April 1, 2019 - March 31, 2020
Guelph Wellington Seniors Association
Evergreen Seniors Community Centre
683 Woolwich Street
Age with Dignity
On behalf of the Guelph Wellington Seniors Association, we are pleased to present the 2020
Annual Report. This report describes a year characterized by remarkable change. When the
current Board began our work in June 2019, we needed to rehire CSS staff and rejuvenate our
relationship with our major funders - the United Way and the City of Guelph. Shortly thereafter,
the Human Resources Committee hired Cheri Herdman and Audrey Bishop to replace long-time
CSS employees, Maryanne Wilford and Pat Gage, who announced their retirements. City of
Guelph Recreation deployed new software to manage programs and facilities and that impacted
GWSA’s bookkeeping and reporting practices. Finally, in mid-March, a global pandemic forced
Canadians and people around the world to shelter-in-place and our programs to make
fundamental changes to the way they operate.
As you browse the Annual Report we’ve prepared for you, please notice the submissions from
Community Support Services; Finance/Treasurer; Governance and Human Resources
Committees. They’ve been at the centre of many of the changes over the past year and their
reports give you a look at how we have grown this year. Although we highlight areas of change,
please also notice the hard work of other committees who continued to offer outstanding
programming for our members over the past year.
The Board of Directors would like to extend our gratitude to all the many volunteers of the
GWSA. We would not be able to operate as we do without your many hours of work on behalf
of the all the many members of our Evergreen Seniors Community Centre. Thank you to you all.
On behalf of GWSA members, the Board of Directors would like to express our gratitude for the
support we receive from the donors listed in this report. The United Way has been a generous
supporter of the Community Support Services program since 2011. As the pandemic unfolded,
they provided additional funding enabling us to respond to the coronavirus emergency with
frozen meals and produce box deliveries to Guelph’s most vulnerable seniors.
The City of Guelph has been a GWSA partner since the organization’s inception and they have
been a steadfast ally throughout the past year. City staff serve on our Board and committees,
helping us accomplish the work of the organization. They prepare meals in the Evergreen Centre
Restaurant and they clean and maintain the facilities we use. Until the pandemic struck in mid-
March, we enjoyed access to the Evergreen Centre and other City facilities. After the pandemic,
they pivoted, with our CSS group and the United Way, to offer meal delivery.
The GWSA Board of Directors remains committed to the GWSA vision of a future that is
inclusive, progressive and innovative in offering opportunities for the older adults in Guelph.
There are obstacles ahead as we determine how to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic but this
Annual Report celebrates what we have already accomplished.
Thank you for your continued involvement in and support of the Guelph Wellington Seniors
BOARD OVERVIEW ...………………………………………………………………….. 3
TABLE OF CONTENTS ..………………………………………………………………. 4
GWSA BOARD OF DIRECTORS ..…………………………………………………….. 5
CITY OF GUELPH STAFF ..……………………………………………………………. 7
ORGANIZATION CHART AND STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS ..…………... 8
SECTION OVERVIEW ……………………………………………………………….. 9
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE REPORT ………………………………………………….. 9
FINANCE COMMITTEE REPORT …………………………………………………….. 10
GWSA TREASURER’S REPORT ……………………………………………………. 11
GWSA BUDGET 2020-2021 ($) ……………………………………………………. 12
INCOME AND EXPENSE REPORTS ……………………………………………. 13
CHARTS FOR INCOME AND EXPENSES ………………………………………. 14
HUMAN RESOURCES COMMITTEE REPORT ……………………………………….... 15
GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE REPORT ……………………………………………….. 16
PROGRAM COMMITTEE REPORT ……………………………………………………. 17
COMMUNITY SUPPORT SERVICES REPORT …………….…………………………… 18
TRAVEL COMMITTEE REPORT …………………………………………………….... 19
MEMBERSHIP & MARKETING COMMITTEE REPORT ………………………………... 20
SUCCESSION PLANNING & NOMINATING COMMITTEE REPORT ……………………. 21
VARIETY SHOW 2019 REPORT ……………………………………………………... 22
THE SENTINEL REPORT …………………………………………………………….. 23
DANCE COMMITTEE REPORT ……………………………….…………………….... 24
SPECIAL EVENTS REPORT …………………………….……………………………. 24
VOLUNTEER ADVISORY COMMITTEE REPORT …….……………………………….. 25
THE GWSA WEB TEAM REPORT ……………….………………………………….. 27
CITY OF GUELPH SENIOR SERVICES REPORT .…………….………………………… 28
THANKS TO OUR CONTRIBUTORS …………………………………………………… 29
DONORS AND SUPPORTERS .…………………………….…………………………... 30
GWSA 2019-2020 Board of Directors
Kerry Detlor joined the GWSA Board as a Director in June 2014. For two years, she sat on the
Travel Committee and Governance Committee. For the last four years, Kerry has Co-chaired the
Program Committee until December 2019. Having completed two three-year terms, her time on
the Board is now over.
Becky Fiedler has served as GWSA President and as a member of the Governance Committee.
She is active with the Monday afternoon quilters and occasionally provides Computer Mentoring
for members who use Apple products. She is a sometimes-techie who helps out where she can at
the Evergreen Centre. Becky was elected to the Board in May 2019 for a two-year term.
Ken Fugler has been an active member of GWSA for several years. He was elected as President
of the Evergreen Canoe Club at its inception in 2009 and, more recently, joined the Membership
and Marketing Committee. He is a Graduate of Ryerson in Aeronautical Engineering and was an
Officer in the RCAF military. His career was in project management and sales of custom
manufactured machinery, where he gained experience dealing with complicated legal quote
requests and purchases. Ken was elected to a three-year term on the Board in May 2019.
