Thursday, 13 December 2012

Final Numbers

Okay so here is the good news! 


This is an amazing group of women. 
Our 620 CKRM presents "Saskatchewan's Got Talent" raised a total of 12,248.00 dollars for Forever Friends of Hope.  We sold 199 tickets.  We had six amazing levelled sponsors, and lots of silent auction and table sponsors.  The night was a great success! 

We had one woman, over a year ago, that was at a level of desperation that was outside of what we had seen before.  To get her back on her feet and keep her there until she was returned to work took 12,000 dollars.  That money may go to one person who needs it desperately or 12 people that just need a little help. 

This season, as the holidays approach, know that a lot of people are struggling.  In one way or another, we all struggle.  Some struggle more during the holidays.  Some find solace in it.  Wherever you are in your life, wherever you want to be, remember that this life we have is a blessing and a gift.  Use your life, the rest of your days to leave your world a better place.  I don't mean give all your money to charity and live as a pauper.  I mean don't yell at waiters or your kids, don't take your spouse for granted, tell them you love them or better yet, show them.   Look in the mirror and accept and love the person you see.  Sometimes we need to be kind to ourselves first.

We can't quit our jobs and live each day on the beach making each moment count like all the motivational posters lead us to believe.  We have to keep the lights on, shoes on the kids, and food on the table.  We can do those things with an open air of kindness, to ourselves and others.  I think it is a feeling, a thought, a real gut level emotion, not a specific act.  Random acts of kindness should not be rare.  They should be a way of life.  I try to make them mine.  I don't always succeed but I try. 

Thank you all for reading!

Friday, 7 December 2012

Our Thanks To The Ladies That Help Us Along The Way

We still don't have our final numbers available from the Casino night but we do have our final numbers from the Quilt raffle.  We made $1744.00 from the raffle. 
$1744.00
How cool is that!
These women made these quilts and donated them
 to us and we are so grateful.  Because of these women we were able to sell tickets on these quilts and raise this money.

T
Denim Cancer Ribbon Quilt
Made by Linda Andrew from Qu'Appelle

Dream Quilt
Made by the Prairie Art and Leisure Stitchers
(Cheryl Waters, Susan Wittrup, Linda Wood, Lynne Woollam, Helen Strong, Linda Brumwell, & Gisele Pitrowski)

Talent always finds a way to support and strengthen those around them.  The talent of these women is remarkable. The makers of the dream quilt are a group of ladies that quilt in their spare time.   
One of these ladies is my Aunt to I may be biased but I am very impressed by the work they do on these quilts.  Very beautiful.  I had asked them to make a quilt for us for our tenth anniversary.  They made and gave us one.  When we looked at it, we realized that it was much to beautiful to put in the auction.  You see in the auction we may have gotten a few hundred dollars for it.  But by raffling it we were able to maximize this fantastic gift.  We asked them if they were okay with a raffle and they were very gracious and agreed. 
In the mean time, one of our members talked to the maker of the Denim Cancer Quilt.  When Linda heard what we were doing she decided to make one to donate as well. 
And that is how we were lucky enough to get these two great quilts. 
We want to extend our deepest thanks to these ladies for their help with this raffle.  We really could not have done it without them. 
Thanks so much ladies!  You Rock! 
Thanks for the reads and shares.  We appreciate it so much.
Over 4000 readers.  How cool is that!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

The days after-CKRM Rocks!

620 CKRM The Source ROCKS!

As many of you know I am a very devoted CKRM listener.  When I approached CKRM with the idea of a title sponsorship I didn't expect anything.  Low expectations are the key to happiness because when they said yes, I was over the moon excited. 

Here's how it shook down. 

At the "What Women Want" Show last year, Pam and Garry Frigon met Gloria Evans.  Gloria is one of the morning DJ's on 620.  Pam and Garry told Gloria about FFOH.  Gloria asked us if she could come to the auction we have in the spring and help in any way.  We were very excited.  She came out and helped guest MC with our wonderful MC Jill.  However, about half way through the evening we lost Gloria.  I found her in the back helping keep track of the items.  We were running a few hands short and she noticed another way to help us out.  She piled into the work and never looked back. 

As we were communicating via email about the auction, I got brave and sent her the info for the Saskatchewan's Got Talent.  She forwarded it to the powers that be and voila!  Title Sponsorship.  Please see my former blogs for my excitement about this. 

Perry Nyhas met with me and set everything up.  He is a great guy, very kind.  However whenever I am near him I get so nervous.  I see him with such reverence.  I can't help it.  I grew up listening to him and am still awestruck.  However, I digress. 

Gloria and Jamie interviewed me on the morning show, then set it up so I could go over to 92.1 and have an interview with them.  I was so nervous.  But the graciousness of everyone at Harvard was amazing. 

Just before "Saskatchewan's Got Talent" on Thursday, Perry Nyhas stopped by.  He and I were standing in the Show Lounge at the Casino Regina.  Just us, we were looking at the silent auction items spread out the length of the lounge and surveying the lounge.  The sound guy Edgar, came up to me and asked a question.  And it hit me.  I looked around at Perry Nyhas talking to me, a sound guy asking me something and thought "WHAT THE HELL HAVE I DONE?  WHAT HAVE I GOT MYSELF INTO?" I had no idea what I was doing, what was going on and had the most surreal moment. 

I am sure that I screwed something up.  Positive that I made some sort of a mistake.  I know we fixed one mistake in the afternoon.  But I am sure that there are more.  I know I learned a lot.  I know that I am very grateful for the wonderful staff at the Casino Regina.  They fixed a mix up with amazing ease.  (I'm sure they swore at me but if we do it again, I will be much better.  I promise.)   But I know with certainty that what we did was successful.  We raised some money.  I will let you know how much as soon as we have it tallied.  But there is more.

This is how I know we were successful!
This picture is compliments of Pam Frigon with the United Voices Choir out of Balgonie. 
These girls put on a great and emotional show.  But here they are hanging out in the green room with our second preformer Colby Nargang. 
 
 
These girls got to preform in the show lounge.  They missed school, got their hair and makeup done by Marvel Beauty School, had an afternoon sound check, had three costume changes and hopefully  the time of their lives.  I hope we have, in part, inspired another generation of girls to make a difference in any way they can.
 
 
So, with all the work, worry, and moments of down right panic, it's over.  I want to thank CKRM for all of the help and guidance.  I want to thank our performers. 
 
United Voices
Dionne Warner
Brandy Young and her band
Colby Nargang
Doug Arden
and our MC for the evening
Gloria Evans! 
 
More thanks to follow.  But for now, I want everyone to know how much we appreciate CKRM for all the help.  Thanks for the reads and shares.  I am forever Amazed and Blessed! 

Monday, 26 November 2012

Here's the Good Stuff-Silent Auction

These are the awesome prizes we will be bidding on in the Silent Auction.  We have amazing supporters and I would like to point out that most of these folks are not our regular sponsors.   We were able to find some new sponsors to help us out this time.   The graciousness of Saskatchewan never ceases to amaze me. 

