Ryan Penny Memorial Music Scholarships awarded
Another four Marystown-Burin area students who demonstrate an extraordinary desire to further their skills, knowledge and love of music have been awarded Ryan Penny Memorial Music Scholarships for 2015-16.
This year’s recipients are Austin Hiscock of Donald C. Jamieson Academy, Alexandra House of Marystown Central High School, Brittany Bugden of Pearce Junior High School and Mackenzie Power of Sacred Heart Academy.
Austin, a Grade 7 student, is active in a number of activities related to fine arts at school. He is currently a member of the chamber choir at Jamieson.
Alexandra, a Grade 11 student, is interested in piano and guitar.
Brittany, a Grade 9 student, is an enthusiastic student who enjoys singing.
Mackenzie, a Grade 7 student, has always demonstrated a strong interest in music. She is a very dedicated student to both her practices and performances.
Along with the Marystown-Burin area recipients, a scholarship will also be awarded to a student at Cannon Richards School on the Northern Peninsula this year.
This will mark more than 50 students who have been awarded the scholarship over the years, along with the donation of a piano to the music program at Jamieson, and it continues to grow and give back.
The annual scholarships honour Marystown native Ryan Penny, who was tragically killed in an industrial accident while working on an oil rig near Fort St. John, B.C, on Nov. 1, 2003.
Ryan and many of his friends lived and worked out west. Two weeks after this death and burial, some of them gathered in Edmonton to share a few pints, some stories and cherished memories.
They all wanted to find a way to honour him and the things he loved, so a decision was made to start a scholarship in his name that would give kids a chance to further their love of music and to keep his east coast heritage alive. The first fundraiser was held later that month in Edmonton, Alta.
The theme of the fundraiser is Lucky Charms, Music and Friends. This year marks the 12th anniversary of Ryan’s tragic death and the 13th annual fundraiser where his friends continue to gather, raise money for kids and celebrate his wonderful life. The event takes place at The Atlantic Trap and Gill in Edmonton where Ryan’s guitar still hangs on stage. This year the event is on Nov. 21.
Silent and live auctions will be held that night with 100 per cent of the donations and funds raised going to the scholarship program.
The Derina Harvey Band headlines, along with Marystown natives Arnold White and his band, Somewhere in Between and Ryan’s good friend, Johnny Dwyer, front man from the band Penny’s Whistle.
“We want to thank all the people for their dedication to this fundraiser – his friends, the committee, the bands, the Trap and for all those across the country who continue to give so generously – because without them these scholarships would not be possible,” said Shirley Penny, Ryan’s mom.
“Ryan is so loved and missed by his family and friends. Our hope is that these scholarships give the students an oppor- tunity to make music in their own way and for everyone to know how grateful we are that Ryan made such a positive impact and continues to do so.”
Ryan, son of John and Shirley Penny, liked to whistle, sing and play guitar. Check out the song “The Whistler,” written as a tribute to him by his friend Newfoundland native and award-winning singer/songwriter Jimmy Whiffen and friend Rose Tucker, on his website www.ryanpenny.com.