Posted On June 29, 2017 By In Top Stories With 596 Views

Giving Back to Our Community: The Unsung Heroes

by Paula Kully – 

One of the great things about writing for Seaside Magazine (besides the amazing women who run it), is the fact that the magazine consistently works to give back to the community. The recent success of the Fourth annual Taking it to the Street charity fundraiser for Help Fill A Dream Foundation is just one example. So it is only natural that in this “Giving Back” issue we highlight some of the lesser-known charitable organizations that work in our community.

676 Kittyhawk Sponsoring Committee Society has been in existence since 1958! It supports the 676 Kittyhawk Air Cadets, a national program for Canadians aged 12 to 18 who are interested in learning about the Air activities of the Canadian Armed Forces. The main purpose of the Sponsoring Committee is to raise the annual operational budget to maintain the 676 Squadron training facility which was constructed in 1942 and has a rich history. As well, a variety of programs not funded by the Department of National Defence are supported by the Committee. Funds are raised through community partnerships with local service groups and significant fundraising efforts.
For more information or to donate contact the Chair at:

Angel Flight of British Columbia is a charitable, non-profit organization approved by both Transport Canada and the Canadian Transportation Agency. It provides free air transportation for cancer patients, many of whom are young children, in need of medical services at hospitals and centralized medical care facilities in Vancouver and Victoria. The organization was founded in 2001 by Jeff Morris and Chuck Lovallo in response to Lovallo’s son needing frequent flights to BC Children’s Hospital to treat leukemia. Angel Flight pairs volunteer pilots and aircraft owners with families in need and makes approximately 120 flights per year. Funds are raised through service clubs, corporate and private donations, as well as fund-raising events. For more information or to donate visit

Art for Everyone Foundation is new on the Saanich Peninsula, having been officially launched in March 2017. As its name would indicate, the Foundation’s focus is to provide an opportunity for everyone to express themselves through creativity. The Foundation is overseen by a five-member board of directors. Its main purpose is to support creative programs in the Arts, and to provide access to funding for individuals who would not otherwise be able to participate. Funds are raised through individual and corporate donations, sponsorships and events. Director, Lucas Coppelstone notes that: “To make life itself, art is an amazing way to free the creative spirit, connect families and community no matter the age, physical or mental condition, or financial position.” For more information or to donate:

The Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) Saanich Peninsula was founded in 1995. The international organization began in 1919 and boasts approximately 100 clubs across the country. CFUW Saanich Peninsula is a voluntary, non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to “enhancing the community through supporting lifelong learning for members and women locally and worldwide through the power of women working together”. The CFUW’s main activities are advocacy, education, scholarships and networking. They believe in lifelong learning and education as the most powerful tool in bringing about positive change for women and support this through the distribution of several annual scholarships to female students at School District 63, the University of Victoria and Camosun College including the Camosun College First Nations Award. For more information or to donate, visit

Kamps for Kids is a charitable fund founded by Fred and Roberta Williston in May 2014. The Willistons administer the Fund which is held by the Victoria Foundation and is supported by contributions from donors and partnerships with local camp organizations, such as Camp Pringle in Shawnigan Lake. Kamps for Kids provides children ages seven to 12 the wonderful opportunity to attend summer camp and to gain the benefits associated with it including the positive opportunity to spend time in nature, make new friends, and learn new skills. With this fund, the donors hope to provide this experience to children, preferably from the Saanich Peninsula area, who would otherwise be unable to afford camp. For more information or to donate:

The Lobstick Foundation was established in 2011 with funds from the estates of its two founders Dr. Margaret Nix and Dr. Marygold Nash who were both educators with a desire to leave a legacy of hope for young women and girls. The purpose of Lobstick is to support young girls and women in reaching financial independence through education and mentorship. The five-member volunteer board consists of Cat Gracey (great niece of Dr. Nix) Susan Mercer, Lisa Ehrlich, Shelby Jorgensen, Laurie Salvador (as Chair) and Wayne Braid. The Foundation offers grants to organizations that provide services to women in need such as teenagers dealing with self-esteem issues, marginalized women struggling to recover from addiction or family violence or are new to our country. For more information and to donate:

Mount Newton Centre has been serving the Saanich Peninsula since 1978. It is a non-profit organization with a primary focus of supporting seniors in maintaining their independence. The Mount Newton Centre focuses on wellness with three key programs that include day long programs, outreach referral programs and health in action programs. The organization is run by a nine-member, volunteer board and staffed by a team of health care professionals and support staff. It also relies heavily on its dedicated volunteers. The greater majority of its programs and services are funded for and by the residents of the Saanich Peninsula with over 4,000 individuals assisted annually through the independently funded initiatives and programs. For more information or to donate:

ORCCA, or Oral Care for Children and Adolescents, is a non-profit society that provides children and adolescents under the age of 19 from low-income families access to free oral care. ORCCA, which opened in Sidney in March of 2015, is based on the belief that all children and adolescents have the right to healthy oral care and that effective oral care has a positive impact on the health and lives of children and adolescents. Four dentists volunteer their services to assist families with an income between $21,000 and $40,000 per year. Dr. Mitra Hashemi, who is Vice Chair on the six-member board of directors, is also the driving force behind ORCCA. The organization depends on donations and sponsorships. For more information and to donate:

Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue are the First Responders of the sea. The over 1,000 men and women dedicated to “saving lives on the water” are 100% volunteer. They dedicate a great deal of their time to train and be on standby when they are needed to respond to small- and large-scale marine emergencies. Many of the operations are carried out at night, during inclement weather and at significant risk to the vessels and crews.The Saanich Marine Rescue Society is the local branch of volunteers operating in our area. Less than 10% of their operational budget comes from federal funding; the remaining funds must be raised through public and private donations, grants and gifts. For more information or to donate:

The Saanich Peninsula Community Foundation is a registered society with a mission to enrich the quality of life for Saanich Peninsula residents. They do this through investing donations in a permanent endowment fund administered by The Victoria Foundation and by making annual disbursements of the fund’s interest to local charitable initiatives. The Foundation’s grants program supports activities in the areas of health, social services, arts and culture, education, conservation and recreation and is governed by a 10-member, volunteer board of directors. Some past recipients include the Sidney Museum and Archives, SHOAL Centre, Peninsula Streams Society and Peninsula Soccer. The foundation relies solely on contributions from individuals and organizations wishing to support their community. For more information and to donate:



Your West Coast Culture. A magazine about the people and places that make the Saanich Peninsula the little piece of paradise we call home.

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