We add to the list of sponsors Ashley Todd, Gracom, Capital Auto Mall, Originals by Mary Jane, Inverness, The Delta, Temple Gardens Mineral Spa, The Pink Tree, Thee Lingerie Shoppee, BC Mutual Insurance, The Sandpiper, Payless Furniture, Indian Head Agencies, George Pawuiak, Wood Country, Scot's Printing, RBC, Just For You Day Spa, Bounce Hair Company, Shirley Wass, Wascana Remedial Massage, SaskPower, Dakota Dunes, West Jet and Chad and April Nichols. 

Please take note of our sponsors.  If you need something they sell, please look them up.  These are great people who believe in and care about our province and the people in it. 

Owen Garratt Drawing















1
Golb balls, shirt, water bottle, bottle opener, Cadillac hat, Warriors Hooded Sweater 2
Hat, tire flush, oil change, Warriors T shirt travel Mug and bottle opener 3
Cut and Color, 1 hour Massage  & Manicure and Pedicure 4
$ 70 dollar Gift Certificate and Watch 5
Jacket, Mitts, Hat & Scarf 6
Pen, hat, blanket, Golf shirt, and balls towel 7
Blanket, Steak knives and BBQ Set 8
Car Brush, Gift Certificate for Oil change and car wash, Pen Flashlight and tire tester and bag 9
Pillow, Scarf, Golf Shirt, Candle Holder, and Watch 10
Night and the Delta with a $50 food and beverage gift certificate, gift certificate from Just For You Day Spa 11
Lynx Chalk Drawing 12
Water Bottle, Bottle Opener, T shirt, tire flush and oil change 13
$75 Gift Certificate and T Shirt 14
Danby .7 cu ft Microwave 15
Travel Mug, Long Sleeved shirt and $70 dollar Massage 16
Basket and Clothing Item 17
Pink Mixer, Pepper Grinder, and Tea Infuser 18
Dog River Hat and shirt and Blanket 19
Bunny Hug and Shirt 20
Dewalt Impact Drill 18 volt 21
Area Rug 22
Night at Sunday's and $100 gift certificates  23
Two Tickets anywhere West Jet Flies, wine glasses and Champagne,  24
Gift Certificate for a night stay at the Spa in Moose Jaw
Pink Toboggan

See you all on Thursday.  This is the last call for meal tickets.  I need the numbers in by Monday at noon. 

Thanks so much for the support everyone!
25
26

 

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Dionne Warner Our Keynote Speaker

Dionne Warner is a cancer survivor that has an amazing outlook on life.  Together, she and her husband Graham,  have battled cancer 7 times.  This amazing story was captured by Deana J. Driver.  You can get a copy by clicking the link below. 


http://www.driverworks.ca/Never-Leave-Your-Wingman.php

Because of an amazing turn of events we were introduced to Dionne.  We asked Dionne if she would consider speaking at our event in the fall.  I have to say, I did not expect her to say yes.  The book was very popular.  They seemed to be in speaking engagements all over the country and I simply thought they would be too busy for our event. 

To my amazement she said yes.  I look very forward to meeting her in person on Thursday.  They are also going to have a table set up for Deana (the author), Dionne and Graham to sell and sign books.  Dionne is going to speak at the beginning of our event.  Their upbeat attitude, in my opinion, is the reason that they have been so successful with their fight.  I look forward to hearing her. 

Dinner tickets are available until Monday November 26,2012 at noon.  Tickets for the show only are available right up until the show starts at the Showlounge in Casino Regina.

Thanks for the reads everyone!  I look forward to hearing from you!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Our Headliner-Doug Arden

I want everyone to know today exactly what we do.  Here are a couple of stories. 
 
This year we paid for a wig for a young mother with an eighteen month old daughter.
 
We paid for a wig for a young woman who was graduating high school and really wanted hair to style into an updo for her graduation pictures. 
 
We paid for plates for a woman who is terminal so she can drive her children to school.
 
We paid for plates for a woman who was told to take the bus in forty below weather fighting lung cancer. 
 
We stopped three foreclosures. 
 
We paid living expenses for a woman who worked her whole life, used up her 15 weeks of disability and could not get welfare because she owned her home and was left with no income at all. 
 
We paid rent for a woman that also used up her 15 weeks and because she wasn't sick enough to die, got no help from social services because she had 4000 dollars left in her RRSP's.  She had to use it up before they would look at her application.  By the time she applied again she had a long waiting time and was going to get kicked out of her home. 
 
We paid for cheer leading.  Because when Mom is sick, kids still need to be kids.  This girl was the mom's primary caregiver.  When mom was sent home after her mastectomy two days before Christmas, this girl cooked and cleaned and made pancakes for their Christmas supper.  (And for the record, they never asked for it.  We were also paying basic living expenses.  We just felt it was the right thing to do.)
 
We gave away over forty thousand dollars. 
 
We raise this money slowly.  We work for 3 months for our auction.  We raise about 20,000 thousand dollars that night.  We make the other twenty thousand dollars from things like raffle tickets.  Two dollars at a time. 
 
And events like this one. 
 
Here is our headliner.  His name is Doug Arden. 
 

 
Doug Arden, Canada’s Corporate Funnyman, has over 15 years of professional, full-time, comedy entertainment experience. Every year, his schedule is filled with performances at corporate and community events across Canada. Doug is multi-talented and a professional comedian, magician, and ventriloquist whose main focus is one thing…entertaining audiences.
 

Doug Arden has cleverly combined clean stand-up comedy, outrageously funny ventriloquism, incredible magic, music, and audience participation, making his one-of-a-kind show absolutely hilarious! This outstanding comedy variety show has made Doug one of the most sought after corporate entertainers in the country. Audiences are absolutely unanimous in their praise of this amazing performer, as evidenced by the repeated standing ovations he receives at his many comedy shows across Canada every year. 

We have tickets available for three more days. Give me a call today. 699-7788

Sponsored by 620 CKRM, Inverness Consulting, Capital Auto Mall, Gee Bee Construction, ISC,
 Indian Head Agencies, and SGI Canada.
Supported by Conexus Financial, DFA Transport, Matt Inglis @RBC, The Pink Tree,
Qu'Appelle Agencies, Lisa B Originals and Scot's Printing.
Stay tuned for an update on our silent auction items!
Thank you all!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Second Performer Colby Nargang!

I think I have been busy forever.  But I am back now!

Our event at the end of the month is coming along nicely.  620 CKRM is the title sponsor of our event.  Just in case anyone forgot. 

Here is the second entertainer for the evening.

This information is taken from Colby Nargang's website

http://colbynargang.com/index.html

Colby is a Regina, Saskatchewan based entertainer whose music pays tribute to Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison. He has been singing since he was a child, however it was his performance of Roy Orbison's "Running Scared" at Telemiracle 27 in 2003 that opened doors to many opportunities.
Colby is a well-known representative for people with disabilities as he was born with a rare disorder, Williams Syndrome. Unique to some individuals with this syndrome is an exceptional aptitude for music and the ability to mimic, which he was fortunate to be gifted with (for more information on Williams Syndrome please visit http://caws-can.org).
Colby decided on the title of this album, "If I Can Dream" because it has always been his dream to be an entertainer and songwriter. Though he has had some rough times in his life with his disability and bullying, he still has followed his dreams. Colby feels that if he can overcome the obstacles in his life to achieve his dreams, there is nothing that can stop anyone from achieving theirs.

