March Newsletter

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This month’s featured scholarship recipient is Vanessa Smith, a graduate of the NCDSB Lifetime Learning Centre. As with other recipients, Vanessa wants to give back to the community by tackling mental health issues. To learn more about Vanessa & to view the Newsletter in full, CLICK HERE . . .

President’s January Message – Sponsorship Discussion & Vote

Thanks go to the Social Action Committee (SAC) for the impressive amounts of funds raised to support sponsorship of a Syrian Refugee family. As we move closer to the possibility of sponsoring a family, Club members need to consider longer term obligations this project would bring. We have some important decisions to make based upon consideration of all of the project information to be presented by the Social Action Committee at the January meeting. Here are samples of members’ questions we wish to have answers for:

  • What is the Liability for the Club? e.g. Who will sign the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) agreement, and who will be responsible for the financial and moral obligations referenced in the MCC and government agreements?
  • Do individual Club members not directly involved in the project have any liability?
  • After the current fundraising is complete, what additional funds might be needed by the Constituent Group later on to cover unexpected costs?
  • Please describe the sponsorship settlement financial and time commitment responsibilities for the group (e.g. housing, budgeting, language instruction, health care, insurance, security checks, employment assistance, etc.) Which individuals will be responsible for and participate in these and how will they be provided?

marilynI encourage your participation in the information-gathering and decision-making processes to ensure the project is a good experience for the family and our Club.
Please send questions that you would like discussed to me by January 4 so that I can pass the questions on to Denise Bradden and the SAC to prepare to address these at the January 12 meeting. The questions I receive will be forwarded by email to all Club members on January 6 so that you have time to reflect on what the discussion will cover at the January 12 meeting. Following the discussion there will be a vote by the membership to seek the Club’s support and endorsement of the Syrian Refugee Sponsorship project.

Best Wishes for a Healthy Happy New Year!

Marilyn Wallace, CFUW St. Catharines President 2015-16


November Newsletter

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Virginia Stewart has a passion for lifelong learning. It wasn’t until later in life that she embarked on higher education. After completing her degree in recreation and leisure studies, she went on to do her Masters in Applied Health Sciences with a focus on active living for all ages. Wanting more, she completed her degree in Adult Education where she anchored an interest in aging.

A couple of aging-related projects she has recently worked on include facilitating the development of an Older Adult Plan presented and adopted by St. Catharines City Council. Previously she was the consultant for the Niagara’s Age-Friendly Community Project that identified a number of challenges/opportunities for older adults from housing issues to the need for accessible and affordable lifelong learning opportunities.

Click here to read the full November Newsletter (PDF).