Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Contributions to PGSSS Class of ’74 Legacy Project Surpass $12k

'We were so lucky to be shaped by a community like Prince George.'
SUBMITTED PHOTO Members of the PGSSS Class of 1974 gather for a photo during their recent 50th anniversary reunion

The ripple effect from the PGSSS 50th graduation reunion held on June 14th and 15th continues to spread far and wide.

Dan Robin, chair of the reunion committee, announced today that contributions to the reunion’s Class of ’74 Looking Back, Looking Forward Legacy Fund have now topped the $12,000 mark.

Growing daily, it promises to benefit local future grads for many years ahead.

“It’s so exciting,” says Robin. “Contributions exceeded our expectations. But we shouldn’t be surprised. Prince George is known for its community spirit and generosity.”

The legacy fund will supply bursaries and scholarships for students showing community leadership and wishing to further their education.

The fund will be administered by School District 57.

“We wanted to give something back to the community on behalf of our 844 classmates from ‘74,” says Carolyn Phillips-Cusson (nee Olsen), the reunion sponsorship committee chair.

Cusson was valedictorian for the PGSSS graduating class 50 years ago. She said in her speech that when she looked at the audience, she “suddenly realized that she was part of a real community, hurting in the wake of tragedy, but looking out for each other.”

Cusson was referring to the loss of the Willow River 8, fellow classmates who had perished in a canoeing accident the month prior. In her reunion speech 50 years later, she said she felt the same love and can-do spirit here.

Over half of the 1974 grads moved away from the area after graduation. Dan Robin says “we were so lucky to be shaped by a community like Prince George. The legacy fund will help community-minded students become future leaders, wherever they choose to live."

Silent auction and cash contributions to the campaign have come from as far away as California and Australia. “It was touching to hear people’s stories about how Prince George built the people they have become,” Cusson added.

Local businesses and alumni donated over 100 items to a silent auction that raised more than $7,800 during the event.

In addition, direct contributions have surpassed $4,000. “We’re aiming higher," says Robin. “If the public contributes another $8,000 we’ll have a fund that can operate in perpetuity.”

Gerald van Caeseele of the Class of ’74 planning committee notes that another legacy is knowledge transfer to upcoming reunion committees.

“I’ve already been contacted by two grad classes planning their reunions,” he says. “We have templates, committee minutes, and contacts that we’re sharing based on the outstanding success of our event. It’s great to be able to pass this on.”

The Class of ’74 also hopes future reunion groups will contribute to the Legacy Fund. “Wouldn’t that be something?” Robin asks.

“Just think of the ripple effect that would have.The fund could support service-minded PGSS students for generations to come.”

Contributions can be made to the Legacy Fund via e-transfer to the treasurer: Gail Looijen, email: [email protected], until Sept. 30, 2024.