Around The Centre

News from the Women’s Centre

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Welcome to the beginning of a very special year at the West Island Women’s Centre! This year, we celebrate our organization’s 40th anniversary. We have arrived at this important milestone thanks to a huge number of women. From the small group who worked together to create our organization back in 1975 to last year’s stellar team of volunteers and staff, the Women’s Centre’s story is filled with hardworking and inspiring women. And with the help of our members and staff, our story will continue for many more years to come. Let the celebrations begin!

The Last Time We Met…

But before we make that leap into our 2014/15 year, here is a look back at an important event that was held in June just before we closed for the summer. Our annual general meeting heralds the end of one year and the beginning of another. It is kind of like the New Year’s Eve for non-profit organizations — complete with a few New Year’s resolutions!

Close to 50 people attended the meeting, which took place on Thursday, June 12. Ellen Hum, chair of the Women’s Centre’s board of directors, led us through a busy agenda. Under Ellen’s calm guidance, we accomplished much in our two hours together, as described below.

We reviewed the annual activity report.

Ellen presented the activity report, which chronicled the Centre’s goals, programs, activities and accomplishments of the past year. Ellen was assisted in this task by Outreach Coordinator Keri MacDonald, who gave a presentation on the Centre’s outreach initiatives. If you were unable to attend the meeting, copies of the 2013-2014 annual report are available in the WIWC Office.

We discussed our financial picture.

The annual meeting was an opportunity for members and guests to review our balance sheet, our revenues and expenses to March 31, 2014, and approve our financial statements. We also nominated our auditor for the coming year.

We built the team who will sit on our board of directors for the 2014/15 year.

At the meeting, members elected Julia Gerke and Monica Matas Losada to the board to fill the positions of childcare director and publicity director, respectively.

Volunteers Director Lisa Brousseau, who had been appointed during the year, was elected to the board at the meeting.

As Ellen explained, she along with five other current board members are returning in 2014/15 as they are in the middle of a two-year term. Joining Ellen as a returning board member are Marlyn Brownrigg, Liliane Brunetti, Emily Darbyson, Natalie Earby, and Marie-Claude Simard. All will continue in their current area of responsibility with the exception of Emily, who moves from childcare to fundraising/special events director.

At the end of the elections, there remained one vacancy on the 2014/15 board. Yet to be filled is the position of board secretary.

We celebrated the contribution of outgoing board members.

In addition to being a time to welcome new members to the board, the annual general meeting is also a time to say goodbye to outgoing board members for their remarkable contributions to our Centre. This year, we thanked Jacqueline Barbieri, Andrea Ivory, Hilary Jones, and Wendy Stevens for their combined 20 years of service on our board of directors.

We announced the recipient of the Mila Voynova award.

A highlight of the meeting was the announcement that Donna Lamontagne, our Gentle Toning instructor extraordinaire, received the Mila Voynova Outstanding Instructor award. This is the second time members have chosen Donna for this annual award for teaching excellence at the Centre.

And best of all, we shared our thoughts and opinions.

The meeting included two activities that allowed attendees to share their thoughts and suggestions. The first activity was a short written survey on our organization’s programs, publicity efforts, and impact. In the second activity, attendees worked in small groups to create a collage that showed in words and pictures what the Women’s Centre meant to them. Judging from the excitement and laughter in the room, members and guests had a lot of fun with this activity — and produced some interesting artwork too! We intend to display the collages at the Centre this fall.

In the midst of all of this business and activity, we also managed to enjoy a nice lunch too! A big thank-you to Events Coordinator Hilary Jones and her team of volunteers for this successful event.

Looking Forward to the Fall

And now we are ready to begin our special year. As always, the programming team has come up with a lot of excellent ideas for filling your fall days and evenings. And there are all sorts of other things to see and do at the Centre this fall! Be sure to check out our:

  • Outreach programs

Join us for one of our free daytime or evening support groups.

  • Free Tuesday afternoon seminars

On Tuesday, September 16, join us for our first seminar of the year and find out how you can help get your child’s school year off to a great start. More seminars are planned for October.

  • Special events

We kick off the year with our annual “Welcome Event” on Tuesday, September 23 and the fun will continue with our October Halloween Party and November Silent Auction.

For more information, please check our website or give us a call (514-695-8529).

Let’s make some memories!

Karen Henchey

Executive Director