Ten years ago today Syncrude established its Good Neighbours Busing Grant.
It was intended to provide youth in the Wood Buffalo region with safe transportation to sporting events, conferences, and workshops. But 515 grants and more than a million dollars later, the program has more to offer than a ride from point A to point B.
Twenty-year employee and Physical Security Advisor, Kelly Schick makes good use of this program. As a coach for his nine-year-old son’s hockey team and 12-year-old daughter’s ringette team, he has witnessed the benefits of busing first-hand.
Local ringette teams are an example of the nearly 60 organizations to have benefited from Syncrude’s Busing Grant program over the last decade.
“It’s great. It helps teams out and it’s so relieving to not have to worry about transportation,” says Kelly. “Especially this last winter when the roads were so bad – it was nice to be on the bus instead of piled into 20 cars to drive south. It’s also so wonderful to watch them develop as a team while they’re playing, laughing and talking on the bus.
In addition to safety, peace of mind, and team development opportunities, the Busing Grant provides teams and organizations financial support that recognizes Fort McMurray’s distance from other centres where competitive events are held.
We’re helping to develop these kids by giving them access to life experiences.
“Not only does it help them keep physically active, it helps with their social development, perseverance, ability to work with others, and leadership skills. These kids are going to make up our future – they may even be our future Syncrude employees.”
These are just two examples of the nearly 60 organizations that have been provided busing grants in the last 10 years. These organizations qualify for the grant after Syncrude employees volunteer a minimum of 40 hours with the non-profit organization and have their grant application approved.