Pat Gage came to the Board with a background in administration and human resources. She
worked at Trent University for over 20 years and at Gage Health Systems, and you know her best
for her time at the Evergreen Seniors Community Centre as the administrative assistant for
Community Support Services for the past 12 years.
She sat on the board for the Guelph Curling Club, Treasurer for the board of the Volunteer
Association of Guelph General Hospital, and presently is on the board for her Condo
She is also a crafter, she belongs to the Royal City Quilt Guild and the GWSA Quilt Group.
She is a knitter, patient photographer, and enjoys her little garden.
She is presently the interim chair of the Program Committee, knows most of the activity group
leaders, and looks forward to working with them to regain a “new normal” at the Evergreen
Seniors Community Centre when our isolation is slowly lifted.
Ann Grant is currently teaching the Feeling Better, Move Well exercise program at the new
Dublin Street Church location. She is a member of the Save CSS committee and a newly elected
member of the GWSA Board of Directors. Ann brings experience chairing meetings and
committees, planning special events, fundraising and budgets. She looks forward to working
with all partners of the Evergreen Centre.
Cem Kaner was one of the Save CSS crew and is committed to expanding the range of services
that GWSA provides to the City of Guelph. Cem retired in 2017, returning to Canada from
Florida (where he taught software engineering). Before that, he developed software and
practiced law in California. Cem has served the public as a volunteer throughout his career. For
example, he served as an investigator/mediator for the Consumer Affairs Department of Santa
Clara County (California), helping consumers deal with unfair business practices. He hopes to
apply that experience toward a renewal of the GWSA’s Advocacy project. He also helped draft
legislation to manage electronic commerce, and was elected to the American Law Institute
(ALI), a nonprofit that provides authoritative legal scholarship for the American judiciary. One
of the projects he worked on was the ALI’s Restatement of Employment Law. He also served as
a contract advisor and a grievance officer for the National Writers Union (part of the UAW). He
expects to serve on GWSA’s HR committee.
Athar Noman Khan has 40 years of experience in managing commercial and manufacturing
operations in the pharmaceutical industry. He moved to Guelph in 2014 from Mississauga.
Athar fell in love with the city and decided to give time to the community after retiring in 2017.
In July 2017, he joined GWSA and became a member of the Volunteer Advisory Committee. In
June 2018, he was elected to serve on the GWSA Board for a three-year term. In July 2018, he
also took on the role of Co-Chair of the Program Committee until the end of 2019. He also
serves on the Executive Committee. His aspirations for GWSA in the coming years are to
expand the organization and bring more of the seniors living on the fringes to enjoy and be
happy in retirement.
Ross Knechtel is active with the Computer Club as President, Computer Mentoring, the Into
Focus Photography Club, the Silvertones Choir, the Membership & Marketing Committee, and
the Program Committee. He is the current GWSA Webmaster. Ross is looking forward to a
supportive role with the Board, providing technical support for the Board itself, the programs,
committees, and events that the Board delivers, as well as providing mental health support. Ross
was elected to the GWSA Board of Directors in 2017 and he resigned in March of 2019 in order
to go public about the controversial “secret meeting” regarding the future of GWSA Community
Support Services. He was re-elected at the Special Members Meeting held on May 13, 2019, to
serve the balance of a three-year term. He is running for a second three-year term with the Board
Adam Rutherford is the City of Guelph’s Program Manager of Programming and Community
Development. For more than 20 years, Adam has been working with, advocating for, and
developing programs in partnership with community members of all ages. Adam’s work has
focused on engagement, innovative program development, and the needs of marginalized and
underserved populations. Middle-aged skateboarder, lover of film and music, big thinker that
prefers intimate environments, and always on the run. If his door’s open, come say hi!
Tonie Sacchetti is the Recreation Program Co-ordinator for Seniors Services with the City of
Guelph. She has worked in various roles within the Corporation of the City of Guelph over the
past seven years, but recently, all of her attention has been put into developing new and exciting
recreational programs for the senior community. Most recently, Tonie was appointed cosecretary
for the GWSA and looks forward to working alongside all GWSA members to support
their initiatives and goals.
Brian Smith brings broad experience from a career in educational administration. As principal
at several schools, he served on various committees, was a founding member of the local Ontario
Principals’ Council, and achieved supervisory officer qualifications from the Ministry of
Education. Aside from the GWSA, Brian is active on the board of directors for Shelldale Family
Gateway, which supports many of Guelph’s most vulnerable children, youth, and adults. Brian
is currently vice-president of the GWSA, and chairs the Governance committee. In other
pursuits, he enjoys photography, technology, and travel.
Roger Stevens is a volunteer for the CSS Outreach program, along with his wife Kathy. He is
also a member of the Canoe Club. He previously has served as Treasurer for the Canadian
Speedway Racing Association. Roger was elected to the Board in May 2019 and is serving on
the GWSA Board as Treasurer.
Having now served for over one year through several difficult times, he is now well up to
speed on the functionality of the organization and enjoying his current position.
Mike Woof came to Guelph in 1975 with a 33-year background in engineering, which included
Product Design and Project Management along with Product training and Marketing. He has
been a member of the GWSA for 13 years but was only able to get more involved a few years
ago after retirement, working on the annual Variety Show. You have probably seen him working
on our new sound system console, which he designed and built. Mike was elected to the Board
in May 2019.
City of Guelph Staff
The GWSA appreciates the support and diligence of City Staff who work directly with us.
