Kick-starting the Fund
In a testament to the power of a rugby volunteer’s community legacy, family and friends of the late Judy Seddon of Edmonton, Alberta recently established a new Canadian Rugby Foundation (CRF) Fund: The Judy Seddon Memorial Scholarship Fund.
With the goal of reaching $20,000 – the minimum to establish and sustain an endowment fund within the CRF – progress to date has far exceeded those initial plans…to the tune of $51,600 from 65 donors and counting…all in the few short months between March and May. And with the Foundation’s matching contribution of 25 percent on amounts up to $80,000, the grand total to date is now over $64,500.
How did the Fund grow so quickly to this level? It all started with Judy’s daughter, Karla, who made the decision to donate $10,000 towards a scholarship intended to recognize and assist a young Alberta woman planning to attend post-secondary school (university or college) and who had previously demonstrated a commitment to rugby as a player, coach, official, or volunteer, and ideally planning to develop their rugby career along with their education pursuits. Following her passing, organizers of the Fund leapt into action. Through word of mouth and social media promotion, they solicited additional major gifts from family members and friends and Alberta Football Rugby Union, Alberta Junior Rugby Association, and local Alberta rugby clubs, and many individual donations from throughout Alberta and across Canada.
Now, with the total donations raised to date and the CRF matching contributions, the Judy Seddon Memorial Scholarship Fund is able to award one or more scholarships totalling $2,000 annually.
Judy Seddon has been the ultimate ambassador for rugby for close to four decades. Her early playing days were with the Edmonton Coven Women’s Rugby Club, where she was part of the initial surge of women’s rugby in Alberta. Her support for women’s rugby continued throughout her life as an ambassador and firm voice in the advancement of the women’s game. As the backbone of the Alberta rugby community, Judy volunteered for the Edmonton Rugby Union, Rugby Alberta, and Rugby Canada. She has held numerous positions over the years such as the Edmonton Rugby Union registrar, website manager, statistician, fundraising chair, Vice President of the Ellerslie Rugby Park Board and Rugbyfest Treasurer and Chair. If there was a rugby event taking part in Alberta, it was likely Judy was there and even more likely that she was helping out with the event in some capacity.
Judy is affectionally referred to as ‘Rugby Mom’ and her unwavering commitment, passion and dedication to registration, administration, and many other facets of growing the sport of rugby have gone above and beyond what would ever be expected from a volunteer position. Her efforts have been recognized by multiple organizations, including by the Edmonton Rugby Union as the Most Valuable Administrator and Hall of Fame Inductee, by Rugby Canada as the 2017 Volunteer of the Year, and by the Governor General of Canada with the award of the 2018 Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers. Judy’s leadership was unquestionable, as well as her strong will and sense of diplomacy to get the job done. Judy’s commitment and passion for the game will be missed, but the legacy she leaves will continue to inspire the community to dedicate themselves to the game in her honour.
This scholarship will be awarded annually to a young woman aged 15-23 who is involved in rugby in Alberta as an athlete, referee, coach or volunteer, selected on the basis of community service and volunteerism, and academics, who is or will be enrolled in a post-secondary institution.
To make a donation to the Judy Seddon Memorial Scholarship Fund, go to: https://canadianrugbyfoundation.ca/index.php/judy-seddon-memorial-scholarship/ and complete the donation and donor information.