Having a smaller group attend this week allowed us to get to know each other better. I always look forward to this one meeting of the year where I do not have a speaker scheduled to allow ourselves to re-group, review our year, examine what we are doing, and consider a charity.
We had another great year of inspiring speakers starting with nutritionist, Haley Barton, and ending with Aart Shuurman Hess, CEO of Greater Vancouver Food Bank. We raised $11,800 from membership fees plus additional $25,000 from the Summer Harvest Fundraiser...all of which has gone directly to Project Chef.
Since 2007, mCentred has raised $120,000 (in just 9 years)!!! Everyone of you and past members should feel really good about that.
We took a moment to look at the website. I encourage you guys to look at it every once and awhile. If you have any comments/feedback, please let me know. Roderick Houben designed, put together and maintains our website. I have found it extremely helpful when I try to find speakers for the group.
In 2011, mCentred supported the Rare Disease Foundation (check our website). Dr. Clara Van Karnebeek, a former member and also a clinician-scientist who is a co-leader for TIDE-BC (Treatable Intellectual Disability Endeavour). This organization has physicians, families, volunteers, scientists working together to find solutions for children and their families. Our donation helped a little boy named, Ayzac and his family, to receive care and treatment and help Clara's team figure out his genetic condition.
"Please read the article published about the little boy Ayzac with unexplained mitochondrial disease - the cause of his genetic condition was identified and published in 2015. It helped many others around the world.
Furthermore an interview with mom Krystal, who came to speak with us, is posted on our TIDE BC site: http://tidebc.org/pa/Ayzac/
Sadly Ayzac passed away in 2014 Oct but knowing the cause of his issues really helped the family cope.
Furthermore, we are about to publish the newborn screening project for GAMT deficiency - first in the world using this technology.
This also will help patients worldwide to identify the disease at birth and prevent irreversible brain damage."
When you become a member of mCentred, you are making a commitment to yourself, other members, the charity and our guest speakers. I have not had any issues with anyone in the past with regards to this. It has been a real joy to lead this group. I find that I still excited when a speaker comes and has a profound affect on us.
We talked about what is the ideal group size for membership. The consensus seems to be to a maximum of 25. I don't think the boardrooms could hold much more and anymore members would decrease the intimacy of the group.
Everyone agreed that a minimum of 15 people is ideal for guest speakers who take the time out of their busy day, volunteer and make the effort to put together a presentation.
Members are obliged to give me a response to a RVSP request. If members cannot make it due to illness, please let me know sooner than later and then I can work on getting guest attendees to come in.
Who can attend meetings?
Committed members. I am not in favour of friends feeling like coming when it suits them or if there only interested in 1 or 2 of the guest speakers because that doesn't foster a commitment to mCentred. However, occasionally the attendance is low due to legitimate reasons. The universe works in strange ways and sometimes I get a whole bunch of members cancelling out at the last minute without even knowing anyone else has. The group recognizes that perhaps it is okay to bend the rules once in awhile and we came up the following exceptions:
1) Mothers/sisters: Especially if they are visiting out of town.
2) Alumni of mCentred. It is a perk that you have made a huge commitment and are ready to move on but still can come occasionally, you are welcome to drop in.
3) If the attendance is down due to unforeseen illness/personal circumstances. If it is looking like only 10 people can come, I will email everyone to see if they can bring a friend in to attend that meeting. This may encourage an interest in joining by that friend.
I hope I have not confused anyone.
***If you have a friend who would be interested in joining , please let me know***
We have 21 members currently.
Lee Ann has graciously volunteered to collect $30 from everyone. She will take cash, cheque or can do an electronic transfer. This covers expenses such as website maintenance, gifts for speakers and staff of Fasken Martineau.
Bari has also volunteered again to buy gifts.
Thank you ladies!!
Dates for Guest Speakers:
Feb 3: Cea Person
March 2 Vicki Greenwood
April 6th: Catherine Regehr
April 14th (Thursday evening) in my home : Fundraiser for friends and family.
May TBA: Susan Bibbings
Ideas? Please let me know.
Juliette Freybe has offered to look into a visit to the Library at UBC to look at the Asian side. There is an old Professor who can talk about how the Asians started here. She made it sounds much more interesting than how I am describing it right now.
Charity to support:
Barb Finely gave us a verbal report on the great things that Project Chef is doing:
- working in 9 schools, 1200 students, lots of parent volunteers
- running 2 PD Days for teachers and how to incorporate PC into their curriculum
-adapting the program for a student who is blind
-teach both in french and english
-partnership with food bank: ensures there food and equipment gets transported to and from schools
-running camps at Spring Break and Summer
-working on adapting it for deaf participants
-Barb loves the teamwork aspect of making creative food together and really feels a sense of accomplishment when a child who claims to never have eaten or tried a fruit or vegetable , ends up loving them.
-our funds enable 3 schools to participate
-she is extremely grateful for our support
-no overhead costs...all donations and monies raised by the fundraiser went to Project Chef
I am a firm believe in continual support for a Charity that is accountable to the money we have given them. As with our experience with Spring House Shelter, great things get down and more people benefit...thus more goodness comes out it. For this reason, I have not gone out to second thoughts on other charities to support.
I would like put forth supporting Project Chef for another year. Please email me on whether you would like to support this decision.
I feel like I have talked enough. Sorry for this lengthly email. Glad to see everyone and look forward to our year!