INAUGURAL AWARD: David Lafferty Sr. (left) accepts the award on behalf of his son, David Jr., from Debbie Virgoe (right) and Scott Smith, chairman of the OTA's Education Foundation (middle).
TORONTO, Ont. –Times may be tough for the trucking industry, however the Ontario Trucking Association’s Education Foundation was in a giving mood at this year’s convention.
The foundation awarded nearly $30,000 in scholarships to university and college students, mostly to students with parents who work in the trucking industry. The foundation hopes to award even more scholarships in the year to come, and an anonymous donor is helping out by offering to match any contributions up to $50,000.
“Recently, the foundation was approached by someone with an affiliation to the Ontario trucking industry who sees a great deal of value in what the foundation is doing in Ontario,” Scott Smith, chairman of the OTA Education Foundation announced at the OTA’s convention. “So much so, that the foundation recently accepted an offer from this donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, to match donations up to $50,000 that we receive between now and March 31 of next year.”
A couple of trucking firms immediately announced contributions as part of what’s being called the 50-50 Challenge. Trucking companies that wish to contribute can visit www.on-truck.org/education/foundation.
Also, during a touching moment at the OTA convention, the first ever Driver Memorial Scholarship was presented. David Lafferty Jr., a first-year student at the University of Guelph, won the award which was established in the memory of heroic trucker David Virgoe, who lost his life trying to avoid other vehicles after being cut off by street racers. Virgoe’s wife Debbie was on-hand to present the award, which will be presented each year to a student whose parent has been killed or injured on the job.
Lafferty Jr.’s father, David Sr., lost the use of his legs after being involved in an accident when driving for All-Ontario Transport. The accident occurred as he was hauling an improperly loaded container. Lafferty himself had been a frequent winner of the company’s safety awards. •
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