’ve spoken to has been so excited,” says Core. Many of the people told her they “kind of thought about doing this before, too. Good for you for taking the initiative.

“It’s reaffirming for me that there is actually the desire out there to help.”

Core has been working with the Sarnia Community Foundation to set up a donation site.

There is now a website which will generate tax receipts for donors. It’s called Canada Helps. It will begin accepting donations Feb. 1.

Originally, Core was hoping to attract former Nicol Scholarship winners to help but many people in the community have also been interested in getting involved. Core thinks that’s a good idea.

“If we want this scholarship to continue; in the long run the community will benefit.”

And she believes everyone from former teachers to recent graduates will be willing to help.

“Even retired teachers and former teachers see the value of the Nicol and I’m going to reach out to them as well.

“It’s such a unique scholarship, it has changed the community around LCCVI…

“We want to find anybody who has an interest in seeing it continue to feel that they’re welcome to give,” says Core.

“We’re looking for anything from legacy gifts from people who have just passed away, to those who have just graduated and have an extra five bucks. All would be welcome.”

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