27Oct 16

SaskTel Gzowski Award Recipient – Al Tirk

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Peter Gzowksi always said that the PGI is a day of fun and friendship on the links. When these literacy golf tournaments began in 1986 an award was made to the golfer who best represented what Peter referred to as “the person who gets it”! This award is now known as the Gzowski award.

On August 29, at the READ Saskatoon PGI Golf Tournament for Literacy, Al Tirk was recognized with The SaskTel Gzowski Award.

Al Tirk was recognized as a small business owner that has sponsored the event for the past ten years. Although he hasn’t golfed every year, he’s played his fair share of PGI tourneys. He also assisted in bringing in the Saskatoon Lions Clubs onboard as the Adult Learner Champion.

Al Tirk owns the Snooker Shack Billard Room, an award-winning facility providing family-friendly fun. At the Snooker Shack, Tirk’s staff are mostly young adults in their first job. He finds people at that point in their lives often struggle with literacy. “Not only trying to communicate with each other, but also to communicate menus and to communicate with people in general –that’s what literacy is to me,” says Tirk.

“Having READ Saskatoon there,” says Tirk, “is important for people who have not had the time, support or necessary opportunities to learn.”

To Tirk, READ Saskatoon is one of the places that his staff can go at this point in their lives to further their literacy, and then go out into the workforce and succeed. “If they want to move on and do something different, they need strong comprehension skills, the ability to read manuals,” says Tirk.

Tirk is a member of the Saskatoon Lions Clubs, a major supporter of READ Saskatoon through the PGI. The Saskatoon Lions Clubs sponsor the Lions Learner Award, given each year to an outstanding adult learner.

“Once a few members had attended the PGI and heard the learners’ stories, it was easy for Saskatoon Lions Clubs to come to a decision to support READ Saskatoon,” he says. “We feel it’s a good use of the money that the Lions work hard to raise in the community.”

“The PGI opens a lot of eyes,” says Tirk. It’s an interesting way to reach out and educate other people that there are community supports available at no- charge to help master the basics to succeed.”

Congratulations Al and thank you SaskTel for allowing this award to happen.