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Awesome PEC awards first $1000 grant

Mihal Zada, Kevin Scanlon, Andrea Brown, and Craig Morrison.

Mihal Zada, Kevin Scanlon, Andrea Brown, and Craig Morrison.

A skateboard-making workshop for County teenagers is the first recipient of a $1,000 grant by Awesome PEC.

Awesome PEC hosted its first public “Pitch Party,” at the Athol Town Hall with four candidates short-listed for the inaugural $1000 grant. Each gave short presentations to tell the trustees why their project was the most awesome.

“It was a tough decision, but in the end it was artist/teacher Craig Morrison who walked away with the bag of cash,” said Krista Dalby, a trustee.

Morrison is the founding teacher of the innovative and award-winning Oasis Skateboard Factory high school in the Toronto District School Board. He’ll be using the money for DISLOYAL, a two-day skateboard-making workshop for County teenagers. DISLOYAL (PEC/DIY/SK8) will be led by an experienced youth leader who will be mentored by Morrison. Between 3 and 5 participants will take away a hand-made Canadian Maple skateboard made with Roarockit technology and featuring their own custom graphics.

This workshop will help the teens develop transferable creative and entrepreneurial skills to continue making their own boards and maybe even teach others to do the same, Morrison told the trustees.

“Some people think of youth as passive consumers,” said Morrison. “It’s really empowering for them to be given the tools to create their own culture.”

The other shortlisted applicants were Mihal Zada (filmmaker, Crumbs in the Food Basket), Andrea Brown (Slow Taco, The Hungry Shelf Project) and Kevin Scanlon (storage project for Storehouse Food Bank).

“Although they weren’t awarded the grant, pitching their projects in public garnered pledges of support from the crowd, financial and otherwise, making the evening even more awesome,” said Dalby.

The Awesome Foundation for the Arts and Sciences is a growing, worldwide network of people devoted to forwarding the interest of “awesomeness”. The idea started in 2009 in Boston, and now dozens of local chapters of the foundation distribute $1,000 grants to creators of projects. The money is pooled together from the coffers of 10 or so self-organizing “micro-trustees” and awarded with no strings attached.

The next deadline for applications to Awesome PEC is Nov. 1. Those who have an idea that will make the County more awesome should online at: www.awesomepec.com.

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  1. Shannon Coull says:

    The skate workshop sounds great. How can I find out when and where it will be taking place? DISLOYAL (PEC/DIY/SK8)

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