Ryan Blais’s connection to philanthropy and giving back started early in his competitive career as a Freestyle athlete. Ryan is a retired former member of the Canadian Freestyle Ski Team; an athlete from the discipline of Aerials, where he represented Canada on the World stage for 12 years.
“Grande Prairie has many young talented athletes with big dreams and I feel our community should be proud to assist them with financial support to help them achieve their goals.” states Ryan. “Our elite athletes represent our community on the provincial, national and international stage and we are well-served when we ensure they have the support needed to excel. I believe that today’s athletes can become tomorrow’s leaders.”
In 2006, Ryan established the Come Fly with Me Legacy Fund, a legacy fund held with the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta. Ryan understands and appreciates the firsthand support he received from our community and region throughout his athletic career. He created the fund to extend the same opportunities to the next generation of athletes.
The Foundation is proud to partner with the City of Grande Prairie through their Pursuit of Excellence Athlete Development; in helping more of our local young athletes achieve their dreams through the Come Fly with Me Legacy Fund.
Annually, disbursements from the Come Fly with Me Legacy Fund are directed to the Pursuit of Excellence Committee to offer an additional award in the Come Fly with Me Legacy Fund name. This partnership engages local athletes and assists them to enhance their training and development. Since 2015, 22 athletes have received financial support in sports ranging from swimming to shooting, biathlon to judo.
Hudson Frayn, a 2022 recipient writes:
“I’d like to express my sincere appreciation for the funding provided though the support of the Come Fly With Me Fund. As a 15-year-old competitive swimmer your generous support means the world to me.
Being able to compete at a high level requires a lot of dedication, hard work, and financial resources. Thanks to your contribution, I will be able to attend important meets and gain valuable experience in the pool. This funding will allow me to focus on my training and improving my swimming abilities.
Your generosity has not only helped me pursue my passion but has also given me a sense of encouragement and motivation to continue working hard towards my goals. I feel incredibly fortunate to have received this opportunity, and I promise to make the most of it.
Thank you once again for your kindness and support. It truly means the world to me, and I hope to make you proud by representing the Come Fly With Me Fund with dignity, sportsmanship and excellence.”
We are honoured with Ryan’s vision for the future in creating his legacy through the Foundation. Athletes are well positioned to be positive role models in their communities and can be the leaders of tomorrow. Together, we are investing in local future leaders.