We are very grateful to have Colby preform. 

We stopped another foreclosure this week.   A lady that has been sick for a while was having her mortgage sent to the lawyers on the fifteenth.  We were able to get the necessary payment to the trust company on the fifteenth in time to stop  any further action.  And all it took was 800.00 dollars.  Imagine losing your house over 800.00 dollars.  But its always 800.00.  It all comes down to your last eight hundred dollars, doesn't it. 

We have our tickets for sale for the event.  Please call me to book your table or tickets.  We have sold about 170 tickets.  If we can sell all the tickets then we stand to raise about 40,000.00 dollars.  We would really appreciate any help that anyone can give.  The tickets are $75 or $35.  Please call me and we will set you up with a great, fun night!

I look forward to hearing from you!  699-7788

http://www.ticketbreak.com/event_details/5463 Here is the link to the Casino Show Lounge Box office. 

Thanks for reading.


 

Monday, 15 October 2012

Meeting Last Night!

We had our meeting last night for October. I will update you all on the happenings.   We always start our meetings with the run of the mill stuff.  Things like the events we have to be at, craft shows like the Harvest Hoedown in Indian Head on October 20 and the Lioness Craft and Bake sale on November 10.  We make sure that we have people to cover the whole day.  Right now we are focusing on selling our raffle tickets and merchandise at these events.  We will have Casino tickets available as well. 

So after we get the house keeping stuff out of the way we are able to move onto the good stuff.  We had two applicants last night.  We think of this as the good stuff because helping these women is why we do all of the rest of the stuff with Forever Friends.  When we can give money to a woman that really needs it then all of the fund raising and work that we do is all worth it. 

We helped two women last night.  We were able to pay for six months of lymph node draining for one woman and one wig for another.  Most people probably don't realize that lymph node draining is not paid for by our health care.    It takes about 1 1/4 hours in a very specialized massage that is not relaxing or fun.  This in part keeps the arm from swelling to dangerous levels.  It costs about 100-110 dollars per time and our applicant had to go everyday for three weeks.  Adding this up means a woman on a very fixed budget spent about 2300 dollars in three weeks just on treatments.  Not to mention that she had to stay in a care home while she got the treatments because she does not live anywhere close to where these specialized treatments are.  It cost about 2000.00  for her stay.  If you do some rough math you will see the cost of a necessary treatment resulting from breast cancer.  And this is why we do what we do. 

We then do reports from our treasurer.  We have enough money in our account to pay for the Casino night and give at our average rate until January.  This means if our Saskatchewan's Got Talent night is not a huge success we will be out of money. 

Because we are as dangerously close to running out of money as I ever want to be, our focus is on the CKRM Presents Saskatchewan's Got Talent on November 29that the Casino Regina.  The link below will get you information on the night and the performers.  If you want ticket let me know and I will get them sent out for you.


http://casinoregina.com/entertainment/calendar/view/554/59

Thanks to everyone for the reads today.  Have a great day! 

"And there but by the grace of God, go I."

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Spotlight-Brandy Young!

Iyanla on the Oprah network was talking once about how you know when you are pushing yourself far enough.  She says that when you feel just a little like you are going to pee your pants, that is the line.  That's when you know.  If you actually pee your pants, you have pushed your self too far. 

For the most part the casino night is making me feel a bit like throwing up every time I think of it.  Which for the record, is all the time.  I will be happy when more tickets sell.  That's the biggest part.  It feels like your throwing a party and invited all your friends but not everyone one has replied yet.  We have sold thirteen tables, eleven of eight and one of six and one of four.  Lisa B Originals has been a huge help for us with ticket sales.

I am going to be showcasing a bit of our talent in the upcoming blogs.

Brandy Young
Brandy Young has been singing since she could talk. Her first performance was when she was 8 years old. She's sang at many fundraisers and talent shows. Over the past 15 years, she's competed in the Yorkton GX94 and 620 CKRM Big Country Talent Shows. In 2008, she won the CMT Karaoke Star for Saskatchewan and got to go on to Toronto for the finals to represent her province. In 2011, she won the Sheila Ann Memorial for the 620 CKRM competition winning a session to record her single I'm Not Sorry. Brandy has sang at Craven's Mainstage for the past 6 years, Casino Regina's Show Lounge and Yorkton Painted Hand Casino, last year winning the Painted Hand Talent Show.

Brandy has been a huge supporter of FFOH.  She has preformed at our auction in the past.  This long term support is something that we are so impressed with.  Brandy is one of our three performers for the evenings entertainment. 

I will keep you all posted.  It continues to unfold in an amazing way with plenty of surprises yet to come! 

I will finish by saying, Please buy tickets!  If this evening is not successful, FFOH will only have about seven thousand dollars to last until our spring auction.  We will be out of money by January. 

Happy Thanksgiving all!  I am counting my blessings this weekend.  And all of you are on my list for reading.  Thank you all!

"And there but by the grace of God, go I."

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Raw Emotion

I have used this blog for Forever Friends partially as a advertising tool for us and partially as a journal.  Working through some of the things that make it challenging to be part of FFOH and some of the things that make it great. 

This was one of those days it was both. 

To begin I will tell some of the back story.  My number has always been associated with Forever Friends.  Applicants call me directly to discuss help, help with filling out the forms, and any questions they may have.  This wasn't a big deal in the beginning because we didn't get many calls. 
As FFOH grew, I got more calls.  Some of these calls leave me reeling emotionally.  I get the feeling that some of these women just need to tell their whole story to someone. 

When bad things happen to us we don't always tell the whole story to everyone we meet.  Think about it with me.  We don't tell our families about our financial struggles because we don't want to burden them.  We don't tell our doctor about how we feel emotionally about all that is happening.  Some of our friends shy away from some of the more intense emotional side of it all.  Some people distance themselves completely.  We don't tell our husbands the whole story of the pain and discomfort.  We camouflage "I'm fine, it's not that bad, I'm okay."  We do not unleash the whole story on everyone we meet.  We can't.  You can't tell the lady in the supermarket isle about your feelings.  You can't tell your mother about the change in your sex life because of what if going on.  You can't tell your boss about your financial troubles. 

So sometimes when these women call me they begin slowly with a couple of questions, tentatively.  It sometimes turns into an emotional blood letting so to speak.  With them telling me things they wouldn't tell anyone else.  This raw emotion is very difficult to deal with.  Even though I feel like crying with them, I don't.  I just listen.  Even though I sometimes feel like driving to their house and fixing it all, I know I can't. 

I had asked at a meeting to have my number removed from the website, to encourage people to email instead.  I was having a tough time dealing with the emotion.  The rawness of it all.  My board, always willing to back me up, agreed.  No one wants me to burn out because I am overloaded.  Then this happened-

A woman came up to me after a fundraiser.  She introduced herself and then started to cry.  She thanked me for all I had done for her.  I asked if we helped her.  She said yes but that we had never given her any money.  She told me that she called me a few years ago.  That I talked to her and made her feel so much better.  She said she never did apply but just knowing that we were there to help her made everything better.  She thanked me for listening, for taking the time to talk to her. 

