Since our last newsletter, many extraordinary people made pretty extraordinary things happen.
Finally, we broke ground
After over a dozen years of planning for the new affordable and inclusive apartment building on property adjacent to The Treehouse, excavators, bulldozers, loaders and dump trucks are roaring about the site, creating a dust storm of activity on what was used to be our staff parking lot.
“We have been working on making this apartment a reality since the people we support and their families told us 12 years ago that they wanted to live as independently as possible in their community, and that an apartment was the option that made the most sense,” says Doug Tennant, Executive Director. “We are very grateful for the hard work and patience of past and present board members, staff, community leaders, business partners, families and neighbours.”
The only drawback is that the ladies in the office have had to swap their heels for flat shoes. The construction has created a shortage of parking spaces on our premises and city streets, making us walk further distances to our cars or commuting in environmentally friendly ways. “We don’t mind,” says Ellen our Director of Finance and definite shoe enthusiast. “It’s such an important project for the community. We hope that it will be iconic of an inclusive community and demonstrate that people of various abilities and backgrounds can live in unity.”
Long-time staff wins award
Nolda Ware, our Manager of Person-Centered Thinking received an award of excellence which will be announced by the award organizers in October. We will make sure to report more details in our fall newsletter. Upon learning of the award, Nolda received many well-deserved accolades from her colleagues, about which she was quite humble. This is what she wrote in an email in response to her encomia:
Thank you all for the thank yous. And yes Doug, not so comfy with individual recognition for good work that is a collaboration of many good people. But I will be gracious 🙂 …as it reflects the organization and the people of SHS (past, present and future). I just happen to have a very cool job…and get to do very cool things…with very cool people…
Nolda’s long-time colleague Lynn Ford, who works as Manager of Community Support Network Services, says about Nolda:
Inspirational, innovative, passionate, supportive, motivating, encouraging and humble, are a few of the words that come to mind when thinking of Nolda in relation to how she treats and supports all people and how she lives her life. We are so very fortunate to have her on the Semiahmoo House team as these words reflect beautifully in the work she does.
Congratulations, Nolda. You work hard and deserve this award.
On May 29 our talented artists performed at the Surrey Art Centre and mesmerized their audience once again. Lindsay Green, Manager of Recreation of Leisure services says:
Year after year I am astounded the way the whole production comes together. The performance is the accumulation of 9 months of hard work and dedication and all who witness this event can feel it. Starting with the performers, the support staff, facilitators and volunteers in the wings and ending with the family and friends in the audience, there is a sense of pride and accomplishment that cannot be beat! The reward for all of this hard work is seeing the audience members’ faces light up with excitement and awe as their loved ones shine on stage and seeing the satisfaction and joy in the performers when they see their family and friends after the show.
Through the year, it’s the hard work and incredible talent of staff and artists that culminate in the Extravaganza show which consists of four performances including two theatrical plays, one dance choreography and one band concert.
In this newsletter, you can also read encouraging stories about Jamie Thompson, Tyler Reid and Lorne Davidson. You can also read the achievements reported by our board chair and leadership team in our annual report that you can download near the end of the newsletter.
By Louise Tremblay, The Semiahmoo Foundation
Semiahmoo House Society, a non-profit organization located in Surrey/White Rock, exists to provide quality services and supports to people with disabilities and their families in the community. The Semiahmoo Foundation exists to fund, support and enhance the programs and services delivered by Semiahmoo House Society.
We too are very excited about the new apartment bldg. under construction. It is long overdue and i am very elated, excited for those special men and women that can live independently in their new home. Our daughter is Brooke Racanello WHO ATTENDS HER DAY PROGRAM AT SEMIAHMOO HOUSE ,and we as her parents can not put into words how wonderful her days are when she is there from Monday – Fridays. We truly have hats off to ALL the wonderful support workers that are their to encourage and respect and have fun with all our young men and women . I cannot count the number of times that we boast about your Society to our family and friends !!Looking forward to watching the construction become a reality .Greta and Ron Racanello
Your words have warmed our collective hearts.
Thank you, Greta and Ron. Brooke is a great lady. We are so happy to hear that she is enjoying her experience at Semiahmoo House Society and that you are you are happy with the work that our community support workers do.