President's Message Issue 35

Summer 2000 CSANews Issue 35  |  Posted date : Mar 05, 2007.Back to list

For many of us across the country, it's been a decidedly wet summer...but it's a summer at home in Canada to which nothing can compare! While the weather has put a damper on some outdoor activities, our flower and vegetable gardens are blooming almost out of control, and it's an opportunity to get things accomplished indoors for a change ­ something that's hard to do when warm, sunny weather is calling.

I'd like to thank the tens of thousands of you who have taken the time to send in your CSA membership renewals and donations to the Special Action Fund. We are ahead of where we were at this point last year, but we cannot rest on our laurels. We need every membership possible so, if you haven't renewed or you have a friend who would benefit from membership in the Canadian Snowbird Association, be sure to send in your renewal/application today.

There have been a number of changes in the CSA over the last few months, and I wish to thank three very hard-working directors who did not return to our board. Rene Piche, Harry Krueger and Wes Westergard lent their time and expertise to our association and we'd like to wish them all the best. We welcome one new gentleman to our board of directors ­ Mr. Gerry Brissenden. Gerry is acting as an Ontario director-at-large, and has long been associated with the CSA. Back on the board are some very familiar faces...1st Vice President, Kay Jeanneret; 2nd Vice President, Paul Jenkins; Secretary, Ellen White; Treasurer, Alex Scott and Past President, Jack Parry. Our directors-at-large remain: Jules Goyette; Carol Brown-Heutinck; Jack Kiuru; George Burden and Malcolm Joyce. All positions on our board of directors are volunteer, and I'd like to commend these generous men and women on being so giving of their time to others. I would be remiss if I did not also thank the spouses of our directors ­ they, too, give generously of their time and all deserve a round of thanks.

Our directors use their strengths and talents to keep our many committees running. Each committee is responsible for administering and maintaining a certain aspect of the association. Just some of our many committees are: Government Relations, Membership, Finance, By-law and Special Events/Meeting. Although spearheaded by directors, we value your input and welcome any suggestions you may have in any of these areas.

Just as our directors are all volunteers, we could not participate in such grand events as the Extravaganzas and our Winter Information Meetings without the assistance of our hundreds of other volunteers. Each person performs a vitally needed role and we are truly grateful to all who lend us a few hours of their time. Once again, we are appealing to you for assistance. If you live in the greater Toronto area, and are able to volunteer on September 12th at Extravaganza North at the International Centre, we need you to call us today at 1-800-265-3200. Volunteering doesn't stop in Toronto, though...we have a number of winter events planned in the States, so be sure to let us know if you're available to help us in Florida, Arizona, Texas or California as well!

Deservedly or not, Canadians in general have a reputation for complacency...unlike that of our American counterparts. Whereas our neighbours in the South wouldn't hesitate to contact their member of Congress regarding issues directly affecting their lives, many believe that Canadians prefer to sit back and watch from the sidelines.

I have been working closely with our Government Relations Committee drafting a plan to put the power of the pen (or keyboard) into our members' hands. In the next issue of CSA News, you'll have a comprehensive guide to becoming a nation of "squeaky wheels" ­ we'll give you the information you need to help mobilize our interests at all levels of government. Whether it's the Canada Health Act, your province's drug policy, or the length of time you're allowed to be out of province, we're going to provide you with a way of contacting the appropriate politician to make your feelings heard. It will take just a few minutes of your time and the benefits will be far-reaching. Don't sit back, let Canada's politicians know what's on your mind! We, at CSA, are doing this all the time, but it is important that the politicians hear directly from their constituents as well. It will lend even more weight to what we are requesting on your behalf.

On a final note, we are pleased to announce that we now have a site on the World Wide Web, in addition to our site on AOL. The URL for the Web site is www.snowbirds.org and is accessible to all. Our site will be changing constantly, so be sure to visit with us, often.