Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia

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YOU, and the longest day of the year

In Uncategorized on June 3, 2014 at 3:10 pm

intheloopSPRINGCANADAPOST_final-5New friends are always made across the bridge table!
– Kathie Macnab, The Bridge Studio in Halifax

The longest day of the year is coming up! Yes, June 21 is the first day of summer, also known as the summer solstice.

What will YOU be doing on the longest day of the year? YOU may basking in the sun, but hopefully you’ll be raising awareness and funds for families living with Alzheimer’s disease.

The Longest Day is a major fundraiser organized by the Alzheimer’s Association. From sunrise to sunset, thousands of teams sign up to do an activity they love while raising money for persons living with dementia.

How can YOU get involved? This year, bridge clubs across Nova Scotia are participating in The Longest Day. Each club will hold games throughout the day, bringing the bridge community together to raise funds and awareness for the Alzheimer Society of Canada.

This idea was inspired by the American Contract Bridge League who continue to sponsor The Longest Day in the United States because playing games like bridge is good for the brain.

I’m not an expert on bridge, but I know someone who is! Kathie Macnab is a major supporter of the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia and teaches classes at the  Bridge Studio in Halifax. Kathie is leading The Longest Day fundraiser at her club on June 21.

“Bridge is a game of logic and there are guidelines to remember, but each hand is a puzzle,” says Kathie.  “Any player can solve the puzzle, but the depth in which you look at the hands will vary from your expertise. Playing bridge simply keeps your mind sharp.”

Along with keeping your mind sharp, bridge players can also enjoy the social aspect of the game, which is another important way to maintain your brain health. So, if YOU are looking for a way to support families living with dementia in your community and challenge your brain, sign up to play bridge at one of these local clubs.

The Bridge Studio in Halifax. Call Kathie at 902 446-3910 for more information.

Truro Duplicate Bridge World. Call Bob at 902 639-1364 for more information.

Halifax Bridge World. Call Linda at 902 454-4098 for more information

Bridge Acadien in Tusket. Call Yves at 902 742-3306

Funds raised in Nova Scotia, stay in Nova Scotia to fund local services, education for families and research.

Thank YOU to all of the local bridge clubs for your dedication and support. YOU are helping those living the dementia journey.

YOU, raising awareness and funds in Cape Breton

In Uncategorized on May 20, 2014 at 2:57 pm

Cb lifestly show

If YOU live in Cape Breton there is an event coming up that may interest YOU! The first ever 50+ Lifestyle Show will be in Cape Breton on Saturday, June 7, 2014 at Centre 200 from 10 am-5 pm.

The Lifestyle Show is expected to attract over 1,500 people throughout the day.  At this event, YOU can visit many exhibits and speak with professionals that provide products and services in: assisted living, health and wellness, anti-aging, financial planning and so much more.

The Alzheimer Society’s Education and Outreach Coordinator of Cape Breton, Catherine Shepherd will be at the event to answer any questions YOU may have about dementia, the programs offered in Cape Breton and how YOU can keep your brain healthy.

It’s just $5 to attend and $1 from every entry fee will be donated back to the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia.

Thank YOU to Lynn Day of Dayly Events for organizing this event and raising awareness and funds for those living the dementia journey.

To learn more about the event, please visit the website or YOU can like the event page on Facebook

YOU, the Supportive Hockey Fan

In Uncategorized on May 13, 2014 at 2:23 pm


As Beth wrote in a previous post, the PRO Game was held on May 9 and 10. A 24 hour hockey game that is used as a vehicle to raise money and awareness for specific charities. This year, the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia was honoured to be one of the charities chosen.

Thank you PRO Game participants for thinking of us and giving us support. It is an amazing event that pairs fun (and a great Canadian pastime) with a spirit of giving and awareness.

Congratulations to Team Pittsburgh for winning this year’s event. Team Pittsburgh was named in honour of Cole Harbour hockey legend Sydney Crosby. The challenging team was Team Colorado in celebration of local boy Nathan MacKinnon.

