Moses Sheppard Scholarship Award
Robert (Bob) Larocque
When asked what do you like most about being on the MSSA Executive Committee Renée said "I like to go shopping for all the gifts and prizes. We use that time as family time or bonding time. Getting ready for the fundraiser is always challenging not only to set up the prizes but making sure that everything is as it should be and that we have a great fundraiser". The thought of giving back means a lot as I've seen my family hit rock bottom and come back stronger, and that in part is due to Moses Sheppard.
Executive Committee Members
The idea of creating a scholarship in his name to light and as it turned out unbeknown to us, someone else had the same idea but we acted faster, approached Moses with a plan, and simply waited for him to accept what we proposed.
"I must be honest with you, at times the thought of giving it all up does cross my mind. When my family and I have to go hunting down for prizes and gifts, then store these until the next fundraiser, making part of our home and garage a designated warehouse, but then, the reality sets in and I think that if it had not been for Moses where would I be today? Giving back is only a small token on our part and if we can keep helping students then the scholarship will keep on going".
Although Renée has graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Commerce from Lakehead University, but she was not a recipient of the scholarship since it was created later in time. Now rather then benefiting from a financial award, she is contributing financially to the sustainability of the scholarship.
With her HBcomm, she has taken on the responsibility of the financial aspect of the fundraiser. She also helps with the accumulation of gifts throughout the summer and is a vital part in organizing the yearly fundraiser dinner at the Slovak Legion.
Bob founded the MSSA back in 2010 after Moses had stated that he was
going to move out west to live with some family members.
Wondering how to repay him for his years of volunteering and dedication
to injured workers and all those lives he changed was going to be a task, since
Moses did not want any remuneration for his services.
Bruce gave a heart warming speech at the last fundraiser and spoke of how he was a bit hesitant to accept joining the MSSA. "I was a little hesitant, as I did not know what to expect". But as it turns out he kept helping and finally accepted to join the MSSA.
The first time that Bruce was asked to present the awards at the TBCA, he says that "it was a bit overwhelming to see the Pipes and Drums Band bringing all the graduates to centre stage. It was amazing, something came over me". Bruce had never been to a formal graduation of this size. "I was scared and wondering in my mind how I was going to be up in front of all these people" while he would be presenting the awards to the recipients.
There were many awards being presented ahead of the MSSA, and Bruce recalls that "when I went up to present with Bob, I wasn't afraid anymore. I felt like this is what I wanted to do". I guess in some way, that is how Bruce wants to payback to Bob and Moses for the help he received from the volunteer group of the TBDIWSG.
So how does someone feel after they see what Bruce had just seen and went through with the awards presentation and being part of such an important day in a student's life, "after it was all over I felt very different. It was a feeling I have never felt before. It was simply amazing".
At the fundraiser last year, Bruce was asked to say a few words and at the verge of tears and with a different tone in his voice he said, "Thank You Bob for giving me the opportunity to participate in this awesome cause, and Thank You for letting me into your family".
Bruce is an injured worker that came to see Bob firstly at the
Thunder Bay and District Injured Workers Support Group. He then joined the
Board of Directors, and became good friends with Bob and Moses. Although Bob was to represent Bruce in an appeal, Bob suffered a heart attack, and Moses took over.