October 22, 2016
OHTF scholarships presented at Cuddy Gardens
LO Executive Director Tony DiGiovanni (right) planted a Stewartia at Cuddy Gardens alongside the first (Tim Elliott, left) and most recent (Easton Klaudi) recipients of the Tony DiGiovanni Scholarship.
On Sept. 9, 2016, Landscape Ontario executive director Tony DiGiovanni, manager of training, education and labour development Jeff Hicks, as well as past president Bob Allen and his wife Ruby joined Fanshawe College horticultural technician students at A.M. (Mac) Cuddy Gardens in Strathroy, Ont. to present Ontario Horticultural Trades Foundation scholarships.

Under sunny skies Michael Pascoe, program coordinator for the London-Ontario based school, gave first year students a tour of the beautiful botanical gardens, before organizing orientation activities and lunch.

Each year Pascoe and his staff host first and second year horticulture students at Cuddy Gardens for Hort Fest, an event designed to celebrate the beginning of the new school year and to give newcomers a peak at the amazing gardens that will be a big part of their college experience.

This year, for the first time, scholarships were presented during the event, giving LO management, OHTF scholarship donors Bob and Ruby Allen and Fanshawe staff the chance to recognize and celebrate the recipients.

“This is a really special day,” Bob Allen said. “We made the decision a couple years ago that we wanted to create a scholarship to help the next generation get their start in the industry, and it’s wonderful to be here today to see it come to fruition.”

Tony DiGiovanni presented the OHTF scholarship in his name to Easton Klaudi. Afterwards, the pair were joined by Tim Elliott, a Fanshawe College instructor and the first recipient of the Tony DiGiovanni Scholarship, to plant a Stewartia.

“This is a great place to be today to talk about all of the exciting, innovative things you can do in the green professions,” DiGiovanni told the group of students. “If you work hard and pursue your goals, you will have the opportunity to inspire others and truly provide benefit to society.”

James Duncan was awarded a Cullen Scholarship. Duncan worked at Cuddy Gardens during the summer, and hopes to set up a maintenance company next year.

“I am totally blown away, I had no idea,” Duncan said. “It really means a lot to me; I can’t say enough how much I appreciate the support.”

Fanshawe College students who received scholarships this year include: Scott Pollock (Bob Allen Scholarship); Caitlin McPhee (Horticulturist); Nicholas Hunt (Horticulturist); Jensen Maunder (High School); Alison Meeuse (Horticulturist); Zora Miller (Horticulturist); Rebekah Selland (Horticulturist); Easton Klaudi (Tony DiGiovanni Scholarship); Rachael Radauskas (Mark Cullen Scholarship); James Duncan (Mark Cullen Scholarship).

Scholarship applications close June 30

Each year, the Ontario Horticultural Trades Foundation awards over $50,000 in scholarships to high school and post-secondary students across the province. The funding goes to the best and brightest horticulture students who are the future of the profession, and it provides a real boost right when they need it most.

Created in 1979, the Foundation’s mandate is to ensure a healthy future for the horticulture industry through financial support for research and scholarships. With dozens of recipients each year, the foundation makes a major impact on the lives of future green professionals.

Under the Foundation umbrella, the Cullen family scholarship program also sees some $30,000 awarded to students each year.

The deadline to apply for scholarships is June 30. Applying is easy, and generally requires students to send their transcripts and a short essay describing their interest in horticulture. For more information and to apply, visit ohtf.ca.