The event is still collecting money but expects to raise around $60,000 for local charities when all is said and done. The fundraising for this event did not start and end on game day. Event organizers, and their sponsor Scotiabank, held several fundraisers leading up to the event such as bowling nights. They also collected pledges, and during the game there was a big silent auction loaded with lots of sport memorabilia.

This fundraising event was started in 2002 as the Looong Game. Since then, they have gone on to raise over $130,000 for charities.
Thank you to the organizers of the PRO Game, especially Ken McCormick, as well as all the hard working fundraisers who have spent their time and energy fundraising for the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia. This donation will go a long way to help the 17,000 Nova Scotians living with dementia. Through this support we will continue to foster local research, ensure that people who call our InfoLine hear a confidential and professional voice, as well maintaining the many educational and support opportunities that the people of the province depend on as they navigate their dementia journey.

YOU, days after your big event

In Uncategorized on May 6, 2014 at 3:47 pm



Photo: The Sydney Walk for Memories Planning Committee pose at the photo booth.

I want to start today’s blog post off with a big thank YOU!

This past Sunday, May 4 was our Walk for Memories event in Halifax and Sydney. Families, persons with dementia, partners in care, and community partners came together to raise awareness and funds for families living dementia.

There are so many people to thank! Thank YOU to our walk participants and donors who helped spread the word and raise funds the past few months. Thank you to our sponsors, Shannex and WestJet.  Thank YOU to the volunteer planning committees and  the many volunteers who helped make the event a success!

Your can check out some of our awesome Walk pictures here.

There are so many elements that go into organizing an event. As an event planner, YOU should know the more YOU get done in advance, the easier it will be on event day. We learn something new every year, and here are some of the things the Department of Philanthropy did to ensure the Walk for Memories was a great experience for all. YOU can use these too at your next big event!

Volunteer Engagement: Could YOU hold a well-organized event without your volunteers? Volunteers help with set up, taking pictures and everything in between. To ensure your volunteers feel appreciated and well-informed to do their job, YOU can offer an orientation session a couple of days before the event. There, YOU can go over the itinerary of the day, let them know what their roles and responsibilities are, and teach them more about your organization by providing an education session for them. This is an excellent way to limit the amount of questions asked the day of and helps them feel engaged.

Post to social media at your event: Do YOU have a hash tag for your event? How do YOU communicate to your followers throughout the day? Why not get a volunteer who knows their way around social media to post during the event. This is a big job but it’s an important one.  Your volunteer should know what to post about including: pictures of set up, activities happening at the event, and important announcements to build excitement throughout the day.

Maximize Opportunities: Finally, everyone is together in one place! Don’t miss your chance to have conversations with your supporters and thank them again and again for their support. Try to delegate the smaller tasks to volunteers and other staff, so YOU have lots of time to connect with your sponsors and event participants.  This is also a great time to get feedback from your participants! Depending on the event, YOU could have copies of evaluations on site, or YOU can send one out electronically, or do both! This will help YOU plan for next year.

YOU know how important the post event wrap up is.  We have written about it before on our blog,  but I want to include it again here.

How do YOU keep organized the day of your event? We’d love to hear your ideas!

Once again, thank YOU to everyone who helped make the 2014 Walk for Memories a success!

YOU, the visual event planner

In Uncategorized on April 23, 2014 at 9:19 am


(our actual walk through – take lots of pictures)

If YOU are like me, YOU need to see things drawn out before YOU in order to fully understand what YOU are doing. I have been struggling for a few weeks with the floor plan of the venue for my upcoming event, Walk for Memories. We had done a walk through a month ago. I had never used that space before, in fact this is my first year planning this event. So when I left the first walk through, I didn’t have enough information, I didn’t ask the right questions, and all I had to show for it was a paper copy of the floor plan. By the time I got back to the office, my spatial memory had vanished and I just couldn’t wrap my head around what 80 feet really looked like. I struggled with table placement and where to put displays as there just didn’t seem like enough room. Finally I had to bite the bullet and head back to the venue.

