President’s Report 2017
As the 54th President of CHAS, I wish to share what CHAS accomplished in its 109th year in 2017. We were able to accomplish what we did, because of the important support of our wonderful donors, sponsors and supporters. Thank you to all of you!
As Calgary enters its fourth year of economic downturn, oil prices have risen above US$66 a barrel and there have been glimpses of improvement. However, the need for services, programs, equipment and research to help improve the health and wellbeing of children and young adults continues to increase. Inn from the Cold, providing emergency shelter for families, was at or over capacity 61 percent of the year in 2017. Calgary Counselling Centre saw an increase of over 1,800 counselling hours in 2017. The Distress Centre experienced an 115% spike in demand for services from teens last year. In this environment, CHAS made a difference.
I am proud to report that CHAS engaged our 75 members and over 1,200 other Calgarians, to help improve the health and wellbeing of children and young adults in need. With the generous help of our donors, sponsors and supporters, CHAS raised a net amount of $512,183 and allocated a total of $440,130 in the 2017 fiscal year with excess revenue of $46,487 carried over to the next fiscal year. Our administration costs were kept to less than 3%. $155,000 (being roughly 35% of allocations) was given to the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation and another $285,130 was given to 22 other agencies in the community, including camperships. These 22 other agencies and the purpose for which funds were requested were carefully scrutinized to ensure they complement the mission and values of CHAS and that the agencies demonstrate accountability. In addition, CHAS followed up to ensure that monies were used in the manner for which they were requested.
Since 1977, a meaningful amount of $9,846,571 has now been raised and allocated by CHAS to the community.
Thanks to the generosity of our donors, sponsors and supporters of events, the net amount of over a half million dollars was raised from:
- Holiday Lunch 2016* with a record attendance to date;
- Woman2Warrior, a 3 year collaboration with Easter Seals which has now been successfully completed;
- An Evening with CHAS at the Military Museums, a celebration of Canada’s 150th Anniversary;
- 35th Annual Charity Golf Classic, with a full roster of 144 golfers;
- Bridge Luncheon, sold out with wonderful support from our CHAS Associates;
- Donations, some of which were matched up to 50% by Birdies for Kids presented by AltaLink;
- Various Fitness Fundraisers produced by the young women of CHAS Next at YYC Cycle, Row 17, UNDRCARD Boxing Studio and a City of Calgary Park; and
- Volunteering at and being recipient of Casino proceeds.
CHAS definitely had a full year of fundraising in 2017.
COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER EVENTS
CHAS members again made a positive impact by improving the quality of life for children and young adults through hands on volunteering. This is also a favorite time for CHAS members to socialize and get to know each other better. Community Volunteer events included:
- Organizing and producing the 30th Annual Easter Party at the Alberta Children’s Hospital for 100 patients and family members;
- Answering phones and taking donations at the Radiothon;
- Organizing, preparing and serving CHAS’s signature honey mustard chicken dinner at the Ronald McDonald House to patients and their families;
- Making and serving lunches at Cornerstone;
- Making over 1,000 lunches for school children in need at Brown Bagging for Kids – CHAS Next Ladies (making lunch) star in a video on the BB4K website;
- Selling 50/50 tickets at Rob Laidlaw’s Best Damn Stampede Party at Cowboys – from which Rob and his family and friends donated over $115,000 to CHAS;
- Organizing and throwing a Halloween themed birthday party for children at Inn from the Cold;
- Providing a volunteer opportunity for young people from Youth Central;
- Providing a volunteer opportunity for students at Winston Churchill High School; and
- Collecting winter gear, backpacks and other supplies for Gear Up.
A cornerstone of CHAS is to build knowledge: knowledge of CHAS in the community as well as helping CHAS members become more knowledgeable.
CHAS Next, a pro tem committee set up in 2016 composed of young women in their 20’s and 30’s continued its mission to raise awareness of CHAS amongst the younger community. Under the mentorship of a CHAS Active Member, CHAS Next has raised awareness through micro fundraisers at cycling, rowing, boxing studios and at a boot camp. In addition to successfully raising $2,000, which they directed to Brown Bagging for Kids, CHAS Next through their social media savvy is getting the word out about CHAS to the younger generation in a way which CHAS has not been able to do in the past. Thank you CHAS Next!
