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Student earns a car

Jodi Rethy, a second-year student in Holland College’s Practical Nursing program, has earned more than just good marks this year.  Her hard work and dedication have also earned her a brand new 2021 Chevrolet Spark. Four other students, Shawn Fraser in the Sport and Leisure Management program, Barbara Kalil in the International Hospitality Management program, Jill Kendall in the Photography and Videography program, and Laura Mills in the Human Services program are each $1,000 richer, thanks to Lou MacEachern, a loyal donor to the Holland College Foundation.

“I’m so thankful to have had the support of my peers and instructors at Holland College this past year, and for being my biggest cheerleaders,” said Rethy. “I’m also grateful to Lou MacEachern; the car will definitely be put to good use.”

Holland College full-time students in a first or second year of a post-secondary program were eligible. A record-number of 51 student nominations were submitted by faculty and staff and, following review by the Registrar’s Office, five finalists were identified. Earlier in the week the finalists were interviewed by a selection panel and the car and cash awards were presented recently at the announcement event on the Prince of Wales Campus.

This unique initiative was created by MacEachern, a native Islander and Calgary businessman, who has donated the car and the cash awards for seven consecutive years. Earn a Car recipients are awarded based on a combination of merit, character, and academic achievement.

"This is about a lot more than just good marks. It's about the students' personal and professional growth, their attitude, their ability to persevere, their work ethic, and their character. Ultimately, I hope to motivate them to keep striving to reach their goals, to roll up their sleeves and put the work in, and to give back to their communities." ~ Lou MacEachern, EARN A Car founder and donor

MacEachern grew up in Hazel Grove, P.E.I., and, like many of his generation, left school at a young age to help on the family farm. In 1956, he returned to Queen Charlotte School in Charlottetown as a mature student, after which he attended post-secondary training at Prince of Wales College and then Dalhousie University.  MacEachern moved to Calgary, where he married, raised a family, and made his mark as a leader in business and as a benefactor in the community.

“Our gratitude to Lou is immense,” said Holland College President Dr. Alexander (Sandy) MacDonald.  “In addition to providing the unique opportunity for our students to earn a car, Lou also funds a substantial slate of bursaries for incoming business students at Holland College. His generosity is nothing short of inspiring.

The Holland College Foundation was recognized nationally for the EARN a Car initiative in 2020 with a Silver Medal in the Best Student or Young Alumni Initiative category presented by the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education.

In this picture: In this picture: (Left to right) Shawn Fraser; Laura Mills; Holland College President Dr. Alexander (Sandy) MacDonald; Jodi Rethy, recipient of the 2021 Chevrolet Spark; Barbara Kalil; and Holland College Foundation Board Chair Kent Scales gather around the car during the recent Earn A Car announcement. Missing from photo are finalist Jill Kendall, and donor Lou MacEachern, who joined the event virtually.

For more information about this release, please contact:
Jo-Ann Campbell-Boutilier, Executive Director - College Advancement and the Holland College Foundation
Tel: 902-629-4273
Date: Friday, May 07, 2021