Armed with a list of issues, a tape measure, and some sample display items, my colleagues and I headed to the venue and spent over an hour planning the placement of all the elements of the event. We tested the displays, how to hang them, what sticking medium would work best on the various surfaces. We measured tables and laid them out on the floor where we pictured them. We sought out electrical plugs, looked at how the light came into the room for pictures, and tested the acoustics.

I left feeling accomplished, feeling that I finally understood the space and feeling good about what we had planned. If you are like me, 80 feet means nothing to YOU. My brain does not understand what 80 feet looks like. I need to be in the space. I need to play with different formulas for the layout, try to foresee where things could go wrong. The best way to do this is to ensure that the people YOU bring with YOU on your walk through also have event planning experience and can offer different perspective. Perhaps they will see a problem YOU didn’t anticipate. And as I have said before in my blog posts, a big part of event planning is predicting the things that could go wrong and planning for them.

Here are some tips for your next venue walk through:

  1. Bring a tape measure and know the dimensions of the tables, booths, displays, tents, that YOU are using.
  2. Bring someone with YOU who can offer a different and practical view of the event.
  3. Do not be afraid to ask your venue coordinator questions before and after the walk through. They are there to support YOU. The more information YOU have the better YOU can plan.
  4. Bring samples with YOU of anything that YOU will need to assemble, or hang, or mount the day of the event. Something YOU assumed would be easy, might be not work. It is better to know that ahead of time than day of the event.
  5. And finally, do not be in a rush. Take your time and explore the space, look for problems, allow different scenarios to play out. Prepare back up plans.

There will always be hiccups when using a venue for the first time. There will be things YOU will not be able to plan for until YOU are present at the event and see how your public interacts with the space. But the more YOU can prepare in advance, the less frazzled YOU will be on event day.

YOU, the Athletic Fundraiser

In Uncategorized on April 16, 2014 at 12:09 pm

The PRO Game

We all love a good game of hockey! We’re Canadian and we can’t help it, eh?  Today’s blog post is about a great group of men who turned their love for hockey into an event to benefit local charities.

This event is called the PRO Game. The PRO Game is a marathon hockey game taking place on May 9 and 10 at the Dartmouth Sportsplex. Over 40 hockey players will hit the ice for 24 hours to have some fun, get some exercise, and most importantly raise money for three local charities.

The Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia is honoured to be one of those chosen charities. The PRO Game chose the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia because one of their members lost a family member to Alzheimer’s disease, and they are always looking for new charities to support.

Ken McCormick is one of the players who organizes the PRO Game. He ensures the PRO Game is a success and motivates players to fundraise.

“I send out weekly leader boards listing the players pledge performance from highest to lowest and highlight anyone who made a significant increase in donations that week,” says Ken. “Some of the guys will reply to everyone on the email and set up a fundraising challenge.”

All of the players involved in the event are friends, which makes for a really fun and competitive game. The players train and work hard on their cardio and get on the ice as much as possible in preparation for the big game.

The players are in all different stages of their hockey career. This year,Ken is excited to have 2007 Stanley Cup winner, Joe DiPenta and the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice participating in the game. Also included in the star lineup are Roddy MacCormick, Toronto Maple Leafs NHL, Mike Kelly, Philadelphia Flyers NHL, and Steve Widmeyer, Moncton Hawks AHL.

When Ken was asked what he is most looking forward to at this year’s game, he said: “I’m excited to play hockey with my buddies, share some laughs, and help out our community.”

Thank YOU to all of the PRO Game players for your amazing support. To make a donation to the PRO Game players, click here.

YOU, the name – and game – changer

In Uncategorized on April 8, 2014 at 3:12 pm


(image source)

Recently the Fund Development department at the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia (ASNS) became a thing of the past.

