U of R president donates over 700 neckwarmers
Last month, in a gesture of support to local troops, University President and Vice-Chancellor Vianne Timmons distributed over 700 neckwarmers to Canadian Forces reservist units in Saskatchewan – one for every reservist in the province.
Soldiers of the 10th Field Artillery Regiment RCA accepted the neckwarmers on behalf of all 38 Saskatchewan CBG soldiers in a ceremony Dec. 15 at the Regina Armoury.
Each neckwarmer features the University of Regina’s logo, while sporting its green and gold colours.
“It was a nice gesture,” said 18 Battery Commander Maj, Rupcich, based out of Regina. “Dr. Timmons is a phenomenal lady; she’s really stepped up to support us all and we appreciate it.”
“It feels pretty good to be recognized for what we do,” said Bombardier Courtney McKay of 10 Field Artillery Regiment. McKay added she hopes to pursue a degree in political science and psychology at the university next year.
Timmons said the idea for the neckwarmers arose during her visit to Nunavut as part of the CFLC Northern Diplomatic Tour in June, where she became acquainted with the Canadian Forces Junior Ranger Program.
“I had the privilege of going [to Nunavut] with foreign attachés and five executives to see our university operations and understand the challenges of being in the north,” she said. “The trip was extensively sponsored by the military, so I got to see what happens with the reserves and Junior Rangers there.
“I was so impressed with the whole Junior Ranger program; it fills an important void for youth in the north.”
Timmons said she decided to sponsor the Canadian troops when she learned members of the Junior Rangers do not receive hats or mittens as part of their uniform.
“I learned they receive jackets, but many of them don’t have anything else,” she said. “So Tim Kramer [CEO of Saskatchewan-based Kramer Ltd.] and myself, along with the other executives, thought it would be a great opportunity to do some sponsorship; [Tim] got toques for everybody and I got neck warmers.”
Timmons said when she got back to Saskatchewan, she decided to take a look at the needs of reservists in the province.
“It turned out that after our trip up north, we had enough neck warmers to support all the reservists in Saskatchewan,” she said.
As a result of her ongoing commitment to supporting the reserves, Timmons was given the title of honourary major for the 10th Field Artillery Regiment RCA.
“Being an honourary major means I can be more visible in the support I give to the reserves,” she said. “The unit can expect to see me at events and speak out about the reserve program. My title will also serve as a means of encouraging university staff and faculty who work in the reserves.
“We’re supporting the future of our country by supporting our young people [in the reserves], the Junior Ranger Program, and the military. It’s a great way to earn money for the students; they get to see the world and learn skills and leadership in many areas.
“I’m a big supporter of the program.”