Here's the kicker.  I didn't remember her.  I have talked to so many women, over so many years.  But it made me even more aware of what we do.  The best part of FFOH is the fact that we are people, not an organization.  We are people you can talk to, women there when you need us.  Women who can actually really help.  Sometimes that help is just someone to listen.  I just didn't think about it like that. 

I never did contact the web designer to take my name off the page.  Just couldn't bring myself to do it.  Now I know why.  I know now I have to share some of the raw emotion with the rest of the board.  This should help with the weight of the emotional pressure. 

I am grateful everyday for all I get to do with FFOH.  Today more than ever.   The woman I talked to today just needed to know we could help.  We can.  Today her day is better.  I feel grateful but weepy.  I feel so sorry for the woman today.  Her story very similar to Theresa.  Stopped me in my tracks.  I hope that our strength will be part of what will help her through. 

"And there but by the grace of God, go I." 

Thank you all.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Luck and a Golf Tournament

I think as a whole Forever Friends may spend more on boobs than anything else or anyone else on the planet.  We buy boobs all of the time.  This month we bought three and about six specialty bras.  Sask Health will pay four hundred dollars usually for prosthetics but won't pay for bras.  This makes no sense to me but I am not queen of the world (yet) so until then we just keep buying them. 

The cycle is this.  Women get 15 weeks of unemployment.  Then they get sent to welfare.  Welfare won't help them if they have any savings.  So they spend everything they have.  They go back to welfare and get about 800 dollars a month.  Then when they need a bra that costs approximately 120 dollars they are allowed to "borrow" from their future food money at social services to buy the bra. 
We take a woman who worked her entire life and reduce her to borrowing from her social services cheque with permission from a social worker to buy something she needs. 

As a generation we are seeing a shift.  It used to be that women had husbands to help them along.  They stayed home, raised kids and kept a clean house.  Sometimes they worked.  And if they worked it was in retail or the service industry.  (I know I am simplifying this and it is/was not like this for everyone.)  Then we had a generation of women that began in the work force and developed more of a career. With those changes an income meant women we no longer tied to a man.   Now we are seeing women that have more careers and less ties to men.  But with that independence comes no help from a partner when they get sick.  This is just how it is.  More single women in their 40's and 50's.   This trend opens up an area where women need help. 

Luckily, we have help to give.  The reason we have help to give is because of generous wonderful people like you readers and women like the one belonging to the Katepwa Beach Golf Club that are having a "Golf Fore Cancer" tournament on Thursday Sept. 6, 2012 at 2PM.  If you golf you may want to consider helping out!

Oprah says "Luck is simply preparation meeting opportunity."   I really believe that is true.  We are an organized bunch of women with amazing opportunities before us.  Or best opportunity is the opportunity to help people.  That's something I feel pretty lucky to witness.  

Thank you for reading.  Over three thousand people have read about us!  Keep sharing and spreading the cause.  We have seen the number of applicants go up continually which means more of you are telling people who need us about FFOH.  Thank you for that on behalf of the women we help. 

Have a blessed day!


Sunday, 26 August 2012

Always Amazed!

Wow has it been a busy summer.  So much to catch you up on. 

We have always grown and learned with FFOH.  Our steady growth has made it so we can continue to keep up with the work load as it grows and changes.  Having no paid employees means that we have to work pretty hard to keep up with the demands of it.   There are lots of phone calls from social workers and applicants.  As we get better known, we get more calls from the people on the front lines of cancer.  As the people on the front lines learn about us then I know they will be able to pass more applicants on to us.  I am so impressed with all that is going on. 

We got our first donation on the Paypal account.  That was exciting.  Then we figured out how to get the money from the paypal account to the bank account.  So that was great.  Then with the help of a friend of mine from GeeBee Construction (Silver Sponsor for the Saskatchewan's Got Talent Night at Casino Regina) (Shameless Plug) We made sure it wasn't offensive to anyone and got good advice on making it better.  So we are coming ahead in leaps and bounds.  Things like that help us appear more professional.  As we are growing we want to make sure that everyone we deal with knows that we take it very seriously.

We have had 52 applicants so far.  Four in the last month alone.  We have been able to help these women.  That makes me feel good.  We have been getting better at helping people as well.  We are getting more streamlined and can respond even better to peoples needs.  Speed is often of the essence so it is more important than ever to help quickly and efficiently. 

Our announcement this time is the Paypal account.  If you would like tickets to the event in the fall, go to our site and donate $75 and we will send you a ticket to the event.  For a $35 donation we will send you a ticket for the show portion of the evening.  The tickets are first come first serve basis so we will send you the best ones we have available.  Here is our website again. 

http://www.foreverfriendsofhope.org/

Now that fall has arrived, I promise to be attentive to the blog.  We have had almost three thousand readers.  Keep sharing and passing on the message of Forever Friends.  Our applicants thank you for the information.  Thanks for the reads!

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Another fantastic week!

This is an update on all that has been done with Forever Friends this week.  It's been a great week!

We had a group of great ladies from Fort Qu'Appelle host a golf tournament in our name this week.  They raised 2717.00 dollars for us!  Thanks to the Echo Ridge Ladies for the great support.  Two of our member helped with the registration table and I was asked to speak at the luncheon.  It's always an honor to speak at Forever Friends events.  I always get nervous and hope I don't make a fool of myself.  Don't fall down, zipper up, that sort of thing.  I think it went okay.  The luncheon was great and they even let me eat first which was awesome.  A fantastic lunch was served and we were honored to be there.  Honored to be a part of it.  So again our thanks to all that helped organize the event. 

We are in the process of helping a couple of applicants right now.  One is for prosthetics and a wig as well as rent for four months.  And another for four months of bills until she can return to work. 

Neither of these women were declared terminal so they don't qualify for long term disability payments.  Because they own cars and homes they don't qualify for social services until they sell their assets and live off the money.  Even though they don't have huge expensive homes or new cars they don't qualify.  So basically they are left with no income while finishing their treatments.  Four months worth of treatments and no money coming in at all.  I can not even try to understand why this happens but it does.  Everyday. 

Our event for the fall is coming together very nicely.   We have the ability to accept donations on our website now.  We can also use the paypal button to process MasterCard or Visa transactions.  If you would like to purchase tickets to our fall event you and contact me directly at 699-7788 or call the casino Regina box office 565-3000 (Regina) or 1-800-555-3189.   Or visit the link below.  http://www.casinoregina.com/entertainment/box-office

And just because I haven't included it in a while, here is the link to the Forever Friends website.  There is an application there, as well as a donate button. 

http://www.foreverfriendsofhope.org/

We appreciate every look at the site, every read of the blog and all of the support we get. 

Thank you all. 

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Some Amazing Help!

So its happened.  Originally this year one of our goals has been to find people to help FFOH with our fund raising efforts.  This is proof that goals are the key to making things happen.  We have so much exciting stuff to announce.  First some lovely ladies from Fort Qu'Appelle have decided to help FFOH with not one but TWO golf tournaments.

The first on is on this flyer.  Let these ladies know if you would like to enter a team.  There are some great prizes and a light lunch.  This is a ladies tournament.  There is also a prize for most dollars raised so get out there and get some pledges.  Forever Friends will be supplying all the receipts for the donations.  I will keep you posted on the second tournament when we get the finalized information. 

