Fall 2004 Newsletter

Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus
Association of Sask. North

c/o Laurel Scherr
351 Kenderdine Road,
Saskatoon, Sk S7N 3S9
(306) 249-1362

Message from Our President


It has been a very exciting year for the Saskatchewan North Association. It has been a year for building relationships, increasing awareness of spina bifida and hydrocephalus, providing information and funding to our members, fundraising, socializing, maintaining existing programs as well as implementing a couple of new ones. Read through the newsletter to learn more about what we have been up to!

Our Association relies on our volunteers to work bingos as this provides the funds that allow us to carry on the programs and funding we do for our children and families. Our next bingo will be on December 31, so we’ll ring in 2005 together! Thank you to all our volunteers.

As many of you know, we are involved in a joint fundraiser with the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of Canada. Thanks to the families who have volunteered to assist with this venture. Coin tins will be placed in Liquor Board Stores across the province for the month of December in support of the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association.

Members have identified the need for more information so, as Board Members we have made this newsletter a priority. I’d like to send a huge thank-you to Bev Turgeon for putting this newsletter together. Also, thanks to Dave Elder who is currently working on a website for our Association.

I’m pleased to be serving a second term as President of the SBHAS-N and invite everyone to get involved – it’s a very rewarding opportunity. I invite you to contact a Board Member at any time to provide feedback.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy holiday season!

Laurel Scherr

SBHAS – North – Board for 2004 – 2005

  • Executive President – Laurel Scherr
  • Vice-President – Gene Layton
  • Secretary – Lori Froc
  • Treasurer – Jackie Jewell
  • Board Members – Linda Renault, Karen Baerg, Bev Turgeon, Michael Manderscheid

As an Association, we would appreciate suggestions and input from our members to help guide our committees: 1. Fundraising, 2. Social and Support, 3. Membership, 4. Equipment, 5. Policy and Bylaws 6. Spina BifidaMonth and 7.Programs.

Highlights – Spring & Summer

1. Together 2 Learn – Education Day was held in April this year at the Kinsmen Children’s Center. Our Association planned, organized and hosted a very successful day. More than 50 people attended. Our speakers were very informative, the displayers were very much appreciated, and the visiting and networking made the day one worth repeating! Over twenty children made use of the childcare while the teens had a great time “hanging out”. Thank you to our President Laurel for all the hours of work she put into making our day so successful, as well as the other members who gave so generously of their time. We are looking forward to next year!! Thank you to all our sponsors and the Kinsmen Children Center, your generosity was greatly appreciated.

2. Swimming Program – again our Association offers a swimming program at the Lawson Heights Pool for members with spina bifida. The current session has 10 members participating. Out of town members please remember we will pay for your child’s swimming lessons in your home community, just send in your receipts. The next session runs from January 30 th to March 20 th , 2005.

3. Partnership with Sask. Institute for Prevention of Handicaps – the Institute asked for our input on a Folic Acid Presentation they were preparing. What a break for us, we not only got to be involved in adding to their power point presentation but were very surprised and grateful to them for the development of a new bookmark for SIPH and our Association. We look forward to future opportunities to work with SIPH. We have included a bookmark for you and more are available upon request from our Association.

4. Partnership with Sask. Wheelchair Sports Association (SWSA) – current members of our Association are actively involved in sit skiing, basketball, and a variety of sport clinics. There is a small membership fee to join SWSA and as a member you receive their newsletter, emails of clinics being held and much more. Their last clinic was on Wheelchair Curling and it was very worthwhile. There is so much our children in wheelchairs can do if we as parents make it a priority to get our children involved.

5. Bingo! – our Association is fortunate to be one group that gets to reap the benefits of bingo establishments. Thank you to all the parents, grandparents, uncles, aunties, friends, and of course our own children who have given of their time to work at the Lucky Horseshoe Bingo. We usually have one bingo per month. Also, thank you to Shawn Scherr for co-ordinating the workers! The funds raised from the Bingos have enabled us to provide Education Kits to families when their child starts school, establish an education support program, provide swimming programs and fund camp attendance as well as hold family activities like our Spina Bifida BBQ and Family Christmas Party. It also helps cover expenses for conferences and other learning opportunities. Home renovations and equipment needs are also partly funded by us. Please try to say “YES” when you are called to volunteer.

Summer of 2004 U of S Camp

6. Social Events – once again we are planning the Children’s Christmas Party. The Radisson has been booked for Sunday, December 12, 2004 for a day of water-sliding and a pizza supper. The water-slide has an elevator to the top, now that’s accessibility! Oh, and of course, Santa has been invited! If you haven’t replied, please call Laurel @ 249-1362, it is important that we know the number of people attending by December 1 st .

7. KCC Nurse Update – for anyone who has not been at Clinic for a while, our new Nurse Clinician is Lynn Onushko. Lynn has 27 years experience working with children on the Pediatric Ward. Welcome Lynn!

8. June – Spina Bifida Month

This June our Association had a “rainy, wet” swimming get together at the Elder’s. We also sent flowers and coffee break treats to show our appreciation for the work done by everyone at the Spinal Cord Clinic.

9. Medic-Alert Bracelets and Membership

All of our children should have a membership with the Medic-Alert Association. This entitles the wearer to a direct hotline to treatment should they be injured and unable to communicate medical needs. Our Association will pay for the initial necklace or bracelet, and then the annual membership fee as long as we are financially able to. Since Medic-Alert does not issue a receipt, please submit a proof of payment to the Association to be compensated to a maximum of $100 for the first year. If you order and pay online please print out your receipt as they direct you to do and submit that. After the first year, we will only pay your renewal fee. Forms are available at most Drs., and pharmacists.

10 Education Support Program – We have allocated funds towards an Education Support Program which we are currently in the process of developing. Look for details in future newsletters.

Congratulations to:

1. Laurel Scherr (our President)

Laurel was one of five Saskatoon Moms awarded the “Community Development and Social Activism” award at the YWCA Women of Distinction Dinner on May 13 th 2004. Take time to visit and enjoy the product of her labours, EveryBody’s Playground – the first and only totally accessible playground in Saskatoon. Next time you are in the city you can visit the playground on Rogers Road.

2. Christine Scherr / Sheri- Lynn Turgeon

These two 10 year old members have been busy as “Miracle Kids” for the Children’s Health Foundation. They have been involved in Fundraising at Costco, Dairy Queen, and with the Children’s Health Radiothon. Way to go girls, awareness is so important.

Christine Scherr

Sheri-Lynn Turgeon

Mark Your Calendar:

  • December 12, 2004 – Family Christmas Party.
    Please RSVP to Laurel at 249 – 1362
  • December 31, 2004 – Bingo 5:30 pm – 1:00 am
    Please call Shawn at 249 – 1362 if you are interested in volunteering!
    We’ll ring in the New Year together!
  • January 23, 2005 – Next swimming session begins.
    Call Laurel to register your child.
  • January 30, 2005 – Board and Funding Meeting at Lawson Civic Centre

News From National:

December Fundraiser- SBHAC has obtained permission from the Saskatchewan Liquor Commission to put donation tins in Liquor Stores for the entire month of December, one of their busiest months of the year. Thank you to all the contacted members for volunteering to place and pick up the tins. Our Association keeps 20% of the funds collected with the other 80% going to the SBHAC.

Websites of Interest:

We hope you have found this newsletter informative. We would really like to make it meaningful and useful to our members. Please forward any suggestions, ideas, stories, pictures, or information you think others would enjoy and find useful to: bturgeon@sasktel.net