Events, campaigns, fundraising. Still what we will be doing.

But we have been dedicated to helping the organization become more stakeholder (donor, volunteer, client) centric, through a change in the organizational culture.

Yes, we have been fostering a Culture of Philanthropy.

Much has been written about non-profits looking inwards at their organization, to check if they do live in this culture day to day. A good resource to help YOU was written by past chair of the Association of Fundraising International, Andrea McManus.

A few years ago the (now old) Fund Development department here at ASNS started investigating how we were doing in the area of Philanthropy. Of course we were helping those who needed our help – that is why we are here! But we did not have a recognition program, or an internal fundraising drive. Everything we sent out was from the organization (Corporate language) not from the families that were affected by both dementia, but also the programs our donors helped us create and offer.

Just like Rome, building a Culture of Philanthropy does not (and has not) been built in a day. We continue to strive to learn more about being stakeholder centric and teaching others internally what it means.

As fundraisers we love that a big part of our job is friendraising at the Society. We don’t just ask for money, we are the conduit; donors place their trust in us to steward their money to those that need it. People with dementia and their families trust in us to make sure that programs, services, education and information that they need are available.

YOU cannot do that on Fund Development alone.

When the Fund Development Department dissolved, a new department was born: Department of Philanthropy. In this department are Fund Development Coordinators, Community Outreach & Education Coordinators and the Communications Manager.

But what’s in a name title? This department is made up of Appreciation givers, listeners, talkers, visitors, coffee bringers, story tellers and much more.

Department name change, check. Next, we continue the game change of the organizational culture.

YOU, and the End

In Uncategorized on April 1, 2014 at 1:12 pm

This is the End
Thank you to our co-op student, Brennan Laite, who spent the past three months working with the Fund Development department at the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia. Brennan reflects on his time at the Society
and what he learned in his latest blog post.

January 6th now seems like a distant memory but it was only a little over three months ago that I walked through the doors of the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia (ASNS). I did not know what to expect from a place that has made it their mission to help those that are affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. But the people of the ASNS have made my time here informative, fun and exciting. Aside from the few boring tasks that any intern has to complete, my thirteen weeks of working in the department Fund Development (a.k.a. Team FD) has been a great experience. It’s been swell to write to all of YOU. I have enjoyed writing these four blog posts (counting this one), and I hope that YOU can take something away from these posts as well. Although, it may be more important that I have learned something by writing these posts (selfish of me I know), but if YOU, the reader, can take something away from these posts, well then that’s just the cherry on top of the metaphorical cake. Did I mentioned I’ve inhaled a few slices of cake during my time here? In honour of cake, go grab a slice! But first why don’t YOU let me share a few things that I have learned during my time at the ASNS:

Blogs and writing:

I have had the pleasure to write four blog posts during my time at the ASNS. These four blog posts bring my blog lifetime total to… four. That’s right, I never blogged before YOU the Fundraiser. Blogging is a different form of writing. Blogs give you the freedom to express exactly what YOU are thinking. I really like this aspect of blogging. The main thing I have learned about blogs is how easy it is to get off topic; let’s call it a ramble- write. In my day-to-day life, I find myself rambling on about a topic that at times, no one really cares about. My rambling ways sometimes translate over into my writing, which can sometimes be a bad thing. This is a lesson that I will focus on in my future writing pieces.

I have also realized how much I enjoy writing. It’s amazing how much your interests and pastimes can change when you begin to educate yourself. Personally, I never disliked writing, but wasn’t much into “book learning” in my foolish high school days of having sports consume my life.

Event planning:

I have had the opportunity to be involved in planning numerous events. Two important lessons that I will take away from these experiences are: Realizing how important even the smallest of details are (It’s all about the details), and the promotion of the event (The Marketer Inside). Without planning out every last detail of the event and without having a backup plan your event could flop quicker than the Friend’s spin-off Joey (I know that was an odd and outdated reference but I saw the chance to make a ridiculous comment and just could not resist).