The second is a business here in Saskatchewan that sells locally inspired clothing.  http://store.skatchclothing.com/products  Follow this link to see the cool t shirts they have available this season.  15% of all orders in the month of July go to Forever Friends.  I ordered a shirt last week.  I got notification that it has shipped already and can't wait to get it!  And in the fall I am going to order a bunny hug.  Mostly because I am so glad they have bunny hugs, not hoodies.  (Yes I know they are pretty much the same thing, however as a child/teen of the eighties, this matters.)

As usual I am truly humbled by the happenings for Forever Friends this year.  Thank you all for your amazing support.  Support those that support us and let them know it. 

Have an amazing day!



Friday, 29 June 2012

Last applicants and new sponsor announcement!



Well a troubling thing appears to be happening. We appear to be getting more applicants than we are going to have money. Our last applicants were definitely in dire straits.

One was a mother but her kids were grown. She used her 15 weeks of disability which is all you are entitled to. At that point unless you are declared terminal you have very little chance of receiving long term benefits. The option at this point is social services. Do you know what social services tells someone that worked their whole life to own a home to do? To sell your house and vehicle regardless of where you live or how old you are, then live off the money until it is gone and then come and ask for money.

My views and ideas on this are deep and many. Most are not good and may cross the line to advocacy which FFOH is not allowed to do. We do not want to risk our charity status by lobbying the government for changes. We do believe though that the more we talk about these things, the more the public will push for gradual and constructive change.

I see no reason to burn flags in the street. The best part of Canada is we can protest change. We can actually set up meetings with our MP's and MLA'S. Not a lot of countries in the world where you can phone up the leaders of the country, meet with them in their office, and have no fear of the police dragging you out of your bed in the night.

Back to the applicant. All we can do is keep the wolves from the door. Nothing fancy. Just keeping the lights on until she can go back to work. I wish we could do more. But for now...

We have got one fundraiser going as we speak for tickets to our quilt draw. We have another going on in the fall.

Speaking of that, we have an announcement to make.

Capital Hill as in Capital Ford and Capital GMC up by the North Superstore on Rochdale have signed on for a Gold sponsorship for the event this fall. They also donated two huge boxes of goodies for the silent auction. I am going to be looking for a new vehicle this fall and now I know where I am going shopping. Thanks Capital Hill. And a huge thanks to Shirley and Mark for putting it all together.

So for now, another reason to buy tickets to help us all out. And another reason to plan to come to the event on November 29, 2012.

And if you do decide to support a business that supports us, tell them. That is the best way to let them know that their sponsorship dollars are working.

Thanks for the reads and share everyone!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Our AGM

Sorry about the delay folks.  My pesky real job has been getting in the way of my FFOH stuff. 

We had our AGM last Sunday.  We had a good turn out and we did make a change to our by laws.  We have increased the amount of people on our board because we had members who wanted to upgrade from the regular membership to the board.  This was amazing.  In the time when the volunteer scene is shrinking and boards are begging for help, FFOH is growing because our dedicated members want more responsibility. 

Forever Friends has, hands down, the most dedicated membership out there.  So we are now a board of eleven. Which is a good thing because we seem to get more ambitious every year. 

We have a few more pretty major fundraisers this year.  One is going on as we speak.  There are tickets available for the two quilts shown below.  The quilts were hand made by our supporters. 

 Denim Cancer Ribbon Quilt
Made by Linda Andrew from Qu'Appelle
Dream Quilt
Made by the Prairie Art and Leisure Stitchers
(Cheryl Waters, Susan Wittrup, Linda Wood, Lynne Woollam, Helen Strong, Linda Brumwell, & Gisele Pitrowski)
  Tickets are available from any member of the board as well as some of our members.  We also have the capability of selling on line now as well.  http://www.foreverfriendsofhope.org/ If you go to our site and click on the paypal link you can pay for tickets for the quilt raffle or our casino night.  There is a spot that you can include a message to us.  Just add in what the donation is for and we will send you the appropriate tickets.  (We have got so technologically advanced lately!)

The tickets for the quilt draws are $2 each.  The tickets are $75 for the Saskatchewans Got Talent so I doubt there will be a mix up but just in case. 

We also decided on a direction for FFOH this year.  That direction is to encourage other groups of folks to help us fund raise.  We had another 4 applications at the meeting and are now having to limit the money we can give people.  This is not something I ever wanted to happen but I don't know how we can do it any other way.  So if you have a group of people that can throw your hat in for some help in your own community that would be great.  Dress down days, garage sales, wine parties with a donation in mind, anything you can think of. 

Sometimes plates for a month are $50 so it doesn't take much to really help someone.  $50 can buy plates for a vehicle for a woman with lung cancer so she can get to her appointments.  No amount of help is too small.  We thank people very much for continuing to think of us and help when they can.

So that is the direction for this year.  Find donations from other sources so we can give more away without burning out our board members. 

I will save the details about the applicants until my next blog so this one doesn't get too long.  Feel free to try out our paypal link we would love to see it in action. 

Thanks for the reads and shares everyone.  As usual the amount of support you all continue to give us is great.  Thanks for your time today!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Lisa B and FFOH

I want to bring a great business to light with my blog here today.  Not many people know of this business because not everyone has had to use it but the folks that run it have come into my life at a time when I needed a breath of freshness.  They have been just what I needed. 

You see, a little over a year ago, we had an applicant that was living on abut 890.00 dollars per month.  She had repeated surgeries that continued to go deeper and deeper.  Part of her problem was a hole in her chest that remained after her first surgery for about two years.  This hole was infected and leaked pus and liquid for the entire time.  For two years.  The doctors could not clear it up and kept cutting deeper and deeper to try and fix it.  Eventually they did get that looked after.  Her surgeries were repeated, radical and very disfiguring.  The scaring was deep. 

In a situation like this a normal prosthetic doesn't work.  You can't just put a stuffed bra over a rib cage and go to a wedding.  

And this is when we at FFOH heard about Lisa B Originals.  The owners are Pam and Garry.  Very nice people that are kind and giving.  We spoke about the estimate they gave us about the prosthetic for our mutual client.  They explained the estimate for me and I am very glad they did.  The prosthetic cost 3800.00 dollars.  They had to make a prosthetic for this woman that went from her collar bone to the bottom of her rib cage and wrapped under her arms. 

My point in this description is that when women have breast cancer it doesn't mean they just lose a breast.  We have this vision of a woman with only one breast with a small scar in the straight line across the other side of her chest.  Geez what is all the complaining about right?  Imagine the damage done to this woman that required a prosthetic of this extent. 

They explained how the procedure worked.  Each prosthetic is custom made for the women.  They look and feel very human.  The prosthetics even have nipples.  And the best part is if you know you are set to have a breast removed they can take a mould of yours and build you the exact same boob or boobs you are set to lose right down to the nipples and veins.  They do this without ever seeing you naked. 

I seen an example of Garry's work in a bar in Regina.  We were at a meeting for stakeholders of breast cancer and a few of us went to get a bite to eat after the meeting.  Garry brought in a sample of his work and passed it around the table...oddly enough.  I remarked that it probably used to cost him a lot in drinks to end up in a bar with a boob in his hand but this was way easier.  (Sorry I have a tasteless sense of humor.) The boobs they build also stick to the skin with a special adhesive so you can actually move around with them on. 

