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Giving back: New West alumni come together to raise funds for NWSS

Gathering of New Westminster secondary schools’ alumni: Reunite, play golf and support students
Members of the New Westminster Secondary schools Alumni Committee drop off a cheque, in support of the NWSS athletic department, to NWSS athletic director Peter Battistin and longtime teacher/coach Ken Bowman.

Alumni of secondary schools in New Westminster are teeing off in support of today’s students.

The New Westminster Secondary Schools Alumni is working on plans for its second annual fundraiser for NWSS. It will take place on Saturday, June 10 at Poppy Estate Golf Course in Aldergrove.

“The event turned out fairly well, as after years of pandemic distancing, many alumni of New Westminster high schools were able to reunite and enjoy the first sunny day in three weeks, play golf, dine, and tell lies about how great we were,” Don Robertson, one of the organizers, said of last year’s event. “We had 104 alumni in total, many of whom had not seen others for several years.”

According to Robertson, the event attracted students from several decades of school in New West, from the 1950s to the early 2000s.

The group is dedicated to bringing New West alumni together for events aimed at raising funds to help with the growth of athletics, to provide scholarships, to assist with uniforms, bussing to get teams to games and tournaments, and to help, when possible, at the city’s middle schools.

Last year, the group presented the NWSS athletic department with $21,100 raised by alumni.

Students who attended New Westminster Secondary School, Lester Pearson, Massey Heights, Duke of Connaught or Trap Tech are welcome to attend or support the cause.

The golf-and-dinner fundraiser is intended to be an annual event that gives alumni an opportunity to gather, enjoy some golf and a great dinner and make memories. In an effort to maximize its donation to students, the event does not provide trophies and prizes for participants to take home. 

Alumni are invited to participate in the upcoming golf tournament, which includes a shotgun start at 1 p.m. Tickets for golf and dinner are $160 and tickets for dinner-only are $75, with tax receipts available for donations of $25 or more.

The New Westminster Secondary Schools Alumni group appreciate all donations. Corporate sponsorship opportunities are also available.

A new addition to this year’s offerings is the creation of a scholarship in the name of Ernie Nyhaug, a former student, teacher, coach and vice-principal in New West schools.

Robertson said Nyhaug cruised the hallways of Duke of Connaught as a student and returned to Lester Pearson and Vincent Massey schools after attending UBC. He was a teacher and coach, before becoming a vice-principal at NWSS.

“Ernie never failed to support the New West schools with his attendance and participation in extracurricular activities,” Robertson said. “Ernie possesses a calm yet authoritative demeanour in his approach to mentoring, coaching, teaching, and the personal example he set for thousands of students who passed through NW schools over many decades.”

The alumni group will be presenting its inaugural scholarship, in the amount of $700, to a member of the Class of 2023 at New Westminster Secondary School.

The New Westminster Secondary Schools Alumni invites past students to get involved in its fundraising efforts.

“Who are we?  If you attended either New Westminster Secondary School, Lester Pearson, Duke of Connaught or Trap Tech, then ‘you’ are ‘us’,” said a notice about the group. “This site is dedicated to bringing our alumni together for events aimed at raising funds to help with the growth of athletics, to provide Scholarships, to assist dedicated athletes from lower income homes, to provide development clinics and to assist with uniforms and bussing at the high school and help where we can in the middle schools of New Westminster.”

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