General Manager of Recreation Services
Manager of Recreation Services
Manager of Senior Services: Board Member, Executive,
Advocacy, Governance, Finance, Community Support
Services Advisory Committees
Co-ordinator of Volunteer Services: Volunteer Advisory
Committee, Variety Show Committee, Travel Committee;
Co-secretary GWSA Board of Directors
Seniors Program & Partnership Development Coordinator:
Program Committee; Co-secretary GWSA Board
Customer Service Clerk: Membership & Marketing
Facility Cleaner - assisting with room set-ups, cleaning and
maintaining of GWSA physical assets
Organization Chart and Standing Committee Reports
* Asset Co-ordinator,
IT Co-ordinator, and
Report to Executive
** Financial Advisory Administrator
reports to Treasurer/President
*** Webmaster reports to
The & Marketing
An Annual Report presents the accomplishments and results of the previous year. In this section,
each of GWSA’s standing committees shares a summary of activities and efforts for the recent
Executive Committee Report
Committee members: Becky Fiedler (Chair), Brian Smith, Roger Stevens, Adam Rutherford and
The purpose of the GWSA Executive Committee is to handle matters referred to it by the full
Board. Over the past year, there were few such referrals. As is customary, the Executive met
during Summer 2019 to initiate planning for the coming year and to oversee routine matters.
The Board received a member behaviour complaint which they referred to the Executive for an
in-camera hearing and decision. Finally, the Executive met in mid-March to consider what to do
in the face of the emerging coronavirus threat. All Board members were invited to attend that
emergency meeting. Most directors attended and offered their input. The Executive Committee
also identified a COVID Response Team to allow for quick response when needed. The
response team included Becky Fiedler, Adam Rutherford, Cheri Herdman, Roger Stevens and
Brian Smith. In addition, the Executive Committee voted to suspend in-person activities until
such time as we can safely resume them.
Finance Committee Report
Ann Marie Desiderio (Chair), Roger Stevens (Treasurer), Ruth Slavin (Secretary), Wendi Hake,
Randy Taylor, Earlby Wakefield, Joseph Freamo
The Finance Committee was established to advise and assist the GWSA Board and the Treasurer
in the development and monitoring of:
● Financial Policies and Procedures of the GWSA
● Financial Operations of all Activities and Services of the GWSA
The Finance Committee met at 1:00 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month throughout the
year. During each meeting, the committee reviewed the financial statements from the previous
month. The committee also evaluated the capital expenditure recommendations and forwarded
these to the Board for approval. At the April meeting, the committee re-evaluated the insurance
coverage for the GWSA and concluded that GWSA has the appropriate coverage at a reasonable
In January and February, the Committee reviewed the 2020/2021 budget and forwarded
recommendations to the Board. The final Board-approved budget is included in the Annual
Report. The annual budget is a critical tool for the Treasurer and Finance Committee to judge if
the Association is staying on course, ensuring financial health. GWSA’s 40+ activity groups
played a large part in preparing the overall GWSA budget. Each group developed an individual
budget and submitted them in a timely manner. The groups’ co-operation in this process is
The Committee is also responsible for reviewing investment strategies to assist in mitigating risk
of GWSA’s funds. The Committee forwards their findings to the Board for approval.
Many thanks go out to our Activity Groups, Special Event Groups, Sentinel Publishers, Travel
Group, and others who generated extra funds to enable us to meet ever-increasing operating costs
and fulfill our Mission Statement.
If you have experience in non-profit organizations and are interested in working on the Finance
Committee, please fill out a Committee Volunteer form indicating your availability.
A difficult year in more ways than one, but we did glean some positives throughout the year
before COVID-19 struck.
Although, financially, we were significantly over budget, we did manage to purchase a new
sound system for the non-exclusive use of the Silvertones. We also purchased new computers
for CSS as their prior computers seemed to be from the dark ages. Our intention is to have
money in the budget every year now to keep our technology refreshed.
We also had to settle with the staff in CSS that were improperly terminated by the previous
board, and that was a big hit to the bottom line.
The purchase of the drop safe also made handling money much easier for the Activity Leaders.
I would be remiss if I did not thank our Financial Administrator for all her hard work during this
past year; without her great support, I am not sure I would have survived the year.
One very lucky move was to withdraw all funds from mutual funds and put them into a GIC with
a good rate of interest; we felt the stock market bubble was going to burst and go down; little did
we know how far it was to go down. So, GWSA investments are all safe and we lost nothing in
There are some challenging times ahead when we return to normality, if that is possible. Getting
back safely will obviously be the first order of the day.
The City is using a new Financial Software package which is creating a major challenge for the
GWSA, but we will adapt and get through it.
I look forward to the time when we can all be back and enjoying everything the GWSA has to
Human Resources Committee Report
Committee members: Becky Fiedler, Roger Stevens, Cem Kaner, Cheri Herdman and Adam
The Human Resources Management Committee had a busy year. Key accomplishments for the
To rehire, and settle with, all Community Support Services staff who had been
improperly terminated by the previous Board.
To review and revise the terms of reference for the HR committee. Changes were
approved by the Board in September.
To review and revise all Community Support Services program position descriptions.
These were approved by the Board in October and November.
To hire Cheri Herdman as Manager of GWSA Community Support Services upon
Maryanne Wilford’s retirement. Cheri joined the GWSA in early October.
To update the Human Resources Policies and Procedures Manual to bring our policies
into compliance with provincial legislation. The final version of the manual was
approved by the Board in December.
To hire Audrey Bishop as Administrative Assistant for CSS, replacing Pat Gage upon her
To review and revise the Harassment, Discrimination and Violence policy suggestions
from Brian Smith, Governance Committee Chair. The final policy was approved by the
Board in March.
Thank you to GWSA volunteer Margaret Williams for her help at the start of the year. Margaret
made significant contributions to the task of reviewing position descriptions and hiring our new
CSS Program Manager. Many thanks, also, to Randy Taylor for his help with conducting
We offer our deepest gratitude to the CSS staff for their patience with, and loyalty to, the GWSA
as we sorted out the re-employment tasks to bring them back on board. We also commend them
for nimbly adapting their programs to respond to the coronavirus pandemic in mid-March.
