The Semiahmoo Foundation (TSF) belongs to the UNITI partnership along with Semiahmoo House Society (SHS) and Peninsula Estates Housing Society (PEHS). Since this report is about the achievements of SHS for fiscal 2018-2019, my report will focus on TSF’s work with SHS.
As always, we, at TSF, were honoured to support SHS’s endeavours that made a positive impact in the community. This year, we were happy to witness the increased employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities through WISE Employment Services and were encouraged by new programs being planned to ensure that our aging adults stay connected.
Renewed Mission and Strategic Objectives
At the SHS board retreat in October 2018, board members and senior staff engaged in an ENDS Policies Workshop for TSF, an exercise which clarified TSF’s mission and overarching objectives and provided guidance to effectively fulfill our role as a charitable Foundation supporting SHS and PEHS. We established that TSF’s mission was to assure that UNITI has the recognition, relationship and resources to support an inclusive community, so that (1) PEHS and SHS achieve their ENDS; (2) UNITI has strong and diversified partnerships; (3) UNITI is recognized as a model of inclusion; (4) UNITI has the resources to be an innovative and independent leader; and (5) people with disabilities and those who support them have financial resources to pursue opportunities of their choice.
TSF team members are dedicated to their mission and work relentlessly to ensure that SHS has additional resources to meet the increasingly complex community demand for its services. Larry Shareski entered his fifth year of service as Ambassador and continued to grow his vast network of connections, promoting the good work of SHS and creating awareness of the organization’s mission. Renee Blake successfully integrated into the role of Marketing Coordinator, which was renamed from Administrative Coordinator to better reflect the nature of her job. Renee’s creativity, hard work, relationship building ability and abundant patience were admirable and valued in our busy and fast pace environment. Our Event Planner, Deena Safi, expertly delivered fun, well-attended, and profitable events that made people asking for more. Regrettably, she had to take a leave of absence in the last quarter of the year, leaving a huge void. Fortunately, we recruited Youla Thomas whose considerable range of competencies and ability to learn quickly facilitated a seamless transition.
To forge strong relationships and to bring awareness about SHS, TSF staff attended many community events, including: various open houses, unveiling of the SHS Mosaic Pieced Together at the White Rock Library, Diwali Gala by SFU, various conferences, Inclusive Employer Awards, Business Excellence Awards in Surrey and White Rock, Mayor’s Addresses, events organized by elected officials, International Women’s Day by local MLA’s, White Rock TED-X, For the Health of It, and more.
Semiahmoo House Society and Investors Group Charitable Golf Tournament: On June 19, 2018, the sun was shining on Morgan Creek Golf Course and our supporters enjoyed a day of golf and an evening of entertainment, raising $20,000 for SHS’s Recreation and Leisure Services which receive no core government funding.
Gala of Diamond Wishes: The gala took place at Hazelmere Golf and Tennis Club on November 3 and provided bling and hope by raising $70,000 to benefit inclusive community services. The event also highlighted SHS’s 60th anniversary. Guests were treated to a welcoming reception of cocktails and appetizers, a gourmet dinner and an entertaining program.
Donor Recognition Event
Keeping with the spirit of SHS’s 60th anniversary, the theme of our Donor Recognition Event on March 8, 2018 was Diamonds and Denim. Hosted at our main building, called The Treehouse, donors were recognized for their generous contributions and the difference they make in the lives of people living with disabilities.
Awareness Creating Events and Activities
Food for Thought: On April 17, 2018, at the Food for Thought dinner, entitled Building Blocks and Cornerstones, our Board hosted professionals in the housing industry to capture their thoughts on the work performed by SHS in the community and provide suggestions for its future direction. Food for Thought is an annual event mandated by the Board, inviting representatives from various segments of the community to share a meal and provide input toward developing truly inclusive communities.
Business to Business: In collaboration with the Surrey Board of Trade and South Surrey White Rock Chamber of Commerce, we held our Business to Business event on September 20, 2018, where we networked with over 100 business people creating awareness about SHS’s great work and strengthening relationships with various members who serve the Surrey and White Rock communities.
UNITI Video: In the summer of 2018, we produced a video to highlight the progress that has been made in the last 60 years in community living. The video was purposely created to shine a light on possibilities, abilities, dreams and inclusion. To view the video, click on the link or type it in your browser: https://youtube/qTCoa1xddgs.
Our Endowment Funds are securely invested for steady growth and are deployed according to the specific instructions of the donor.
On November 2018, we entered into an agreement to initiate one newly created Endowment Fund:
Ostheimer Family Fund was created to support UNITI and contribute toward inclusive community services.
Previously established Endowment Funds included:
Ankenman Associates Architects Endowment Fund was created to support UNITI and contribute to funding for affordable and inclusive housing.
Dragonfly Endowment Fund: to provide registration funding to families who might not otherwise be able to utilize the Recreation and Leisure program due to financial constraints.
Independence Endowment Fund was purposed to provide rent subsidies to people with developmental disabilities and people with mental health challenges who want to live independently and who cannot afford rent.
Legacy Endowment Fund: to support program operating costs and the most needed unfunded program.
SHS Employee Endowment Fund: to support the purposes of the SHS’s General program and/or the area of most urgent need.
Tennant Baranszky-Job Fine Arts Endowment Fund: to support the purposes of the SHS’s Recreation and Leisure program and to specifically support its fine arts activities.
Wheeler/Soucy Endowment Fund: to support the SHS’s Recreation and Leisure program, primarily.
In fiscal year 2018-2019, Semiahmoo House Society had 135 members in good standing, including individuals, families and corporations. The categories and price of membership are: Individual $15, Family $25 and Corporate $50.
As part of our marketing initiatives, we refreshed the brand for SHS and its affiliates and initiated the development of a new website: www.uniti4all.com which will provide web presence for all three societies in the UNITI partnership.
We recognized all contributions from volunteers, board members, corporations, families, individuals and all other constituents who collaborated to achieve our objectives and ensuring a sustainable future for SHS.
We were grateful to both the staff of SHS and TSF for reaching a new level of collaboration that contributed to realizing SHS’s mission to provide quality services to people with disabilities.
In addition, we very much appreciated the Self-Advocates of Semiahmoo (SAS) who were instrumental in our work to create awareness and fundraise through their readiness to lend a hand and participate at our various events.
Louise Tremblay, Director of Development
UNITI is the partnership of three affiliated non-profit organizations that have existed for decades. 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. Peninsula Estates Housing Society provides affordable and inclusive rental housing that reflects the diversity of our community. The Semiahmoo Foundation assures that UNITI has the recognition, relationships and resources to support an inclusive community.