It was with much sadness when news spread throughout the VOS Theatre family that our founding member, Ruth Harcort had suddenly passed away. Ruth was the very heart and soul of our theatre group and took up the challenge of providing a venue for musical productions and plays in Cobourg. She taught, encouraged, mentored and supported so many of us as we entered the world of live theatre. It wasn’t long that many members of the VOS were discussing a multitude of ways to remember Ruth and to recognize her in a way fitting her commitment to local theatre.
The winner of the 1st Annual Ruth Harcort Scholarship is Michelle Clark. Michelle is a graduate of the I.B. program at Cobourg Collegiate and has been involved in dance at the Premier Dance Studio for several years. Her hard work and dedication to her craft was reflected so well in her application and interview. In her final year, as part of her requirement for the I.B. program, Michelle shared her love of dance with students in a special needs program at her school. She described the response of one of the students to the dance program and we could all sense the ghost of Ruth leaning over Michelle’s shoulder and saying to her well done. The arts should be shared and enjoyed by all but this can only be accomplished when taught by someone who loves her craft deeply.
Michelle is heading off to Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and will be studying neuroscience where she hopes to combine her love of dance with her devotion of helping others.
It should also be noted that for several years, the VOS has been donating $500 to each secondary school in the Northumberland County to be presented as an award to a graduating student active in the arts and chosen by the staff at each school.