HELPING HORTICULTURE STUDENTS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
The BC Council of Garden Clubs’ Scholarship Fund assists Canadian students resident in BC in furthering their education in horticulture in a recognized accredited college or university through the granting of scholarships and bursaries.
The capital of the fund comes from donations made by garden clubs throughout BC as well as bequests and other sources. These donations become and remain part of the capital fund. The capital fund is held and managed by the Vancity Community Foundation.
The Scholarship Fund Committee is responsible for encouraging donations and for allocating the available funds to BC educational facilities for students in their horticultural-related programs.
HOW THE FUND WORKS
Our members kindly donate funds to the Scholarship Fund.
The funds are held with the Vancity Community Foundation (VCF) as a Donor Advised Fund. This means that the Scholarship Fund Committee decides on the award levels and distribution of available funds each year. VCF recommends the distribution of 4% of the value of the fund each year.
SCHOLARSHIP FUND COMMITTEE
Shonagh MacRae, our current chairperson, has been a member of the Scholarship Fund Committee since 2020. Attracted to the garden from a young age, Shonagh’s earliest memories are making snapdragons roar and watching her dad hard prune their roses. This early start led to a lifelong love of anything to do with plants. She is certified in aromatherapy and horticulture therapy and spent a few years volunteering with VanDusen Botanical Garden as a TA. Her membership in garden clubs began with the Shade Garden Society and, once she moved out to Surrey, the South Surrey Garden Club. She became a Master Gardener in 2016 and helps to organize their monthly speaker series. She is excited to support future horticulturists as they also pursue their passion with plants!
Patty Molnar joined the BCCGC Scholarship Fund Committee in 2021 while in her second term as president of the North Surrey Horticultural Society. She has enjoyed a lifelong relationship with gardening, starting with an elementary school science project in growing vegetables. After gaining a BA at UBC, she later balanced her working years in an office job with an interest in gardening, and has always believed in the worth of learning more. As a mature student she earned a Diploma in Horticulture through part-time studies at Surrey College, and encourages anyone who wishes to pursue an education in the horticultural field. She hopes her time with the Scholarship Fund Committee will provide support and value to those seeking a career in horticulture. In the meantime, she will be out singing in the garden as she is a member of a choir and hopes that someone has done studies to confirm with scientific evidence that this is beneficial to plants.
Anita Irani is a member of the Richmond Garden Club and has lofty goals and aspirations as an amateur gardener; and spends a significant amount of time looking at her yard and dreaming about the possibilities. Before her retirement in 2019, Anita was Director of University Admissions at York House School and was responsible for the post-secondary scholarship application process at the school. Early in her 26-year career at York House, Anita also managed the York House School scholarship program in her role as Director of Admissions. She was the Metro Vancouver Coordinator of the Ministry of Education District Scholarship program. From 2005-2008, approximately, Anita served on the Teal Charitable Foundation Board, adjudicating scholarships for ELL participants. She is very excited about being a member of the Scholarship Committee
The committee meets approximately eight times a year and is charged with the administration of the Scholarship Fund, including maintaining contact with: educational institutions receiving awards from the Scholarship Fund; Vancity Community Foundation, which administers the funds; clubs, individuals, and associations that donate to the fund; as well as with students receiving awards.
A familiarity with administrative practices, good computer skills, and a willingness to work with others are assets that are needed. Knowledge of non-profits, streamlining processes, or fundraising would also be beneficial.
If this is of interest to you and you would like more information, Shonagh MacRae, the current chairperson, would be delighted to hear from you.