President's Report

President’s Report 2017


In the 109th year of CHAS, I am honoured to be the 54th President of CHAS.  I wish to share what the 75 volunteer women of CHAS accomplished with the help of our wonderful donors, sponsors and supporters last year.


2 years into the economic downturn and with increase in unemployment, demand for services, such as counselling for children has increased dramatically.  At the same time, corporate donations have plummeted for many agencies.  There are many charities struggling in the community.  Against this background of heightened need, in 2016, CHAS was able to make a very significant impact to improve the health and welfare of children and young adults. CHAS allocated $501,900, its record amount ever to 29 agencies.  $155,000 was given to the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, with $28,000 of it in memory of Cath Todd, a vibrant and enthusiastic member who sadly passed away last year.  Another $346,900 was given to other agencies in the community and to camperships.  


We were able to do this because of the record fundraising year we had in 2015, the generosity of our donors, sponsors and supporters and the determination and hard work of our CHAS members in 2016. Our fundraising efforts were not immune from the economic environment. A couple of months before the golf tournament we only had 80 golfers registered when we needed 144.  However, after becoming aware of this, through the commitment and reach of all our members we were able to sell out the tournament in just another month.  All in all, in 2016, a net amount of $420,341 was raised from:

  1. Holiday Lunch, with a record attendance;
  2. Woman2Warrior, a partnership with Easter Seals giving us exposure to a whole new range of supporters;
  3. 34th Annual Charity Golf Classic, where the host club let us know that we were the only charity golf tournament to sell out in Calgary in 2016;
  4. Bridge Luncheon, sold out with 60 tables with great support from CHAS Associates; and
  5. Donations, some of which were leveraged through the Birdies for Kids presented by ALTALINK Matching Program.

Community Volunteering Events

CHAS members were also busy making a positive impact in the community through:

  1. organizing and holding the much anticipated Easter Party at the ACH for patients and families;
  2. manning the Radiothon;
  3. preparing and serving dinners on 5 occasions at Ronald McDonald House for patients and families;
  4. making 700 lunches for children on 2 occasions at Brown Bagging for Kids;
  5. selling raffle tickets at Rob Laidlaw’s Best Damn Stampede Party at Cowboys, from which Rob Laidlaw donated over $114,000 to CHAS;
  6. making and serving a hot lunch to 85 children at Cornerstone Youth Centre;
  7. organizing and holding a Halloween themed birthday party for residents of Inn From the Cold;
  8. volunteering at an Ice Cream Social at Camp Horizon;
  9. volunteering at a barbeque at Hospice Calgary;
  10. providing volunteer opportunities for youth from Youth Central; and
  11. collecting winter gear and backpacks for Gear Up.

Comraderie amongst our members flourish through these opportunities. They are fun!


CHAS members like to be well informed.  We continue to have speakers from agencies we fund or are looking at funding.  We also have speakers on topics of general interest to members.

  1. Jacquie McKechnie, Executive Director –  Ups and Downs-Calgary Down Syndromes Association
  2. Katie Fipke, Program Manager –  Between Friends and Laurie Woelfe, mother of client
  3. Ilona Boyce, Executive Director  – Evenstart for Children Foundation
  4. Alex Laidlaw, Manager Campaign Services – RESOLVE
  5. Dr. Frank McMaster – University of Calgary and ACHRI and Saifa Koonar, CEO – Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation
  6. Wanda McNeil, Ursula Tabsh, Donna Waraksa, Lori Moch, Alice Griffith – Results of Member Engagement Questionnaire
  7. Dr. Robbie Babins-Wagner, CEO – Calgary Counselling Centre
  8. Krista Poole, CEO and Dr. Anne Price, Director of Clinical Services – Can LEARN Society
  9. Imad Tabsh, CHAS Database creator and volunteer – COMPUISM Inc.


CHAS was delighted to appoint Joan Andre, Jeannette King and Mary Kalyniuk as Honorary Life Members for their outstanding service and dedication to CHAS.  We were delighted to welcome eight new great members.  A Pro Tem Committee, Daughters of CHAS was struck to engage the next generation and to help CHAS be better known amongst the younger population. CHAS understands that it needs to be relevant to both members and donors in order to be successful.  A Member Engagement Questionnaire was formulated and results tabulated to help enhance member engagement.  It identified interests, strengths and talents of individual members and has already helped to utilize some of these interests and strengths. With very generous and talented help from a member’s husband, and enormous effort from key CHAS members, CHAS has just launched a custom CHAS database.  This database when complete will allow all CHAS information to be kept and consolidated in one place, record our processes and save CHAS members valuable time.  We hope the database will also help CHAS be more informed and engaged with donors, sponsors and supporters.  Further, CHAS can now sell and take payments for tickets online, take payment at events through computers and issue tax receipts electronically.  We are very fortunate to have this custom database built just for CHAS.  Winston Churchill said “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”  And CHAS has certainly embarked on a lot of changes.


Looking forward, in addition to Woman2Warrior, the Bridge Luncheon and Holiday Luncheon, the Easter Party will be the 30th Annual Easter Party this year.  Golf will be the 35th consecutive tournament, which is a big accomplishment.  We also have a new event for 2017 commemorating the 150th Anniversary of Canada at the Military Museum.  Our ambitions are large, we work diligently and wish to be effective and meaningful to our donors, sponsors, supporters, members and the children and agencies we help.  A huge heartfelt thank you to all our donors, sponsors and our supporters who come out to participate in our events.  You are so important to our success in improving the health and welfare of children and young adults in Calgary and area.  Thank you very much.


Respectfully submitted,

Toshimi Sembo
February 5, 2017

Financial Statements