Governance Committee Report
The Governance Committee gained all new participants since the last AGM, including Brian
Smith (chair), Becky Fiedler, Cem Kaner, Lloyd LeBlanc, Mike Woof, and Adam Rutherford.
Meetings have generally been at 9:30 am on the second Monday of each month in the Board
The Governance Committee advises and assists the Board in the development, implementation
and review of the Constitution, By-laws, and Policies and Procedures.
The past year has been particularly busy. We started by building a flexible ‘action plan’ to
ensure we were addressing all the responsibilities required through our governing documents,
issues raised by members in the spring of 2019, and emerging issues as they arose.
The Governance Committee undertook a systematic review of all policy documents to determine
if they were consistent with GWSA By-laws and the new Community Benefits Agreement.
Where we found conflicts between policies and the By-law, they were brought into compliance
and approved by the Board. We also began the process of reviewing all outdated policies and
procedures, position descriptions, and committee terms of reference, completing the review of
over seventy documents over ten months. We augmented the Index of Policies and Procedures
to guide the timely review of documents on a cyclical basis.
In fall 2019, we noticed that the Continuity Planning and Pandemic Policies from 2009 needed
revisiting, and proceeded to revise those. That resulted in a new Continuity Plan—Memo of
Understanding with the City of Guelph that details how we would work together should there
ever be a disruption to operation at Evergreen Seniors Community Centre. We found this
became useful a bit later.
Additionally, motions passed at the special membership meeting on May 13, 2019, required the
Governance Committee to consider language surrounding term limits, and proxy voting.
Membership directed the Board to change governance practices to increase transparency,
including the publication of agendas and minutes to the website. These issues have been
addressed and approved by the Board, with progress shared at a special members meeting on
December 9, 2019.
This has been a busy and productive year. If you have experience with or interest in non-profit
governance, please forward your name to the volunteer co-ordinator. It’s a great way to learn
more about this organization.
Program Committee Report
Kerry Detlor and Athar Noman Khan – Co-Chairs from Apr 2019 to Dec 2019
Pat Gage – Chair from Feb 2020 onwards
Eleanor Stern, Tonie Sacchetti and all 43 Activity Group Leaders
The Program Committee meets at 9:30 am on the first Thursday of the month except for July and
August. All Activity Group Leaders are required to attend the meeting as they are the vital
communication link to all GWSA activity participants.
As we age, social participation takes on greater importance as it provides emotional support, laughter, and levity.
The numerous specially tailored programs offered by GWSA are a means of providing social activities which enable
one to feel an integral part of the community. The activity programs provide a sense of meaning and belonging to
the members of GWSA. Social activities help relieve the fear of perceived social isolation and uplifts spirits.
The Program Committee offered 43 different programs during the year. These programs varied from team based to
individual, from outdoors to indoors, and from use of mental to physical abilities. Outcomes from the GWSA
activity programs have been manifold:
Pride in sense of accomplishment.
Elevation of confidence.
Develop new relationships through social interactions.
Improvement in physical and mental health.
Development of leadership in activity group leaders.
The monthly Program Committee meetings serve as a platform for exchanging information between the Activity
Groups, GWSA Board, Evergreen and West End Community Centre and the City of Guelph. During the meetings,
guests were invited to enlighten the Activity Leaders on handling their budgets and the volunteer appreciation
nomination process. Speakers from the Upper Grand District School Board attended to explain “The Walking
School Bus” program and enlist volunteers. In one meeting, the Transportation Planning Manager for the City of
Guelph gave a presentation on how transportation in the city is changing.
Throughout the year, the Evergreen Centre was fully booked and utilized. So much so that the Activity Groups
had to fully justify why they should get the time slot and area. Many of the Activity Groups, such as Euchre, held
tournaments to instill competitiveness to the activity. One significant milestone marked the Canoe Activity Group’s
10 year anniversary. On the occasion, more than 40 members of the Canoe group came together for canoeing and
Sadly, on March 13, 2020, at the financial year end, due to COVID-19, the Evergreen Centre was closed and all
GWSA face-to-face activities had to be suspended. Some activity groups have used Zoom to virtually meet and
Goals for 2020:
Increase number of Activity Groups and memberships to the groups.
Update Activity Group Leader Manual.
Implement safe startup of all activities once the City of Guelph allows opening of Evergreen Centre and
face-to-face outdoor activities. Also, in the event of second wave of pandemic, procedures should be in
place how best to handle group activities remotely.
Seek input from activity group leaders as to how their groups can move forward should the Evergreen
Centre hypothetically not open for a year for face-to-face contact.
Respectfully submitted - Pat Gage, Kerry Detlor and Athar Norman Khan
Community Support Services Report
Cheri Herdman - Program Manager
Audrey Bishop - Administrative Assistant
Margaret Iutzi - Move Well Program Co-ordinator
Molly Roberts - Eat Well Program Co-ordinator
Sophia Podrozny - Eat Well Program Co-ordinator
Paula Frappier - Outreach Co-ordinator
The CSS committee has seen many changes during this past year. We said goodbye to both
Maryanne Wilford and Pat Gage as they announced their retirements after many years of
investment in our programs and services. Through that change, we welcomed Cheri Herdman
and Audrey Bishop to the CSS team.
As a committee, we have worked together to meet the needs of our members through our Eat
Well, Move Well, SOS and Outreach programs that have seen steady growth this year. Through
these programs, we have been able to serve over 680 older adults in our community. We have
been fortunate to offer these programs with the generous support of United Way, Guelph
Wellington Dufferin, Guelph Community Foundation and The Guelph Family Health Team, and
Guelph Rotary Trillium.
