Marie Hartwick says too often youngsters have ideas, but don’t know where to turn to implement them.
A co-ordinator at Volunteer Thunder Bay, Hartwick believes Tbaytel For Good, a community giving program launched Monday by the municipally-owned utility, is a great first step.
“I talk to a lot of students and they don’t know what to do first. This will be a great starting point for them to get some funding and get the ball rolling and it will open more doors for them in the future,” Hartwick said.
The four-stage program invites participants to submit their idea online, where the public can read about it and vote for their favourite, the winning entry getting a share of the $15,000 in prize money Tbaytel has put forward.
The first seasonal campaign will focus on education.
Katie Crowe, the corporate brand communication manager at Tbaytel, said the program was designed to solicit new ideas from the public to make the city a better place to live.
“Anyone across Northwestern Ontario in our serving territory can submit an idea and then the fun can begin with voting,” Crowe said.
“Once you have a good idea, we’re encouraging you to share it. We’re encouraging you to campaign for your idea and get votes.”
Future categories include sports and recreation, the environment and the arts. The top six ideas will be deemed semifinalists, with the overall winner getting $5,000 and the other five get $2,000 apiece.
Tbaytel CEO Dan Topatigh said it’s all about encouraging innovation in the community.
“We are very excited to be introducing Tbaytel for Good because it is a program that will give us an excellent sense of where the need for support exists as well as what really matters to the people who live and work where we do,” Topatigh said.
Entries may be submitted through late November, with voting ending shortly afterward.
The education campaign winners will be announced on Dec. 12, with the next campaign set to begin on Jan. 6, 2014.
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