I have also learned the importance of organization when planning an event. If YOU are not organized it’s hard to be an effective fundraiser. YOU will forget to follow up with potential donors, which can cause you to lose that donation completely. YOU must be constantly following up with businesses that have agreed to donate, because unlike YOU, donating is not their number one priority.

Saying Thank YOU:

YOU cannot measure the importance of thank YOU in fundraising. When people donate a prize, funds or their time, an old fashioned ‘thank YOU’ can go a long away in getting that person’s lifetime guarantee of donations, or spreading the word about your organization to other potential donors.

And so, I will take a page out of that book (if there is a book), and say thank YOU for reading one, two, three or four of my blog posts! I’ll end with a quote from HBO’s (Do YOU think they’re hiring?) Six Feet Under: “Everything, everywhere, everyone ends.”

Till another blog, at another time, it’s been swell.

Image source:

You, and the songs you sing

In Uncategorized on March 25, 2014 at 2:23 pm


The Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia is lucky to have an incredible support system in this province. Today, musician, Blou released his album, 20 temps. $1 of every album sold will be donated to the Society.

Patrice Boulianne “Blou” is an Acadian singer-songwriter from Nova Scotia. His mother, Yvonne, lived with Alzheimer’s disease. His connection to the disease and his ambition to want to help others is extremely profound. He is determined to make a difference.

For Blou’s family, especially his mother, denial was one of the biggest hurdles they had to overcome. The desire to be perceived as a “normal” family made it hard to accept the diagnosis. After struggling for acceptance, Blou and his family found comfort at the Alzheimer Society and have remained involved even after his mother’s passing.

Blou explains the help he received from the Alzheimer Society during his mother’s illness, “The ASNS has helped me in many ways by providing the necessary resources and support groups to face all the effects and emotions that I experienced while seeing a loved one slowly fade away and pass away from this disease. I’ve learned to ask a lot of questions and to have patience and understanding. That it is normal to be scared, sad and angry. I’ve learned that the best thing I could do was to continue helping the best way I could and make sure that my mother was as comfortable as possible.”

Blou remains emphatic that this is not something YOU can do alone. When YOU seek help, YOU will feel empowered.

To learn more about Blou’s career in music and to purchase his new album in support of the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia please visit his website.

To hear Blou tell his story, visit the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia’s website.



YOU, Making St. Patrick’s Day a Successful Fundraiser

In Uncategorized on March 21, 2014 at 2:33 pm

Susan Lane and Joan

Susan Lane, the organizer of the St. Patrick’s Day fundraiser (left) and Joan Parks-Hubley, Coordinator, Education and Outreach, South Shore for the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia (right) address the crowd of supporters.

May the luck of the Irish be with YOU! YOU may have heard this popular saying this past weekend or Monday if YOU celebrated St. Patrick’s Day. In Liverpool,  members of the community and staff at Lane’s Privateer Inn got into the Irish spirit by dressing in green and listening to Irish music during a St. Patrick’s Fundraiser. This event was more than fun and dancing though, it was a way to give back to Nova Scotians living with dementia.

For Susan Lane, the owner of Lane’s Privateer Inn, holding a fundraiser for the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia was very meaningful. Her parents lived with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia and she wanted to do something to honour them and raise money for research into finding a cure.

Over 90 people came out to Lane’s Privateer Inn to show their support and help raise money for research. They participated in a silent auction, 50/50 draw and gave $10 at the door. At the end of the night over $3,000 was raised!

“My favourite part about holding the fundraiser was the support we received from the community; it was very inspiring,” says Susan.

A big thank YOU to Susan and everyone who supported the St. Patrick’s Day fundraiser in Liverpool! It’s because of YOU more families living with dementia will receive support as they navigate through the dementia journey.