The Community Foundation of Portage and District (CFPD) gave out thousands of dollars in bursaries to Portagers as part of their annual meeting and celebration.

Among the winners was Ava Matthews-McCulley, who was awarded the Russ Denton Memorial Bursary. She says after putting in the work, it simply feels amazing to be the one receiving the bursary, worth $1,040.

"I have definitely put in the hours at school and out of school with the volunteering, I also play lots of hockey," explains Matthews-McCulley. "So, being able to get a bursary from someone that was such a hockey fan was quite a good acknowledgment."

She adds to be eligible for the bursary, she simply had to show them her high school transcript and be accepted into a post-secondary school in Canada. She notes this bursary will certainly help as she makes strides toward her next stage of schooling.

"This bursary will help me financially for sure as I further my education, not just that, but also knowing that I have people supporting me is great. Money also dictates so much," says Matthews-McCulley. "Having that sum of money to help support my schooling is going to help tremendously."

She also shows her love for Portage, saying that it's not just a community that you can simply view from the outside. She says the fact that you can go to a store and know everyone means that Portage is more tight-knit than a lot of larger communities.

The CFPD also gave out bursaries to many other Portagers and a school, including:

-The Dr. Donald WIlliam Rae Memorial Bursary ($1,000) went to Emily Walter.

-The Lorraine Rae Bursary Fund ($1,170) went to Reegan Vanstone.

-The Portage Community Development Corporation Bursary ($1,070) went to Colley Ann Doyle and Hannah Rabbitskin.

-The Dr. Harvey Hassard Memorial Bursary ($1,180) went to Talia Derksen and Czarina Castellano.

-The Don and Lois Booth Memorial Bursary ($400) went to Jennifer Mills.

-Portage & Rural MS Support Bursary ($440) went to Czarina Castellano.

-The Chuck Young Natural Resource Management Memorial Scholarship Fund ($200) went to Bronson Paetzold.

-The Kathleen Bjarnson Fund for Music, was awarded to Yellowquill School.