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Whispering Ridge School named Ryan Wagner Memorial Award winner

For the second time, Whispering Ridge Community School has earned the Ryan Wagner Memorial Award from 3D Charity Hockey. It was the biggest fundraising school for the annual tournament after raising just shy of $5,000 in 2022.

The award was named in honour of Ryan Wagner who passed away in 2016 after a lifetime of complex medical issues. Chair of the 3D Children’s Society Darren Foley says the school fundraising efforts equate to about five per cent of the total money raised in 2022, which at the time of publication was approximately $110,000.

Foley says it’s incredibly heartwarming to see such immense work done by the next generation when it comes to helping those in need. He adds that the tournament has come a long way since its inception in 1999 when the tournament kicked off with a handful of high schools taking part.

“Caring for others and striving to be there when people need help and to stand up and be that person, group, or school or that community to help those that just need a little helping hand.”

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Ryan Wagner’s mother Donna says she is at a loss for words when trying to explain the magnitude of a difference the support of the charity made in the lives of Ryan and the rest of his family. She says she is truly humbled that Ryan’s name will remain so closely associated with such generosity during the darkest of times.

“With the help and support of the 3D Children’s Charity, Ryan was able to live a more typical life for periods of time away from hospitals and doctors. Seeing him being able to have an escape for a while was a true blessing for us.”

WRCS Grade 4 Teacher Lorne Kimble says many adults find themselves worrying about the next generation, and whether or not they’re teaching them to always take the best path in life. He adds when he sees students take part in efforts like this, those fears shrink.

“I see hundreds of kids just like you guys not only participating in sport but also demonstrating respect and empathy for others no matter their economic background or religion, race or physical abilities or challenges,” he told the entire school during an assembly for the award.

All proceeds from the annual 3D Charity Hockey and Soccer tournament go towards helping to pay the bills for sick children from all three Grande Prairie school divisions. More than $1.3 million has been raised since its inception.

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