Origin: In 2012 a plan was put in place to raise funds for a new RNFOO scholarship in memory of nurse Sonia Varaschin.  Marija Bojic, a friend of Sonia Varaschin, introduced this new award at the 2012 RNFOO Gala. The following is an excerpt from Marija's speech that night:

Honoree Background: Sonia was a nurse who was passionate about the need for sensitive and supportive care and nursing services to children with lifetime chronic conditions and who are being cared for in their homes. 

She had incredible empathy for the parents who bravely and lovingly cope with the burden of the day-to-day complex needs of their children.

 Sonia’s life was tragically taken in 2010 and her homicide has yet to be solved.  She was a strong and caring nurse whose life will not be forgotten thanks to the nursing community who came together to raise funds to help other nurses through this scholarship in Sonia’s honour.  In memory of my dear friend, I brought together and motivated nurses to attend an amazingly energetic event in the form of a ‘Zumba Fitness Party’.   Nurses and many more people from community exercised through dancing to the rhythms of Latin music for hours while raising money to keep Sonia’s memory alive.  Thanks to the hundreds of nurse contributors, the resulting funds were sufficient to build a base for Sonia’s scholarship.

Award Description: The Sonia Varaschin Memorial Scholarship will be awarded annually to an undergraduate nursing student in 3rd or 4th year who has demonstrated leadership and a passion for making a difference toward healthy work environments.