CMHA Swift Cur­rent Branch cel­e­brates 40th an­niver­sary

The Southwest Booster - - FRONT PAGE - SCOTT AN­DER­SON SOUTH­WEST BOOSTER

Au­gust 8 was a mile­stone day for the Cana­dian Men­tal Health As­so­ci­a­tion’s Swift Cur­rent Branch as they ob­served their 40th an­niver­sary.

The local branch first met on Au­gust 8, 1978 as the Al­fred Cooper Club, and they met in the lower level of the Recre­ation Cen­tre. The local CMHA has come a long way over the sub­se­quent four decades, but their main fo­cus has re­mained putting the needs of their mem­bers first.

“We have our own kind of lit­tle in-house com­mu­nity,” ex­plained CMHA Swift Cur­rent Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Jac­qui Wil­liams. “You see that a lot of the mem­bers have known each other for a very long time. Two of our staff have worked here for 20 years. So all of these peo­ple have gone through life changes, ups and downs to­gether, and they have formed a very nice bond where it’s very sup­port­ive and very car­ing. You see it amongst the mem­bers. You see it amongst the staff with the mem­bers. Our board mem­bers are fab­u­lous. So many of them have an at­ti­tude of ‘sit­ting on the board is not enough. I need to be in-house. I need to be part of it.’”

An es­ti­mated crowd of over 200 peo­ple turned out for last Wed­nes­day’s an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion which in­cluded a free BBQ and tours of the fa­cil­ity.

“We’re very pleased with the turnout. It shows the sup­port in this com­mu­nity, and this com­mu­nity has sup­ported us in so many ways through­out the years. But show­ing up to­day is just one more in­di­ca­tion of their sup­port for what we do.”

Wil­liams noted the since they cir­cled their an­niver­sary on the cal­en­dar, their cel­e­bra­tion was ex­actly what they had hoped to achieve.

“This is what was en­vi­sioned from the start, that we would do a com­mu­nity BBQ, that we would do tours, that we would in­vite peo­ple to come in to ac­tu­ally see what we do. Be­cause, re­ally, we’re just this green build­ing on the one way,” she chuck­led. “So you in­vite peo­ple in and you get to al­low them to see what ac­tu­ally hap­pens in house, and how we spend our time, and how we as­sist one an­other. And what dif­fer­ence we are mak­ing that peo­ple don’t nec­es­sar­ily see from just look­ing at the front of a green build­ing.”

Their cel­e­bra­tion day also marked the con­clu­sion of a 40th an­niver­sary fundraiser.

Program Co­or­di­na­tor Sarah Lay­bourne came up with a fund-rais­ing idea, ask­ing for 40 peo­ple to do­nate $100 to their build­ing fund. The 40 peo­ple are in recog­ni­tion of the 40th an­niver­sary of the Swift Cur­rent Branch, and 100 is sym­bolic of the 100 year an­niver­sary of the CMHA. The ini­tia­tive was tar­geted to pre­vi­ous sup­port­ers of their fundrais­ing ef­forts, and the fi­nal 25 per cent of their sup­port was re­ceived at the BBQ.

“A lot of peo­ple knew that it was tied into to­day, so a lot of peo­ple came to­day with their money want­ing to be part of that,” Wil­liams noted. “We did not want to­day to be a fundraiser. But that was our 40th year fundraiser and we’re very happy to say it was very suc­cess­ful. And it will be a nice con­tri­bu­tion to­wards our new build­ing.”

Ear­lier this year the Dur­ward Seafoot Es­tate do­nated the funds to pur­chase a new fan for the mem­bers of the Swift Cur­rent Branch of the Cana­dian Men­tal Health As­so­ci­a­tion.

The Es­tate also made a $400,000 con­tri­bu­tion to­wards a new build­ing to re­place their cur­rent fa­cil­ity. This has kick­started a long talked about new build­ing cam­paign, and they are tak­ing aim as hav­ing a new fa­cil­ity by 2020.

“We are hop­ing to have a new build­ing by 2020. So we’re ex­cited about that. We’re hop­ing to start go­ing re­ally hard af­ter to­day. Up un­til now the fo­cus was on to­day, do­ing this for the com­mu­nity, our mem­bers, and to pro­mote who we are and what we do.”

Wil­liams ex­plained their cur­rent lo­ca­tion has lim­i­ta­tions which pre­vent them from grow­ing as an or­ga­ni­za­tion.

“We have a nice, lit­tle, older space. But we’re not wheel­chair ac­ces­si­ble. We’re re­ally too small for what we want to be do­ing. We need more space be­cause we want to grow,” she said.

“We def­i­nitely want to fo­cus on younger adults. And we want to get peo­ple in­volved in our or­ga­ni­za­tion faster, so that they can be health­ier faster. It’s tough to do when you’re such a small place and when you’re not ac­ces­si­ble to any­one with any kind of mo­bil­ity is­sue.”

She added that their cel­e­bra­tion was given a push thanks to the City of Swift Cur­rent pro­claim­ing Au­gust 5 to 11 as CMHA Swift Cur­rent Week.

Na­tion­ally, CMHA ob­served Men­tal Health Week on May 7 to 13, but that tim­ing co­in­cided with Swift Cur­rent’s ob­ser­va­tion of Emer­gency Pre­pared­ness Week. Swift Cur­rent’s Branch de­cided to shift their fo­cus to a sum­mer cel­e­bra­tion of their 40th an­niver­sary.

“Men­tal Health aware­ness is huge. There’s all kinds of na­tional cam­paigns out there,” she ex­plained. “But here lo­cally we de­cided to have it for this week, mostly to co­in­cide with our 40th an­niver­sary and be­cause we would be hav­ing this event. And there would be more aware­ness about what we do within our fa­cil­ity.”

Par­ents of City of Swift Cur­rent stu­dents at­tend­ing schools by bus this year are re­minded of an im­por­tant dead­line day for re­quest­ing bus­ing changes.

Par­ents/guardians of stu­dents who will be bused to Swift Cur­rent schools should have al­ready re­ceived a let­ter in the mail from the Trans­porta­tion Depart­ment in­di­cat­ing your child’s bus­ing in­for­ma­tion for the up­com­ing 2018-19 school year.

Fam­i­lies who re­quire any changes need to sub­mit a trans­porta­tion re­quest by con­tact­ing fbochek@chi­nooksd.ca or 306-7789200 ext. 3281 by Mon­day, AU­GUST 20. If you re­ceived your let­ter and re­quire no changes, no ac­tion is re­quired.

You must make con­tact with the Chi­nook Trans­porta­tion Depart­ment by Au­gust 20 in or­der for stu­dent trans­porta­tion to be in place on the first day of school (Septem­ber 4). In an ef­fort to min­i­mize ser­vice dis­rup­tions dur­ing the first few days of school, any changes or new re­quests sub­mit­ted af­ter Au­gust 20 will be im­ple­mented on Septem­ber 10.

SCOTT AN­DER­SON/SOUTH­WEST BOOSTER

The Swift Cur­rent Branch of the Cana­dian Men­tal Health As­so­ci­a­tion cel­e­brated their 40th an­niver­sary on Au­gust 8 with a BBQ and Open House. Board mem­ber Lav­erne Kry­wu­lak is joined around the BBQ by CMHA Swift Cur­rent Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Jac­qui Wil­liams, CMHA Board Vice-pres­i­dent Michael Boutilier and CMHA Board Mem­ber Betty Mcdougall.

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