On Friday March 1st prior the last regular season home game for the Concordia Thunder against the Portage Voyageurs, a special presentation was made by Glenn Ball of the Friends of Alberta Junior Hockey Society to award Curtis Peck the $2,000 Al McDonald Scholarship.
The Friends are a small but active group of people from across the province of Alberta, some of whom were formerly involved with junior hockey in Alberta, or some with no connections to junior hockey, but all with the desire to assist young athletes in their pursuit of a higher education. The main purpose of the society is to raise funds and to assist with the promotion of junior age hockey players to be able to continue to play hockey at a high competitive level while continuing in their goal of a higher education, and to assist the athlete financially in this pursuit.
The Al McDonald Memorial Scholarship:
Al McDonald was the General Manager, and co-owner of the Sherwood Park Crusaders of the Alberta Junior A Hockey League from 1984 through till his untimely death in 1996. Al’s ability to scout talent was also recognized by the NHL as he was a scout for the Canucks for 15 years.
Al was very highly respected around the league. He guided many players in the right direction, often spending much of his own time and money promoting kids to US colleges and Canadian universities, in order for that player to continue education.
Al was a strong believer in a player continuing his/her education while yet playing most competitive hockey available. He also realized that education was a very costly item in a player’s desire to continue efforts to improve oneself. Al would encourage players to apply for any and all assistance that was available to allow them to continue their education and prepare for life after hockey.
When Al passed away in the summer of 1996, many people knew of this desire that Al had, and as a result, the request was made that donations in Al’s memory be directed to a scholarship in his name be awarded to a player from the AJHL each year.
Each year, the Friends of Alberta Junior Hockey Society award thousands of scholarship dollars to current and former junior hockey players. Eligibility rules do vary, however, successful applicants must currently be attending school at post-secondary facilities in the Province of Alberta.
To learn more about the Friends of Alberta Junior Hockey Society and the scholarships they offer, please visit http://friendsofajh.com/canada-hockey-scholarships/