Some items we have worked on this year have included the expansion of Move Well sites, SOS
and Outreach programming, as well as COVID-19 emergency response initiatives. Our response
to COVID-19 has included the weekly delivery of frozen meals and produce boxes to over 160
older adults in our community. In addition, we have expanded our SOS and one-on-one support
programming to meet the ever growing need in our changing times. As a committee, we will
continue to expand current services to meet the emerging needs in this coming year.
We have also been very fortunate to have the ongoing volunteer support in our CSS programs.
This includes drivers, SOS members, and support in our Eat Well and Outreach programs, as
well as Move Well program Facilitators. It is with the generous volunteers that we are able to
continue to meet the needs we have in our community through these great programs. As we
move into another program year, we also would like to extend a special thank you to the
following supporters: The United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin, The City of Guelph, Guelph
Family Health Team, The Arthritis Society, All Saints Lutheran Anglican Church, The Elliot
Community, Schlegel Villages Residences, The Chartwell Residences, The Salvation Army
Guelph Citadel, The County of Wellington Housing Services, Trinity United Church, Harcourt
United Church, and Dublin Street United Church. As a committee, we look forward to this
upcoming year and look forward to working alongside our community together.
Travel Committee Report
Joanne White (Chair), Joan Bruder, Terry Keleher, Nancy Gibner, Yvonne Thomas, Mumtat
Kassam, Susan Cahill, and Peggy Moore, and Ken Fugler (Representative from the Board)
This has been an exciting year for the travel committee; we welcomed Yvonne Thomas, Mumtat
Kassam and Susan Cahill as new members in Jan of 2020. They are all eager to start taking our
seniors to many different places.
Over the year, we planned and have gone on several different trips; all of these had between 40
to 56 people signed up:
Fallsview Casino and Grand River Raceway - for all of us gamblers out there
Parkwood Estates - tour of the owner of GM’s home
Grand River Cruise - a 3-hour cruise with lunch aboard the boat
Moutainoak Cheese tour - lunch at Elmhurst Inn and a visit to Ingersol
Royal Ontario Museum
Panorama of Lights in Simcoe
Elmira Dinner Theatre
A Trip to Oxford County - to visit museum, have lunch, Coyle’s store
A Day in Sparta - went to Leaping Deer Farm for lunch and the pig races and to Winter
Bingemans Park - lunch and a show (50 Years of Flower Power)
The Shaw Festival as well as the Foster Festival - a show and lunch
As you can see, we have taken many interesting and diverse trips - something for everyone!
Our goal, now that we have a few more members on the committee, is to plan to have 2
excursions a month - at least in the summer months.
We have put a lot of thought into where to go and they certainly seem to be appealing as our
buses are full and seniors happy.
Nancy Gibner has since left our committee. We would like to thank her for all of her help during
her time with us.
It is with great sadness that we had to say goodbye to Peggy Moore who passed away on May
22, 2020, at age 72. Our sympathies go out to her family.
Thank you to all of our seniors for coming on our trips and supporting the GWSA, and also, to
the members of the Travel Committee (new and old), a big Thank You for all your hard work in
making these trips happen.
Report submitted by Joanne White
Membership and Marketing Committee
Our committee (known as M&M) continued to promote GWSA through a variety of events and
local media. We continued to advertise our brand and events regularly in the Tribune, Snap’d, at
the Bookshelf, and on CJOY. We started digital advertising with Guelph Today and had a video
running at Tims’ Restaurants. (Side note; a member was at Tim’s with his friend and, because of
the ad, the friend joined the GWSA). We worked with our activity groups promoting their
events, including dances and special events. We hosted 3 New Members Welcome Socials
where new members can connect with our activity group leaders and members of our board. We
distributed our 55+ brochure throughout the community and participated in numerous
promotional events and information fairs within the city. Some of our newer promotional
material that we use includes GWSA logo shopping bags and coffee mugs.
There was a steady flow of people at this year’s Open House on May 3, 2019. Many of our
activity group leaders were in attendance. Our committee members set up displays and took
visitors on tours.
Our membership count (reported to us at our monthly meeting by the City of Guelph) as of
March 10, 2020, is 2985. This number fluctuates throughout the year but was consistently over
2800 people this past year.
The GWSA Email Update is a mid-month mailing that updates its subscribers about upcoming
current events at the GWSA. The Email Update is in its 2 nd year and had 463 subscribers at year
end. We anticipate the number will increase dramatically because of COVID-19.
The M&M committee is responsible for furthering the Mission of the GWSA, which is “To
enable older adults to be active, involved, make friends, and age with dignity.” The new
strategic plan will help us further develop and co-ordinate a Marketing and Communication Plan
for the coming year(s).
The chair of our committee is Connie Shaw. Committee members include Peggy Moore, Ross
Knechtel, Sherry Levine, Dorothy Mercer, Darlene Pembleton, Brenda Prine, Jean McClelland,
Lionel Churchill, Ken Fugler, Gail Moore, Darci Burgess and Cheri Herdman.
We always welcome new committee members and volunteers to assist at specific tasks and
It is with great sadness that we had to say goodbye to Peggy Moore who passed away on May
22, 2020, at age 72. Our sympathies go out to her family.
Submitted by Connie Shaw and Gail Moore
Succession Planning & Nominating Committee Report
The newly formed Succession Planning and Nominating Committee (SP+N) held its first
meeting on September 24, 2019. Our committee is small and consists of Mike Rooke, Judith
Carson (past president), Ann Grant (director), Gail Moore (chair), and the City of Guelph’s
Volunteer Co-ordinator. We took over from the interim committee that was hastily assembled
last spring when 6 directors resigned.
The SP+N committee is responsible for furthering the GWSA Mission by seeking people who
have leadership qualities, who would be appropriate candidates for the Board of Directors, and
who are current GWSA members (or willing to become a member). We are responsible for
ensuring that there is a full slate of candidates to fill the positions of retiring Board members
before each Annual General Meeting (AGM) and we are to ensure candidates are available to fill
Board positions if a Board member has to step down prior to the end of their term.
