President’s December Message

I have been a member of CFUW for about 10 years. Right from the start, I knew that one of the unwritten expectations for members was participation in our one and only charitable fundraising project, the annual House Tour, which is the only source of funds for our scholarships for girls. The only job I figured I could do as a newbie was that of hostess, and so that’s all I did in those early years and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The other jobs seemed to be big ones that needed to be done by more experienced members.

Last year, House Tour Chair, Susan Middleton, and her committee worked tirelessly to create a new structure that redefined and documented many of the HT duties so that less experienced volunteers could work together to do the big jobs of finding the houses, organizing hostesses, advertising the House Tour, finding sponsors, writing and printing the tickets, and selling the tickets.

I again want to thank Susan and her committee for all their hard work in making the 2019 HT such a success, and for Susan’s continued commitment to the 2020 House Tour.

The big news since the general meeting is that we now have six homes for our tour. There are still a few key committee positions to fill (Please see page 4 of the December Newsletter for details). Susan has decided to step down as Chair of the House Tour, but thankfully, Maureen Shantz and Judy Yovanovich have volunteered to be Co-Chairs of the 2020 House Tour, and Susan Middleton has graciously agreed to be an advisor as needed. You three have made me and your CFUW sisters very happy.

The issues are that it seems to be getting harder and harder to find homeowners who are willing to put their houses on our Tour, and to find volunteers to do the rest of the organizing. It has been suggested that we should be thinking about other ways to raise the approximately $15,000 for our 13 high school Math and Science Awards, six College and University scholarships, and disbursements to many deserving community organizations. They are listed in our Program Brochure and on our website.

At a recent HT meeting it was decided to ask the membership at the November General Meeting to brainstorm on how to get this major fundraising project back on track. How to fundraise in the future was left for another time. The resulting animated conversations created much positive energy in the room, and many good ideas. I now have six(!) typewritten pages of comments to turn over to the new House Tour Steering Committee, but here are the topics and a “smattering” of the suggestions:


  • Emphasize that it is a way to meet members and make you feel more involved in the club
  • Clearly describe what the jobs entail and an estimate of the time commitment, and personally ask members to help
  • Ask “Old Guard” to act as mentors for new or inexperienced members
  • Be sure that new members understand that there is an expectation that everyone help out in some way and contribute some time and talent, not just money.


  • Target groups such as bridge and gourmet so they can volunteer to be together
  • Ask family and friends of members
  • Contact high school and Brock University students who would like to have volunteer hours on their records


  • Make “teaser” presentations about HT at each Meeting
  • Encourage roles in pairs to facilitate learning
  • Develop a skills and interest inventory database of current and new members


  • Put posters in furniture stores, library, doctor’s offices, ticket outlets
  • Use Tim Horton’s instore TV with crawl advertising
  • Post on Facebook, interest and events sections
  • Contact Newcomer’s Clubs, teacher’s organizations, ND Council of Women
  • Ask other organizations (Rotary, Legion, Lions, WRTC, etc.) to post and mention this event at their meetings
  • Include in community brochures
  • Put in newspaper articles, radio interviews
  • Put flyers in neighbours’ mailboxes


  • Ask real estate agents, Architecture Association for award-winning Homes and contractors about new and renovated homes
  • Word of mouth
  • Newspaper article in September looking for homes to be on our Tour
  • Contact builders of Model Homes and Condos

Thanks to those who participated in the discussions.

If you have other ideas, please contact Maureen Shantz (, Judy Yovanovich ( or Gail Neff (

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 March Message

Last year an Ad Hoc Committee worked to restructure our Executive Committee reducing the number of members who would be attending the five meetings from 26 to nine voting positions. The new format created a Chair of Standing Committees with sub committees under their leadership. While there are still 26 members taking leadership positions, only the Chairs are required to attend the meetings while the others are invited to attend any meeting  and are included in all mailings and sharing of reports. The new format is working:  the work has flowed well and the attendance has been good. The meeting room was not bursting and meetings, while lengthy, allowed for good discussion and conclusions. An evaluation of this new format will be conducted in March.

Here are some of the highlights of actions from the January Executive Committee meeting.

¨ Survey re Pre-Meeting dinner: The 2018-2019 program committee will arrange for one pre-meeting dinner where members can come early, enjoy fellowship and a dinner prepared by Father Anton

¨ Ad Hoc Committee on Technology: established and working on various projects

¨ Ad Hoc Committee on Fundraising: There was a suggestion to look at alternative methods of fundraising in addition to our wonderful signature event House Tours. Looking into and safeguarding our future, the Executive approved that we research what other clubs and organization do. If you are interested in joining this group please

contact me (

¨ The club will establish an Instagram account

¨ The Treasurer reported  that things are in good standing and all the bills/dues are up to date

¨ The proposed Charitable and Club Grant Budget was reviewed by the Club Executive and will be voted on by all members at the April meeting.

It was such a pleasure to hear laughter and see smiles at the conclusion of this busy meeting. I invite any member to attend and get to know how it all works…contact me please.

Nancy Ferris-Hostick, CFUW St. Catharines President, 2017-18

October President’s Message – “Who We Are”

CF2016-17-HHall-IMG-0481UW St. Catharines is constructed around concepts such as promoting and encouraging the higher education of women, advocating for the advancement of the status of women and promoting interest in public, social and cultural relationships.

“Our Club” is a pallet full of expertise which sometimes just can’t stand by and watch kids with no books, Syrians with no home and girls needing financial help for schooling.

From one perspective CFUW St. Catharines bears the pride of the past, which you can read about on the National website. As part of the CFUW 100th Anniversary, which takes place in 2019, histories of all CFUW Past Presidents have been prepared and are available on the website under “Who We Are”. Prepare to be astonished and extra proud to be a member.

From another perspective the insistence of CFUW St. Catharines to continue and grow its Interest Groups, which are such an integral part of the social relationships in the club is to be admired. This diversity helps to encourage our new members to find a place to belong and it helps to attract prospective women to join us.

Please bring visitors to our general meetings so that they can see what a welcoming, fun and intelligent group of women we are, because increasing our membership is always important.

On September 11th, I had the opportunity to meet with the other 11 Presidents from Southern Ontario at Heather Foss’ house. Lucky for us that Heather is our new Regional Director.  Spending time discussing ideas on topics such as Membership, Scholarships, Advocacy, and Increasing our Profile in our communities was enlightening and very worthwhile.  Not surprisingly, all clubs big and small seem to have the same issues!

Heather Hall, CFUW St. Catharines President 2016-17

CFUW National AGM 2016

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AGM-2016-logo-lowresJune 23-25 2016IMG_2934-sq-lowres

Brock University
Co-Convenors: Monique DeJonghe & Gail Neff

Limited spaces still available for Tours – click here for more information. To order tickets, contact

For more information regarding Accommodation, Registration and other documents, check out CFUW National Website. To register, click the Registration Information Guide.