I have included a link to their site so you can check them out.  And if you are in the area and need a boob...I mean other than the one you are married too, (see tasteless humor.  But you laughed didn't you?)  stop by the shop and let them help you out. 

They have also become huge helpers for FFOH.  They came to the auction and Garry let us auction him off as a server.  They also brought a table of women.  They are going to sell our quilt tickets and our night at the casino tickets.  Pam has a choir that is going to provide the back up music for the night at the casino event.  The amount of help and support they have given and continue to give is amazing. 

http://www.lisaboriginals.ca/

Sask Health gave eight or nine hundred dollars for this prostetic.  We gave 2000.00.  Garry and Pam donated their time and money for the rest.  We helped to give this woman her dignity and confidence back. 

So well it is fresh in your mind, our AGM is Sunday at 2 PM at the Qu'Appelle library in Qu'Appelle.
We are going to decide on the decisions that will shape our year.  Decide on some new fundraising ideas and set the direction for our eleventh year.  Come out and lend an idea.  PS Coming to the meeting does not mean you will have to join the board or donate your time for the rest of the year.  This is just a meeting.  We would love to see you all there. 

Thanks for the reads today. 
Please share this one with your friends.  This is another direct example of the work we do. 

"To the world you may only be one person but to one person you may be their world. "

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Next Up! Tanya!

I know that I have been a little lax in my posting and I apoligize.  This is a pretty busy time of year in my real life so I have been focusing on keeping the lights on. 

I would like to introduce you to another of our board members, Tanya. 

Usually the women in our group have fairly varied taste.  We get our enjoyment from different things, do different things to pass our time.  Tanya is into the rodeo/barrel racing scene.  She barrel races, knows how to rope, and breaks her own horses.  She is about the toughest chick I know. 
She has other interests as well.  One of the more impressive things is a kids rodeo that she and a couple of friends put on each year.  This event helps to introduce kids to rodeo in a safe and very family friendly environment.  One of the things that most people don't know about rodeo is the family atmosphere that it operates in.  For example, at a barrel racing jackpot its nothing to see dads walking around with little babies in their arms, looking after the kids while mom makes her run.  If they actually follow the rodeo circuit, its common to see the whole family at each event.  Campers are just as important as horse trailers.  But at those events the kids have sheep to ride but not much else.  Tanya's kids rodeo give the kids the chance to do all of the things the kids watch their folks do all year.  This type of event is a huge undertaking and just one more example of the amazingly talented women I am surrounded with. 
She has a good job and has been with the company for a lot of years.  She is loyal as an employee and a friend.  She has a ton of stuff on the go and sometimes is hard to track down but that is all part of the juggling game we all play. 
She is also the member of the group who threatens ranch house justice.  More than once she has threatened to "nut" someone, to create minor acts of vandalism if needed, and basically be the muscle of the group.  However, when dealing with applicants, she is usually the first one with tears in her eyes. 

Her husband is also awesome!  He does what he's needed to to.  Somewhere I have a picture of him in an apron but I can't find it and that may be a sign that I shouldn't put it up.  But to all of the people that have seen it, it is a sight to behold. 
Tanya is a strong woman that I am proud to know.  I am very glad she is on my team. 
Thanks to all of you for the reads today.

This is also a reminder that June 10, is our AGM for Forever Friends.  It starts at 2 PM in the Qu'Appelle Library.  Everyone is very welcome and we would love to have lots of people there to help decide the future of Forever Friends and set our goals for the next year.  Please put the date in your calender and come if you can.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Our Last Meeting

Hello again all!

First I have to apoligize for my last rant.  Honestly one of the most emotional days of my life.  I find writing very cathartic so I appreciate the reads and the fact that none of my followers decided to un follow me after that.  So back to Forever Friends.

We had our monthly meeting on Sunday night.  We are lucky that we have a library in town that lets us have our meetings there.  So a big thank you to the Qu'Appelle Branch of the South East Regional Library.  We used to have our meetings at our houses and rotate through but then one of us always had to clean our house so this is a great alternative.  Although now that I think of it, the snacks are not as good as they used to be and sometimes we don't have snacks at all.  (I may have to bring that up...)

We had our normal house keeping to look after.  An update on the upcoming night at the casino, an update on the ticket sales for the quilt raffle, and some printing bills to pay. 

We also had applicants.  We had four applicants this month.  Amazingly enough we had all four of them come in the last week.  We are very blessed at FFOH.  Although now that I think about it, I guess we have designed it that way.  We don't have a lot of rules binding who we help.  We have been entrusted with money from our fantastic community.  Part of this trust I think is based on the fact that we try to do the right thing. 

Usually we help women.  However we got an application from a seventeen year old girl who needed a wig.  For her Grad.  In June.  Because we don't have a huge time constraint we are able to reply to her almost immediately.  She wants a wig that she can style.  Girls plan for years about grad.  Cancer should not take that away from you.  We won't let it. 

We heard from a woman that was going to face the loss of her house on Monday.  The day after our meeting.  We had to have the cashiers cheque to a courier before noon or they were sending everything to the lawyer to start foreclosure.  She had reconstructive surgery in December and then got an infection in her back and couldn't work for weeks.  We all know what it is like to get behind and then not be able to get caught back up.  She is still taking some pretty strong drugs to keep the cancer away now and for the next five years.  She works part time for minimum wage.  She can't work anymore than she does physically.  We helped her with the two payments she was behind and then with two more so she can catch her breath and heal both her heart and mind. 

We got an application from a woman that is now on palliative medication.  She was falling behind by 350 dollars a month.  We looked after the shortfall and a little extra for four months.  She is able to ask for more after four months if she needs it.  I would like to tell you more about this woman's story but her string of horrible luck is so bad that it could have only happened to one person in the last year and we don't want people to know who she is. 

Our last applicant was living on 1100 dollars a month.  She is married.  Her husband has health problems as well.  Her cancer fight was many years ago but she needed a new prosthetic.  Most of her prosthetic was covered by Sask Health because of their low income but the remainder we paid for. 

So this is the update from our last meeting.  Once again we are honoured with the trust our community has in us.  Thank you all for the ability to do this for women, for families. 

Thanks for reading. 

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Twenty Years

I do a lot of volunteer work but sometimes the one who needs help is me.  I realised this today when I was sitting in the doctors office crying because someone finally listened to me. 

It started with a nurse practitioner in town who listened to my complaints about my chronic head aches and took steps to actually help me a few months ago. 

Over the years I have suffered with head aches.  I remember my first head and stomach ache in grade three.  I remember the doctor telling my mom that I probably just didn't like my teacher. 

After my kids were born a doctor told me "You have kids, what do you expect?" After a few years another doctor told me "You're a woman, that's what happens."  A few years after that one said "As long as you're working sixty hours a week don't come back to see me about this."  (And for the record, after I sold my business and didn't work at all for six months and the head aches were just as bad.)

