Clubhouse Builder Event
June 4th was an awesome follow-up to our first event in May 2014. Joining us at the University Club were community and police leaders to name a few.
Attendees included Mayor Lisa Helps, Chief Frank Elsner, Chief Bob Downie, Chief Andy Brinton and Inspector Jamie Rhodes of the Saanich Police Department. Les Sylven, Deputy Chief Constable of Central Saanich represented the Capital Region’s Police Chiefs and Detachment Commanders. RCMP Ray Bernoties, Chief Superintendent, Commander – Island District. and representatives from the Vancouver Island Criminal Justice Association joined us too.
We give a special thanks to the out of town guests – Sgt. Dave Olsen and David Hansen, Inspector, Operations East – both with the Metro Vancouver Transit Police. Pathways Clubhouse from Richmond was well represented by Executive Director Dave Macdonald, member Rob Milner, Connie Clark Program Director, member Andy Birch, Una Mulhall, Cathie Shaw, board member Jessica Berglund and her Mom.
Our Canadian Mental Health Association partners also made the trip to Victoria – Bev Gutray, CEO of the BC Division, Jonny Morris, Director of Public Policy, Research and Planning plus a terrific MC! Also attending was Kim Findlay, Research and Business Development Director. Bob Hargreaves, Executive Director from the Port Alberni Clubhouse “New Horizons” came as well.
Speakers that night were a highlight for me – Rob Milner stole everyone’s hearts with his story of recovery and what the Pathways Clubhouse means to him. Lisa Help’s gave a brief history of the MLU story – how we started and why a Clubhouse would be a good fit in our City. Dave MacDonald – our mentor – is an awesome Clubhouse International representative. Bev Gutray – you are such a great champion for those with a mental illness. Inspector David Hansen spoke of people in prison cells, with mental illness, no wider than the width of his arm span – that made a big impression on me. Chief Elsner – spoke about the impact of mental illness on his police department. Andrea Paquette, Director of the Bipolar Disorder Society of BC – told us your story and explained how a Clubhouse could have helped you. Thank you all of you!
Our sponsors: The University Club, Woodwynn Farms, Camosun College, Thorne and Thistle, PharmaSave and Butchart Gardens – a huge thank you!
In summary the night of June 4th was like a Clubhouse condensed into 2.5 hours. It took teamwork to pull off – people pitching in and always helpful. This is what a Clubhouse is – positive energy, encouragement and forward thinking. No one has to carry the load alone. Our musicians, flower arrangers, speakers, partners, mentors, photographer, supporters (all of you) and sponsors – everyone came together for an educational experience to learn how 322 Clubhouses worldwide get people back into life.
The day when a person, alone in a psychiatric ward, here in Victoria, with no family or friends has a friendly face visit them from our clubhouse to introduce them to a world of hope, friendships and opportunities will be a day of great rejoice for me.
Thank you for joining me and the Moms Like Us team to make June 4th a great success!