The MMC has created the Kay Bell Scholarship to provide opportunities for mothers in our programs who demonstrate an interest in gaining higher education, but lack the resources to pursue their scholastic goals.
The MMC is built on the foundational belief that mothers are the catalysts for change within their families and communities. Motivated by a desire to secure the best possible future for their children, with even minimal support, mothers can overcome many obstacles.
There is no better example than Kay Bell. As a single mother of ten, Kay confronted and overcame a steady stream of challenges. Born in 1930 on a mixed farm in Saskatchewan, Kay developed the tenacious spirit – unique to those who endured both the Great Depression and the Second World War – that is marked by solid determination, resourcefulness, thrift, and resilience.
Fuelled by an irrepressible desire not only to survive but to flourish, Kay pursued difficult and numerous professional paths. She obtained her GED at ago 50, an optician license, and a real estate license. She was elected to the town council, managed the local Sears outlet, was a successful realtor, wrote for the local newspaper, and managed a large motel complex in White Court.
Kay lived a life of service no matter her own financial situation, which was far too often dire, and she found a way to give to those in need, whether it was through baking, sharing meals, or donating clothing and money.
Travel was Kay’s passion and as soon as she was able, her journey through the world began. Trips to Greece, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, and an annual visit to San Miguel de Allende were culminated with a backpacking trip through Thailand at 80 years old.
Kay was an informed citizen of the world, active volunteer, and accomplished professional, and, above all these accomplishments, she was an inspirational and caring mother.
Even frequently at enormous personal cost, no professional milestone was as important to Kay as ensuring the best possible future for each of her children. Kay guided them through what was, for some, turbulent school years and the challenges of life that followed. When needed, she fearlessly advocated for each child and guided them toward careers best-suited to their passions and capacities.
Kay saw her children marry and, before her own child-rearing days were over, she warmly welcomed the first grandchildren into the fold, now counting 22 grandchildren with as many great-grandchildren. Kay taught her children that unconditional love is possible – as is providing steady support even through daunting setbacks. Kay leaves the world better than she found it, and her memory will serve many generations as an enduring inspiration for the empowerment of mothers.
The Kay Bell Scholarship fund will provide an annual financial award for women who, like Kay, are determined to improve their lives through higher education.