We hosted and increased our understanding through the following speakers:
- Robbie Babins-Wagner, CEO of Calgary Counselling Centre;
- Imad Tabsh, of Compuism (creator of e-office formerly called Database);
- Krista Poole and Dr. Anne Price, Director of Clinical Services, CanLEARN Society;
- Cam Adair, Founder of Game Quitters (internet gaming addiction);
- Karen Marks, CHAS Active Member and granddaughter of Edna Leach, 1941-1943 CHAS President;
- Bonnie Kucey, CHAS Active member on e-office;
- Ursula Tabsh, CHAS Active Member – presentation and training on new CHAS e-Office;
- Jim Gray, Chairman of Alberta Wellness Initiative;
- Lorinda Bye, Easter Seals Southern Alberta Youth Ambassador;
- Cindy Neufeld, Ashi Pathok and Amanda Wilson of Between Friends and Camp Bonaventure;
- Patti Kilgallon, CEO of Children’s Cottage Society; and
- Joyce Burnet, Wills and Estate Consultant, RBC Wealth Management
Membership is an area where significant strides were made in collecting consistent data, establishing New Member Guidelines and in making new members welcome and getting them engaged. CHAS is lucky to have attracted 7 very talented and accomplished new members and I know that all new members have already made a contribution to CHAS. I am excited to see what new ideas and energy these new members will spark in CHAS.
After an enormous amount of work on CHAS History, systems have been set up and procedures established to continue and maintain data collection on the e-Office (CHAS Custom Database) and periodically at the Glenbow archives. Over 500 documents have been sorted and uploaded onto the e-Office. Much of CHAS history, including financials, minutes and committee reports are now readily available and accessible on the e-Office.
A presenter at Davos recently said “Change has never been this fast, and will never be this slow again”. Our custom made database, now called e-Office was first launched in 2016 , by Imad Tabsh, husband of a CHAS Active Member. Thanks to the countless hours dedicated by Imad Tabsh and many CHAS members, we can now utilize information technology in a number of ways to save volunteers’ time. At the click of a button on the e-Office, we can take registration and payment for events, issue tax receipts, renew our CHAS membership, pay for our membership, update our individual profiles and search for a member with a particular interest or particular skill, and see the job descriptions of various Executive and Committee Chair positions. I know at times, it has been frustrating and tiring but Imad and our members’ work is truly appreciated. We could not have achieved all these positive changes without the hours and hours of volunteer time dedicated by both Imad and a handful of CHAS members.
This coming year, we will be roughly tracking volunteer time to help us better understand what CHAS undertakes and to have the information for grants and donors. We will work on getting members to really adopt the e-Office as an easy tool. Event organization processes, comprehensive donor base information and volunteer sign up capability are some of the areas still to be rolled out on the e-Office.
On a parallel path, a number of CHAS members have made a tremendous offering of their time and effort to improve internal systems and procedures and to continue to work with the Strategic Plan. Internal communication paths have been discussed and improved, utilizing the e-Office. By laws, policy and procedure review has commenced to improve CHAS’s governance. We are getting ready to embark on developing a marketing plan to ensure we are relevant to our donors and supporters and to maintain and broaden that base.
I believe CHAS has never been busier than it has been over the last year. Change has come quickly, especially internally. I truly appreciate the guidance of Past President, Geri Moon and all the members whom I have been able to rely on heavily with 100% confidence. I know CHAS members are all volunteers and it is amazing to see what they have brought to CHAS. It has also been so nice to have the support of Associate members who come out to our June luncheon, and regularly support our Bridge Lunch and Holiday Lunch. Of course, we would not be able to do any of our work of improving the health and wellbeing of children and young adults without our donors, sponsors, and event supporters. We are so grateful for your support and for believing in what we do.
As I conclude my 2 year term as President and pass the gavel to Patricia Rossiter, I thank Patricia for always being there to bounce off ideas during my Presidency. I know that Patricia will be a strong, wise and compassionate President to lead CHAS into the 110th year and beyond.
Toshimi Sembo, President
February 14, 2018