The committee is creating the GWSA Succession Planning In-Service Training Manual that will
help transition those nominated to the Board.
We have interviewed and recommended 2 highly qualified members to become Board members.
Going forward, we continue to actively approach GWSA members who have demonstrated
leadership skills, perhaps through their involvement as volunteers with our Activity groups, and
encourage them to consider joining the Board of Directors. We will also reach out to the broader
Guelph community for prospective Board members.
Who would you recommend to be a GWSA committee member or a potential board member?
Is that person an active member of the GSWA?
Do you think they would like to help establish, evaluate, and carry out the GWSA’s mission and
Please, take a moment to consider someone you know that meets the above qualifications and
then talk to them about the possibility of putting their name forward to the Succession Planning
and Nominating Committee chair, Gail Moore (519) 827-7170, Gail@fitnessafter50.ca. The
GWSA depends on our dynamic team of volunteers and we thank you for your commitment to
Report submitted by Gail Moore
Variety Show 2019 Report
Director: Mary Lynn Woods
Chairman/Producer: Doreen Muir
Committee Members: Jennifer Blackie, Ken Dickert, Wendi Hake, Ross Knechtel, Arlene
McEllistrum, Peggy Moore, Ann Sneyd, Gary Powell, Mike Woof, Mike Rooke, Barry Scutt,
It is with great sadness that we had to say goodbye to Peggy Moore who
passed away on May 22 at age 72. Our sympathies go out to her family.
It can never be said that the year 2019 was not a challenging one for the GWSA, Evergreen
Centre, and it was certainly so for our Variety Show!
Mary Lynn Woods, who agreed to Direct the show, did so with a vision and a great deal of
energy! As promised, the Show included music, dance, comedy AND, of course, Santa, with a
down home Nova Scotia theme, “Christmas Ceilidh”.
Ann Sneyd and Gary Powell kept up the pace with an ongoing comedy routine throughout the
Show, which included Acts from previous years: The Silvertones; Elvis and his Entourage; The
Sassy Strutters; Joan Charlebois; Nola and Joan; and Stephen Berryman. Mary Lynn introduced
a few new fresh Acts, including The CH'CKL'TS (singing group); Mark Richardson (Oboeist);
Barb Tremblay (soloist), AND a House Band of six, aptly named “The Silver and Gold
Band”. Our Director came away with a few tales about getting this band together and the
numerous jam sessions held - we are thinking that she had way too much fun! The Performance
was well organized, well attended, and well received by our audiences and was within Budget!
Our Director wanted to show our appreciation to all of our Cast and Crew, Variety Show
Committee, and the many volunteers, by providing an ample meal which she planned, organized,
and delivered to the Centre to have between the two Friday shows.
She spent hours creating an outstanding program with the assistance of our Sentinel staff. She
worked with technical heads to ensure that everything was done to minimize any issues with
lighting and sound, and hey, we almost made it!
Mary Lynn also kept the Producer on her toes! Our local Homes received a personal visit to
deliver posters and encourage attendance. Every effort was made to streamline the process of
ticket sales. Our volunteers made sure that our audiences were well attended to, with particular
attention paid to Homes requiring special attention. We are grateful to those who helped
decorate and set up chairs and then returned the day after to stack chairs, remove decorations,
and clean up. To all who helped in any way to make this Production a success, give yourself a
well-deserved pat on the back!
Unfortunately, due mainly to COVID-19, we were unable to obtain names of new candidates
wishing to join the Variety Show Committee and be part of the creation of a Show for 2020.
Hopefully GWSA will come up with a new and perhaps innovative way to entertain.
In closing, to all of you who have enjoyed our musically multi-talented Pianist for the
GWSA and our own Silvertones Accompanist, we announce that Mary Lynn is leaving us for
other pursuits. For some time to come, many of us will look to where she has been and feel that
something is missing! We wish you well, Mary Lynn!!!
Submitted by Doreen Muir.
The Sentinel Report
The Sentinel office is a very busy place. Not only does the Sentinel team produce and print our
monthly newsletter, they create and print most of the posters (thanks to the Editor, Linda Green) for
the GWSA special events. Printing requirements for the Annual Report, The Variety Show, GWSA
Dances, GWSA Garage Sale, Euchre Tournaments, and the Craft Sale are examples of their work;
along with euchre groups who get their score sheets and score cards printed. Brochures, flyers and
letters are created, printed and then folded using the folding machine located in the Sentinel Office;
as well as the renewal letters, which are then given to those working on the Front Desk to be inserted
into envelopes for mailing. There is a cutting machine which is used to cut tickets and smaller
posters for some of the groups. The posters, tickets and programs for our Variety Show are also
created and printed by the Sentinel.
Members can have personal calendars and other special requests printed as well, and the costs for
these are minimal.
The Sentinel Team do an exceptional job
fitting in all the information received for the
newsletter, as well as the puzzles for our
enjoyment. Highlighting special members,
including members’ writings, and all the
information about the activity groups make
The Sentinel an easy reference for all
GWSA members. The GWSA activities at
the Evergreen Seniors Community Centre,
the West End Community Centre, and
GWSA outdoor activities can be found in
The Sentinel each month.
Remember, if you want your birthday or anniversary put into the Sentinel, you yourself MUST let
us know by the 1 st of the month PRIOR to the occasion (i.e., August for September, April for May,
etc.). If, by chance, you ‘forget’ and still want it put in, we can do that in the following month’s
edition. If you change your address and are having the Sentinel delivered or mailed, please give us
your OLD address and phone number as well as your new one. Also, we aren’t familiar with all of
the GWSA members so, if you hear or know of a member’s passing, please let us know at the
Sentinel so we can include their information in the Passages. Our email address is always near
the front of each issue.
