President’s Report 2021

By September 4, 2021Reports and Updates

As the year unfolded with a pandemic closing many schools in parts of the world, there was an urgent need to look at new innovative ways to aid literacy granting from the R. R. Smith Memorial Fund Foundation.  The Board members met through the technology of Zoom to conduct our meetings and deliberations.  We ensured that every member’s $2 yearly donation went directly into the grants.  Careful management of all donations were held through the VanCity Investment /R. R. Smith Community Fund with their office receipting donations immediately if donated on-line, and at year end if donated by cheque.  Grants this year totalled $35,000 as reported in an earlier Postscript.

This year we undertook a process to review the transparency of the grant procedure, by using a matrix to identify if applicants completed the correct paper work in a timely manner, and if the applicants met the requirements as set out in the application form.  Also, we identified if applicants had received previous grants.  This committee then brought their suggestions to the Board to be discussed and agreed upon. With consensus, we have a streamlined application process which will improve the deliberations for the yearly disbursal of funds. Major thanks for the leadership of this committee go to Helene McGall.

We continue to receive letters from the six universities funded with the $150,000 awarded from the R. R. Smith Fund in 2006 after a court decision giving funds directly from the BCTF to R. R. Smith.  The six universities shared the funds and set up bursary programs in their education/PDP programs at University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria, University of Northern BC, Thompson Rivers University and Vancouver Island University.  Students apply directly to the universities. Many students have received funds, which through careful management, continue to grow.

We have a two sided postcard which we hope to distribute at future meetings, or retirement seminars. This postcard explains our purpose, grants to universities and literacy grants in BC and internationally.

The Board consulted with our lawyer Anders Ourom about our status, to ensure that our charitable status follows the guidelines as a Canadian charitable entity.

Thanks to each member of the Board for sharing their skills: Steve Bailey, Dave Carter, Gail Chaddock-Costello, Andy Hattrick, Karen Kilbride, Sarah Joyce, Sheila Pither.  Thanks also to our BCRTA representatives Caroline Malm and Helene McGall.  We also recognize Tim Anderson and Richard Beaudry for their skills with the website. Special thanks to Kristi and Laurie at the BCRTA office.

Barb Mikulec