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Last day with the CCA

So after 8 years on the Board and 4 as President, today is my last day with the Canterbury Community Association.

It has been a good ride and I’ll look back at my time there with positive thoughts and smiles. Yes, as with any undertaking like this, there have been ups and downs, but in the end I firmly believe I have helped to guide the CCA toward positive outcomes.

Volunteer burden is lower because most of our registrations are on-line now and no need for long lineups and hundreds of volunteer hours.

We have a modern website that is easy for paid staff and volunteer Board members to modify and add things too. And it is well-visited.

We have a Canada Day celebration that I certainly hope will continue well into the future.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of our current VP, the CCA after school program has hosted Pink Shirt Day for the past several years – an important initiative to educate young people about the effects of bullying.

There’s a social media presence now. We have actively promoted our events and activities through Facebook and Twitter and it has grown our customer base.

There’s an electronic Newsletter!

The CCA has continued to be a leader with the other Alta Vista Community Associations. We have led electoral campaign debates, open houses on a school accommodation review, the opioid crisis, and community planning activities and groups such as the Alta Vista Planning Group. And I’m sure I’m forgetting things.

We have worked with the City on the new Jim Tubman SENS rink. It was a hit in the community last winter and will continue to be so for years to come.

Our finances are rock solid under the watch of our Treasurer and our Board.

I like to think that the CCA is a better place than when I first joined it about 8 years back.

Where the CCA goes from here is up to others to decide. I do hope that it continues to be a leader in our community and stays relevant, modern and responsive to the needs of the community that I do dearly love.

What about me? How am I going to fill my time? For one, I need a bit of a break. At least a month or two. And I’ve signed on as the Pee Wee convener at the Canterbury Hockey Association. I’m told I’ll be yelled at.

I’ll be ramping up the planning of the Pleasant Park PS 60th anniversary celebrations next year. And I’m sure I’ll find another Board or Committee to join.

Thanks to the Board members past and present. Some of you may not always have agreed with me, nor I with you, but I like to think we all worked for the betterment of the community.

Thanks to the paid staff. Top notch all the way.

Thanks to Councillor Cloutier and his staff – they’ve been a pleasure to work with and are a credit to Alta Vista.

Thanks to my fellow CA Presidents. It has been great collaborating with you.

And thanks to my family for putting up with my frequent absences.

Now, get ut there and volunteer for something! It’ll grow on you!


National Volunteer Week, 2016

Anyone who knows me is well aware of the importance I place on volunteering one’s time freely and gladly for the benefit of the wider community.

Without volunteers, there would be little help for those down on their luck and living on the streets, pets in need of homes, or seniors who want some companionship or require someone to deliver their food.

Kids’ sports programs? Hockey? Soccer? Baseball? Forget it. 99% volunteer-run.

Parent Councils wouldn’t exist and without them, no movie nights, new play equipment, used book drives or school bake sales.

Community Associations – those groups of volunteers that organise community garage sales, offer programs and events, do those baked bean suppers or who arrange for Santa to give out some presents at the local community hall – b-bye to all those.

Spring garbage clean-ups? Nope, those riverbanks and highway ditches will just have to live with the tossed out cans, bottles and tires.

United Way canvassers? Ciao.

Adios to all those who collect furniture and food for refugees, money for the Kids Help Phone or put together a soccer tournament at work to benefit something-or-other.

Goodbye Rotarians, Lions and Kinsmen. All you do will be missed.

The point I am trying to make is this:

Think, even for a moment, of all the ways that the work that volunteers do touch you and your family and friends. Then imagine if they all bailed.

Thank a volunteer today. Better yet, become one! It doesn’t need to be a huge effort. Do it and you will feel good about yourself and will become one of these irreplaceable threads in the fabric of your community.

Happy Volunteer Week!!!!


I hate seeing things like this happen.

I really do.

Our local soccer club has cancelled the 2012 season due to a lack of volunteers.

2012 Season Cancelled

Dear parents,

The Canterbury Soccer Club is a community-based, developmental soccer club that has been run solely by volunteers for the past 35 years. Some years, we have had up to 700 athletes from 4-15 years old learn to play soccer and have fun at the same time with our organization.

For the past several years, the numbers of volunteers has dwindled to the point where parents whose kids no longer play with the CSC have been asked to come back to help complete 10 executive jobs that needed to be done.

Lately, we have also had to vigorously convince parents to volunteer as we are annually short on coaches. But, the three people on executive last year managed to organize the 48 teams for over 550 kids to make the season happen. One of those volunteers was at the field 4 nights a week for the entire season.

We understand that soccer may not be a very familiar game to most, and that coaching is can be a daunting task. However, we have in place several options open for coaches’ training and practice plans that will help in running teams.

However, as a result of not having enough volunteers we have decided to cancel 2012 season in its entirety.

We hope that you will consider volunteering for a position on the executive or as a coach next year.  The Annual General meeting where the executive jobs will be filled for 2013 will be held in the boardroom of the Biran Kilrea Arena (next the the Canterbury Community Centre) on Thursday April 19th at 7:00 pm.

Please step forward as a volunteer so that CSC will be reborn in 2013. Our kids are relying on you.

If you live in south-east Ottawa, please consider volunteering for next season.

Yeah, I know, it is tough to find the time. And if you are at all like me, you are already involved in one thing or another in your community or with your family. There is a limit.

But if you don’t already have something on the go, or can spare a few hours in the evening during the week next May and June, why not consider getting involved with this organisation? It is well-run, the season isn’t long, you get outdoors, and best of all, NO experience required!