Normally, the June/July/August issue is the final issue (10th) until the September issue comes out
the end of August, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you will have, for the very first time
ever (since its inception in 1976), a separate issue of the Sentinel for the months of June, July and
August this year. Since the pandemic began in March, we have been putting the issues online for
you. We apologize to any members who do not have a computer but hope that a friend or relative
will share viewing the Sentinel with you. We had just begun printing the April issue when we got the
word that the City was closing down the Evergreen. We have been working from home to keep all
our members informed of what has been going on in and around the City and our Evergreen Centre.
The Sentinel Team doesn’t take the summer off as many members presume. We prepare the
documents for the Annual Report for the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held near the end of
June. This year, the AGM will be held online via Zoom on September 15 at 1:30 pm. We also
contact all our advertisers to ask them to renew their contracts for the next term of September to
June. We wish everyone to stay safe and healthy during this trying time.
Report submitted by Carol Croft and Linda Green.
Dance Committee Report
I have been in charge of a bi-monthly dance at the Evergreen Seniors Community Centre for 3
years. The charge of $8.00 includes door prizes and a draw, and refreshments are also served.
The DJ plays 50s and 60s music, country, ballroom, and line dancing, and he also plays requests.
We have girls helping to set up tables, and Mary who makes the coffee. I plan the snacks and
promote the dances through our local newspapers and the radio station. Connie, Julie and Carol
help with promotion also. Some of the senior resident homes also get notified. Our attendance
has reached 60+. If you need any further information, please let me know. Here are some
photos from some of our dances.
June 28, 2019 August 30, 2019
October 25, 2019 December 20, 2019
Report submitted by Anne Johnson
Special Events Report
Chair: Ann Grant, Board member
Committee Members: Lloyd LeBlanc, Elaine Gowing, Rikki Durbin, Jean McClelland
The Special Events Committee co-ordinated several events in 2019:
1. A 100th birthday celebration
2. A Day to Remember - a Remembrance Day Commemoration Ceremony
3. A retirement celebration for CSS staff member, Pat Gage
The Committee also assisted at other functions at the Evergreen Centre:
The New Members meeting, the special Board meeting in December, and the June 2019 AGM.
Many thanks to the committee members for their dedication and hard work this past year.
Submitted by Ann Grant
Volunteer Advisory Committee Report
Samantha Ferrier, City of Guelph Recreation Co-ordinator – Volunteers (Chair from Apr 2019 to
Becky MacDonald, City of Guelph Recreation Co-ordinator – Volunteers (Chair from Jan 2020
Athar Khan, GWSA Board Representative
Gail Moore Lloyd Le Blanc Joan Ksenych
The Volunteer Advisory Committee meets monthly to review and support the GWSA Volunteer
Program. The City of Guelph Recreation Co-ordinator – Volunteers provides support to the
GWSA with co-ordination of the Volunteers Program. The GWSA Board representative liaises
between the Board and the Committee to provide on-going support from the Board with
accomplishments and goals set for the Volunteer program.
Terms of Reference Committee Key Responsibilities:
Assist the Volunteer Co-ordinator with the Volunteer Program
Review the City of Guelph Policies and Procedures Manual
Make recommendations regarding the volunteer recruitment, screening, training,
orientation, ongoing evaluation and recognition program
Create timelines for task implementation
Support the Volunteer Co-ordinator with the development, and review all volunteer
positions descriptions to keep current and to ensure that they are easy for the volunteers
Implement any Board decisions pertaining to this Committee
2019 was a busy year until the middle of March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic erupted.
The GWSA Board Executive announced to protect members and minimize potential exposure,
that GWSA suspend all face-to-face programs and activities from Mar 14, 2020, until they can
be safely resumed.
As Becky MacDonald was on maternity leave, Samantha Ferrier very efficiently chaired
the committee from Apr 2019 to Dec 2019.
Several two-hour mandatory Volunteers Training and Orientation sessions were held in
Apr and May 2019.
Annual Volunteer Survey was carried out, which brought back very valuable comments,
feedback and suggestions. These results are an important source of how and where
improvements on volunteer work can be improved in the changing environment.
Through a documented nomination process, nominations for volunteer awards were
called for “Ontario Senior Achievement Award”, “Canada Volunteer Award”, “June
Callwood Outstanding Achievement Award for Volunteerism” and “Ontario Service
On Sep 12, 2019, the Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon Event was organized. The event
commemorated the hard work and dedication of the many unnoticed volunteers who
tirelessly gave up time and energy to many individuals and events. The meal of beef
wellington, stuffed potato, and mixed vegetables, with lava cake for dessert, was enjoyed
by all. The Greytones played a variety of tunes for dancers on the floor.
The committee also specially recognized the volunteer team of two at the Sentinel
monthly newsletter publication for their very professional work for the past five years.
Ongoing volunteer recruitment for the many different positions at the Evergreen Centre.
Goals for 2020:
Goals have been set below but are subject to how the pandemic pans out and how the new
environment post COVID-19 emerges.
Offer Orientation and Training module for all volunteers on a quarterly basis. The
module will be available online for volunteers to access and complete.
Recruiting new volunteers and increase awareness of the vast number and diversity
of volunteer positions available.
Work with City of Guelph senior services staff and GWSA Board of Directors to
plan the recognition program for all volunteers in September 2020.
Continue to update Policies and Procedures that are related to volunteers.
Update “Evergreen Seniors Community Centre Volunteer Handbook”.