Throughout the years I envied people with what I considered low grade headaches.  You know the people.  The ones who can take one or two Advil and the headache goes away.  I couldn't even imagine it.  To put it in perspective, when I get a head ache I take three extra strength Advil and two extra strength Tylenol about every two hours for three to five days.  I do this so I can function.  My headaches wake me in the night.  I was given Demerol, however that was kind of a joke.  (That by the doctor that told me I was a woman.)  I was also given a type of Aleve that was apparently quite strong.  These were not helpful unfortunately.  These all dealt with pain. 

My headaches peak in the evening usually in the third or fourth day.  And by peak I mean they get so bad that I will lay on the bathroom floor.  I have, in those dark moments, contemplated banging my head against the door frame.  The thought is that if I hit my head hard enough I would pass out and it wouldn't hurt anymore.   Even typing it sounds crazy.  But I know I'm not. 

Because I was lead to believe that my head aches were normal, it never occurred to me to go to the hospital.  (Which apparently does help you get noticed by the medical types.)

In all this craziness of Demerol, Advil, Tylenol, Maxolt and anything else I could try, I would wake my husband in the middle of the night to tell him what I was taking.  I wanted him to be able to tell the EMS if anything happened.  It became a running joke in our household because what could we do but laugh. 

So with my last really bad headache prompted my husband to tell me to go to the doctor again.  And he supported me/ badgered me until I went.  And this is when Angela came in.  She listened.  She ran some tests and tried me on some stronger pills.  (Maxolt is the spelling I think)  My pharmacist came into play here too.  She warned me about the pills, watched my refills and when I came back for the third refill in less than three months on a prescription that should have lasted a year, told me to go back to the doctor.  She told me the drugs weren't doing what they were supposed to.  Took the time to explain what they were supposed to do.  The best thing about a small town is that these people are your neighbours.  They care about you. 

The new pills reduce the size of the blood vessels therefore taking the pressure off in my brain.  They would take my pain away for a few hours but it would always return.  I know nothing about pills.  What I just told you is a dumbed down version of what they told me.  Most of what they told me I don't really remember.  I do remember Kelly telling me not to accidentally kill myself. 

But I understand how it happens.  How much you want the pain to just stop.  In March I had nine migraines.  With Maxolt they lasted two to three days.  Mathematically I had about nine or ten days without a migraine.  After every headache I have a half a day of a "brain bruise"  so what does that leave six or seven days in a month with no pain. 

When I type it its seems awful.  But my life is good.  Just this one area is tough. 

Today I went to a neurologist.  I got referred by Angela.  Again he listened to me.  Validated my pain and gave me something to try to prevent the headaches instead of treating the pain.  He told me that in three months my life will be better.  I believe him.  I cried.  I told him how much I appreciated him helping me. 

So here's to me and getting my life back. 

And because this blog is supposed to be about Forever Friends here's the tie in.  Some of the people in the medical field are fantastic.  Some aren't but in Canada we get health care so we can have a second opinion.  If you are in doubt about any aspect of your health go to a doctor until you get what you know you need.  I am a huge believer in intuition.  I have heard lots of stories with women that know something is wrong but get brushed off.  If you KNOW then trust yourself.  Go until you find someone that will listen to you. 

This is not to dog on doctors that have missed something.  To err is human.  This is to hold up the people that listen, to the members of the profession that are fantastic.  If you know them, tell them.  They deserve to hear it. 

Thanks to you all for the read today. 

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Next up! April


April has been on Forever Friends of Hope for four or five years.  She was originally from Qu'Appelle and then returned after going to school and getting an education.  April and her husband bought a farm at Qu'Appelle and began their life. 

Shortly after I met April there was a hypnotist at the bar in Qu'Appelle.  I didn't know her well yet.   I had never been to a hypnotist before and didn't know what to expect.  Did you know that when you get hypnotised, they can't make you do anything that you don't believe in?  They can't make you go against your core moral beliefs.  April was one of the people that volunteered to get hypnotised.  About 20 people tried and only four or five actually went "under".  And April was one of them.

The hypnotist got them to pretend that they were famous people, on a beach that got hotter and hotter, things that were very innocent but funny.  Nothing humiliating just innocent fun.  One of the set ups the hypnotist asked was that they were to imagine that the rock star they admired the most and loved was preforming right in front of them.  There was screaming, hollering, and dancing.  He then told them that same rock star was back stage and requesting that they go back stage and wanted to have sex with them.  As the others went tearing off back stage to meet the imaginary rock star, April paused, looked at the doorway, shrugged her shoulders, walked over to her husband and sat down on his knee. 

This is the way April is.  Loyal and honest right to her core.  That night the hypnotist told her husband how lucky he was.  But I think he knew that already. 

April is in marketing and agriculture.  The marketing has been a huge asset to FFOH.  Her knowledge and experience is a blessing to us.  She also has contacts that are far flung and has helped expand our sponsorship area.  She is one of the partners that own SaskMade Market Place in Saskatoon which is a store that features all Saskatchewan product and merchandise.  Here is the link to the store if you want to have a look. http://www.saskmade.ca/

And if the farm, store and two kids and husband weren't enough, she also has a full time job...  I know I was thinking the same thing, What a slacker!  (I'm kidding.)  She is an amazingly busy woman. 

And one more thing, but don't tell her.  I am incredibly impressed by her.  She is the exact example of a strong woman that I am proud to know.  She is confident, classy and incredibly hard working.  She brings an amazing energy to the group. 

Just one more woman that I am amazed and blessed to have in my life!  Thank you all!

Friday, 13 April 2012

Shamless begging!

In the middle of the CKRM page there is a box that has links to important stuff that CKRM is affiliated with.  One of the things is a Blake Shelton cruise contest that you can win.  Another is Dr. Phil tickets.  And number six is FFOH!  Can you believe it?  We share print with those guys.  That is a super cool feeling.  It might not seem like much but to me it seems fantastic! 

Below is the link to buy tickets for our event.  If you would like to join us, please click on it and pick up your tickets.  We would love to have you.  We are pretty good at throwing a party so we would love to see you there! 
Click away and help us sell out our second event this year.  Boy would we have bragging rights then heh?

Find and buy 620 CKRM PRESENTS tickets at CASINO REGINA at admission.com http://www.admission.com/event/620-CKRM-PRESENTS-tickets/SGT1129?tm_link=tm_header_lang2&messnum=

Thanks everyone.  I appreciate your time!

Friday, 6 April 2012

Consciousness

Consciousness. 

It seems rather simple.  We are awake and moving about, therefore conscious right?  But is it?  Are we really living with purpose.  Truly awake?  I have talked before about being grateful for what we have, about really acknowledging our lives.  I don't want to bore you.  What I want to do is move you. 

We all know there is wrong in the world.  We all wish it could be different.  But how many people really do something about it? 

Anyone can throw money at a problem.  But as we all know, money does not solve problems.  It can help but not fix.  At FFOH we can help fix money problems but we can't fix cancer.  We can only help by reducing stress and allowing the focus to shift to healing. 

