Geddy Lee sends words of support to NC; scholarship launched in his name

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Acting president Steve Hudson, dean of the Canadian Food and Wine Institute Jon Ogryzlo, and CEO of Grapes for Humanity Canada Tony Aspler sample a glass of wine at the Wine Visitor & Education Centre after announcing the Geddy Lee Scholarship on Nov. 25.

Support poured in for Niagara College’s Wine and Viticulture program on November 24, with a special visit from Toronto-based wine expert Tony Aspler and a donation to establish the Geddy Lee Scholarship.

Aspler, president and CEO of Grapes for Humanity Canada, announced a $26,500 commitment to providing  an annual scholarship in the Rush frontman’s name. The scholarship will be presented to  a student in the second year of Niagara College’s Wine and Vitculture Technician program each year. The funds will also be matched by the provincial government’s Ontario Trust for Student Support program.

During his visit to the Wine Visitor & Education Centre on Nov. 25, Aspler read a statement Lee asked him to read on his behalf.

“I’d like to thank my fellow directors of Grapes of Humanity Canada for this generous gesture in creating and supporting this valuable scholarship program for students of Niagara College. I feel deeply honoured and I’m extremely proud to be associated with such good and generous people,” wrote Lee.

“Grapes for Humanity Canada is a unique organization of wine lovers, such as myself, who have found a way to help people around the globe through their passion and, as such, it seems appropriate we are now able to provide help and some support for our own blossoming wine industry here at home. “

Aspler said Grapes for Humanity was very pleased to support students in winemaking in recognition of Lee’s magnificent contribution as a director of the charitable foundation.

“We hope that the annual recipient of this scholarship will bring to his or her calling the same dedication to quality and to public spiritedness as Geddy Lee has brought to Canada’s musical legacy,” said Aspler.

 “Niagara College is thrilled that Grapes for Humanity Canada is making this significant investment to support student learning and success, and the wine industry,” said Sean Kennedy, CEO of the Niagara College Foundation and acting vice-president, Academic.

Grapes of Humanity Canada has been raising funds to benefit humanitarian causes around the world since 2001. Lee is a board member of Grapes of Humanity and has been involved in it since its inception. The new scholarship was launched in Lee’s name to honour his dedication to Grapes for Humanity.

For more information visit grapesforhumanity.com.

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