Report submitted by Athar Noman Khan
The GWSA Web Team Report
The GWSA Web Team consists of the volunteer Webmaster and the volunteer Email Update
Administrator. The Webmaster (Ross Knechtel) is the Team Leader and manages the website
updates, the GWSA Announcements, the monthly Sentinel updates, the Google Calendar, Social
Media posts, along with smooth operation of the website. The Email Update Administrator
(Brenda Prine) is responsible for the maintenance of the list of people receiving GWSA email
updates as well as the program responsible for the organization of the GWSA email updates as
laid out by the M&M Committee. The Webmaster and the Email Update Editor report to the
Membership & Marketing Committee. Towards the end of the fiscal year (2019-20), the GWSA
Email Update was transformed into a Weekly Update, with content being provided by Brian
Smith, the Vice-President of the GWSA. The weekly update was initiated due to the closure of
the Evergreen Centre caused by the presence of Coronavirus in the Guelph Community.
The GWSA website (https://gwsa-guelph.ca) was created in 2008 and outlines the programs and
services offered by the GWSA to its members, as well as the City of Guelph programs for older
adults carried out at the Evergreen Seniors Community Centre and other locations throughout the
City of Guelph and the County of Wellington. The site is hosted by Canhost, a Canadian internet
service provider (ISP), and continues to grow and adapt to changing online conditions. GWSA
events, as well as announcements approved by the Board of Directors, are posted on the
GWSA’s Twitter Feed, Facebook Page and the GWSA’s Announcements Page. An online
Google Calendar of GWSA activity groups kept members up-to-date with schedules of the
various activities in and around the GWSA. Videos are available on many of the GWSA activity
group pages. These videos are viewable on the GWSA’s YouTube Channel. We are planning to
update the GWSA’s promotional video in the future. The GWSA’s monthly newsletter, the
Sentinel, outlining the monthly activities, programs and services to members offered in the
Evergreen Seniors Community Centre and throughout the community, is available for viewing
and downloading online through http://yumpu.com. We are currently rebuilding the website on a
different WordPress theme because the current theme is outdated and not supported anymore.
This work is continuing.
Throughout the past fiscal year, the website has been visited by GWSA membership and by
people from around the globe. We track our website usage using Google Analytics and website
cookies. Security features available in the WordPress system, as well as the implementation of
SSL, have made the site secure, protecting it from hacking attempts. In addition, a secure, offsite,
and daily backup system ensures that the GWSA’s website and its updates are available to
The GWSA website is https://gwsa-guelph.ca. To update your activity pages or to pass on any
comments to improve its contents to the GWSA Webmaster, please use the website’s Contact Us
page (http://gwsa-guelph.ca/contact-us) or leave a message at 519-823-1291.
Report submitted by Ross Knechtel
City of Guelph Senior Services Report
The Guelph Wellington Seniors Association and the City of Guelph have always enjoyed a
mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship. This partnership and our combined efforts to meet
the needs of our Older Adult community has never been more timely or important. With the
changes the world, and our little corner of the world, have experienced in 2020, we have clearly
demonstrated the importance of our services, shown the strength and value of peer supported
initiatives, and have shown that our organizations have the ability and agility to respond to
immediate and ongoing need.
Things have been different and things will look different moving forward, but we will continue
to adapt, find resources and supports, and transform to meet the needs of those that we serve.
While it’s been hard to think about much aside for pandemic response and planning, this year’s
AGM Report has been a great opportunity for me to reflect on many great accomplishments
we’ve achieved before and during our current pandemic closure.
Some of our shared accomplishments in 2019/2020 include:
Creation of a meal program for vulnerable GWSA members and vulnerable individuals
across our community. This program averages between 800-1000 meals delivered per
Completion of our 2019-2022 Community Benefit Agreement between the City of
Guelph and the GWSA. This agreement outlines the mutual benefits and provisions
between the organizations.
Expansion of City facility hours to provide additional time/space for the GWSA’s most
Changeover from our previous registration system (CLASS) to a better version
(PerfectMind). GWSA members were involved in testing, critiquing, populating and
training during this transition.
Working with the GWSA Board to maximize the bookings at the Evergreen. By better
organizing our GWSA bookings, we have been able to expand program offerings and
lengthen sessions where appropriate.
A massive thank you to all of our GWSA Members, Volunteers, Program Committee Leaders,
and our Board of Directors. Working from an empty building over the last 3-4 months has
reinforced just how important the Evergreen Seniors Community Centre and the GWSA are to
our community. While we haven’t been able to run “business as usual”, we have shown our
resilience and dedication to our community. I’m happy that we’re tackling these issues together,
and proud of all the hard work and efforts of all involved.
Thanks to Our Contributors
For the 12 Months Ending March 31, 2020
Donors and Supporters for the CSS
The United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin
The City of Guelph
The Guelph Family Health Team and Diabetes Care Guelph
The Arthritis Society
All Saint’s Lutheran Anglican Church
The Elliott Community
Schlegel Villages: The Village of Riverside Glen Retirement Residence
The Chartwell Royal on Gordon Retirement Residence
The Salvation Army Guelph Citadel
The County of Wellington Housing Services
Trinity United Church
Harcourt United Church
Dublin Street United Church
The many staff from academic, health, community services, and the many CSS
volunteers, who all support CSS clients and education initiatives.
Also contributing are:
Individual Donors to GWSA Remitted $ 5,830.00
GWSA Activity Groups Net Remittance $ 55,347.00
Our financial section of the Annual Report will not publish the remittance amount of individual
Activity Groups due to late remittances received after fiscal year end.
Special Activities: Net Remitted $ 9,215.00
Dances, Variety Show, Special Events,
Sentinel Newsletter, and the Travel Group
GWSA Members would like to extend the utmost gratitude to all donors for their generous
Your donations enable us to continue offering the many programs and activities at the
Evergreen Seniors Community Centre.
A heartfelt thank you to our
Donors and Supporters