Rink plans

Mike Larizza, left, and brother Steve Larizza, right, donate money needed for an outdoor rink at the Matawa Education and Care Centre on Wednesday with Matawa First Nation Education Authority fundraising consultant Bonnie Moore.

The Matawa Education and Care Centre launched its own charity earlier this week to help improve the lives of its students.

The Matawa First Nation Education Authority will work towards fundraising for bursaries, cultural programs, emergency clothing and outdoor recreation.

“This is a really exciting opportunity for Matawa Education to reach out into the community,” said fundraising consultant Bonnie Moore. “Thunder Bay is such a giving community, so reach out into a community of donors, people who do grants, big philanthropists, foundations to get money and support the students.”

Moore noted that bursaries are especially important to help students moving onto post-secondary education and technical programs.

The first contribution came from Matawa First Nations Management. CEO David Paul Achneepineskum announced $35,000 to help launch the education foundation on Wednesday and said the money comes from Matawa First Nations Management’s own charity Gathering of Rivers for Community Care.

“One of the objectives is to make contributions to the betterment of our education for our members of our communities,” he said. “We’re proud to do that.”

The Matawa First Nation Education Authority will look to fill the gaps that government grants and programs don’t cover for items like sports equipment.

“Our resources from the government are limited so we want to ensure we do our part,” Achneepineskum said.

The foundation also received a donation from Steve and Mike Larizza for an outdoor ice rink at the Lillie Street school.

Moore said the two brothers understand that kids need to have fun and that’s why they’re putting money towards the rink.

For more information on the foundation visit mfnea.ca.

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