Change is a different animal all its own.  Change occurs in two ways.  Passively or violently.  Each has its own credibility and purpose.  Violence can invoke radical change very quickly.  It can backfire though.  People choose sides, education and personal opinion fuel the rage.  Usually hatred is ingrained and involved.  Kindness and respect is not part of the solution.  Changing your opinion becomes a "loss", giving up.  The longer we hold onto rage the more damage is done to the surrounding world.  Whether it is the fight between neighbours over a barking dog or countries over oil, the damage becomes far flung with divisions and hurt deepening with each passing day.

But passive change has draw backs as well.  Change is much slower.  There are sides to chose, however, the fight changes.  It becomes easier to change your mind, to say "I didn't think of it that way, you might be right." Both sides can be considered when finding a solution.  Respect is in the for front of both solutions.  Change is usually longer term, more acceptable, ongoing and progressive.

Years ago I watched a video on female genitalia mutilation or female circumcision,  that occurs in certain countries around the world.  In this example 8 year old girls had all external genitalia removed with a scalpel in a hut with no real sanitation and definitely no sedation.  Aunties and mothers held the girls down while it was done.  It sounds as horrible now as it did then.  My knee jerk reaction was "child abuse".  What is wrong with those people.  How could they! 

Then they explained the other side of the "fight".  Men chose women partially based on this procedure.  Women who did not have this done we not acceptable by the society in the country.  This procedure was done to keep women faithful to a husband and family.  They would be unmarried and shamed.  Sentenced to a life of poverty and ridicule.  No mother wants that for her child either. 

As the documentary progressed, they women were simply shown a different way.  As you can imagine child birth was terrible for these women.  Scar tissue sometimes made delivering a child impossible.  Death during child birth was rampant.  Infections took a terrible toll on the children going through it.  The women were taught about the female body, its inner workings.  Shown the purpose of each part.  They dispelled the myth of the connection between genitalia and promiscuity.  By education they showed the women there was a better way.  At the end they had convinced the women doing it to stop.  The women symbolised the change by turning in the rusty scalpels that they used for the procedure. 

Change was long lasting and real.  But not quick.  This took years to change.  But it changed. 

My point today is simple.  Be change.  Pick a cause, any cause.  Whatever is near and dear to your heart.  It can be simple.  It can be as simple as walking away from a racist joke.  It can be writing a letter to a politician about something you feel should change.  It can be joining a cause.  Marching in the streets, or raising money for a donation.  If you take a tiny step out of your comfort zone you will be amazed at what you can accomplish.  Each one of us has a voice.  We can all "be change" in our world. 

Whatever you decide to do, do it with consciousness.  Don't thoughtlessly throw money at a cause.  Participate in it.  Choose your cause with deliberation.  It is your time and money.  Choose well.  And the way you will know if you are successful in your choice will be in how you feel after you participate.  If you feel better about yourself and what you have brought to this planet, then you were successful. 

When we are successful in helping a women with cancer, it makes us feel good.  It fills us up emotionally.  It sustains us for the work, the fund raising  and bill paying that lies ahead.  When we do that I know we have been successful. 

This leaves us open to be "Amazed and Blessed"

Thanks to you all.  This is a little heavier than my usual and I appreciate your time and support. 



Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Beginnings

Part of my success in my whole life (Don't worry I am not that successful, just always managed to keep the lights on.) has always been because I was to stupid to realise that I couldn't do something.  I attribute that success to FFOH as well.  We were shocked at how hard it was to break into the cancer "inner circle".  I understand now that part of that is that there are so many fly by night charities or organizations that start and close after a few months or years.  There are no words for the level of commitment a board must have to remain vibrant and even to grow.  In our organization there are even more requirements because we have no employees.  The commitment of the board to do these things on their own time and for free is massive. 

It is also some of the reason that some charities fold.  Its also the reason that charities have to have employees.   We are choosing to try and get some satellite groups going to help us.  We need other folks in other health regions to begin a chapter of FFOH in order to take some of the stress of our board.  We are still getting by but as we grow we can see where the shift will be necessary.  Even if we had a chapter in the northern part of Saskatchewan and we were in the south it would be a huge help. 

So to our Saskatoon or PA supporters think about it.  No pressure...well some pressure.  We are doing more work with the Hope Cancer Center in Saskatoon (I sit on the board there as well via Skype.) and that has brought us more applicants from the northern part of the province. 

So if you want this to be you
Give us a call today!
Thanks everyone for the reads and "shares".
Have a great day.  Spread Kindness.  It goes a really long way!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

More to do

Hello again all. 
It's been another busy week.  We have to pay out 1800 dollars worth of mortgage payments to one applicant and work to support another.  Having money to do this is always my first priority.  My worst fear has always been not having enough money to help people when they ask for it. 

Our belief is that people don't usually ask if they don't need it.  We do our research and help people as much as we can with what we have.  That's why all the fundraising we do is so important. 
And speaking of fundraising, isn't this the best looking group you have ever seen.  I may be biased but that is my opinion.   This picture was taken just before we opened the doors at the auction.  And two of these beotches are wearing their actual grad dresses.  I won't say which two but they know who they are.  And for the record I am not one of them.  Good on ya gals.  Don't mistake my envy for anything else. 

 I am very grateful to know and work with these ladies.  They have all taught me something.  I think the most important part of wisdom is knowing that I don't know much at all, and these women know a lot and share it willingly.  (Sometimes very willingly).  We have been very lucky.  We haven't fallen victim, as a board, to some of the troubles that some boards have.  We all get along.  Some days better than others but for the most part, pretty well. 

I think that we all keep our eye on the prize, so to speak.  We all know why we are doing what we are doing and are proud to keep doing it.  That feeling over rides everything else. 

If anyone out there wants to help out with Forever Friends we would love to have you.  Our annual general meeting is in June and we would be honored to have more members.  I will keep you posted on the date and time.  (Someone knows when it is, its just not me.)

And thanks to SGI Canada for their bronze sponsorship for our 620 CKRM Saskatchewan's got Talent this fall.  Thanks guys!

Monday, 26 March 2012

Success..the day after

Well this is to let you all know I survived.  It was nip and tuck.  I actually have no idea how long the auction went.  I think about 11:30 or so.  I know we counted money and then went to the bar to celebrate and got there just in time for last call. 

It takes a really long time to count 20,793 dollars.   That is an amazing amount of money to make in five hours.

There will be pictures to follow.  I don't have them yet as it never occurred to me to take a camera.

 I always get very nervous before any event.  I actually think it helps us keep our edge.  Even though we have done this 10 times it still takes every bit of us to put it on and make it look effortless.   

The auction had an amazing energy this year.  You could feel it as soon as you walked in.    The excitement just vibrated in the room.   We ended up with 192 women.  We had 12 man-whores/servers.  About six other male volunteers and two great MC's (Jill and Gloria) Plus the nine+ of us.  Unbelievable!

I got to speak again.  They let me every year.  (Although I am not sure why) You would think I would be used to it but apparently not.  This year it took everything I had not to break down completely when I looked out at everyone.  I just broke down partially.  If everyone in the room only heard one thing, I hope they heard that each one of us has the chance to really make a difference.  Sometimes we don't even know we are doing it.  My friend didn't know the effect she had on me, or anyone else around her, she was just being herself.  But the difference she made was in me, not her.  I found her difference.  I hope that we all realize what lies withen us. 

If all we do each day is try to be good to one another then it has been a good day.  Thank-you all.