2020-21 Annual Report

Saskatoon Chapter

2019-2020-2021  Annual Report

Saskatoon Chapter Report for AGM 2020

The Saskatoon Chapter has the privilege of serving over 2640 members for whom we strive to continue to be a dynamic, vibrant group.  For the most part, our Chapter is home to members who superannuated from the Greater Saskatoon Catholic School Division, Saskatoon Public School Division, and Prairie Spirit School Division.  Our 2019-2020 Executive was comprised of 32 superannuates, chairing or co-chairing 21 positions or committees.

During 2019-2020 our Chapter planned to host 3 banquets at The Western Development Museum: ‘Brunch with the Bunch’ in September with 119 people in attendance (a chance for all of us to honour new superannuates), a Christmas Luncheon and Craft Sale in December with 312 in attendance and with our own STS Chapter Choir carolling for us, and our June Luncheon (cancelled due to COVID-19).  These banquets are partially subsidized by our Chapter for all members. New superannuates attending the September brunch have the entire cost of their ticket subsidized.  Throughout the year, up until circumstances surrounding COVID-19 drastically altered our lives, we had a weekly walking group, a weekly bowling group, and a weekly line dance group, along with a ‘Sew Much Fun’ group who held sewing sessions approximately once a month.  Besides our 10 Executive meetings, we strive to organize other monthly activities, as well.  This year we organized two evening socials featuring live entertainment and dancing with approximately 95 people in October.  Unfortunately, we had to cancel our April evening social. In addition, we planned Spring and Fall golf tournaments, a learn-to-playpickle ball session, and the ’55 Drive Alive’ two-day session.  Two of our Chapter meeting presentations featured a travel presentation and a presentation by Mayor Charlie Clark on ‘Is Saskatoon Senior Friendly’.  We had to postpone a ‘how-to’ Spring pruning and clean-up presentation by Rick Van Duyvendyk from Dutch Growers, as well as a Provincial STS Update session from Fred Herronand Murray Wall.  Our Chapter meeting presentations typically see 35 – 50 people attending. 

We continue to deal with the challenge of engaging our new superannuates, as well as the challenge of offering relevant programs and activities for our rather large number of members.  This year we formed another Ad hoc committee looking at ‘Ways to Support our Membership’.  On a trial basis to reach out to those members who are less mobile, we have initiated a taxi voucher offer, as a means to having some of our members attend daytime Chapter events; these members may not drive anymore or currently have a medication condition that prohibits them from driving.  We look forward to introducing other means of supporting our membership, as new possibilities are explored.

Communication within our Chapter is vital.  On an annual basis we create 3 editions of our newsletter, THE Voice, send out monthly emails to our members, maintain an extensive webpage, and have a presence on Facebook.  In addition, our Visitation, Telephoning, and Card Committees strive to make sure our members feel a sense of connection to our organization.

This year our Chapter provided a $1 000 scholarship for the College of Education’s Awards Celebration and a $500 donation to the McDowell Foundation.

We continue to ensure that our members know about the activities and sports sponsored by the Saskatchewan Seniors Fitness Association and events sponsored by the Saskatoon Council on Aging.

We are so appreciative of the Provincial STS Executive members for their tireless efforts on our behalf.

Submitted by,

Eileen Deneiko, President

Saskatoon Chapter Report for AGM 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges for everyone worldwide in both developed and undeveloped countries, and indeed, it has presented struggles for many of our over 2680 Chapter members throughout the 2020-2021 year.  We have continued to focus on communicating with our membership with print and email newsletters, as well as phone calls, to keep our members ‘in the loop’ and perhaps feeling a little less isolated.

We will maintain our Executive ‘as is’ for the duration of the pandemic, until such time as we can hold an election at a Chapter meeting.  We have been fortunate that the health of all 32 members on our Executive has allowed us to maintain this holding pattern.  Many of our sub-committees have been very active throughout the pandemic, including our Card, our Membership/Directory, our Website, THE Voice, Visiting (via phone calls), STS Liaison, Treasurer, Newsletter email, and Telephoning Committees.  In addition, as President, I have continued to welcome all new members with a detailed welcome letter.  Our Phoning Committee has called each new member to welcome him/her, as well.  On March 25 our Program Committee organized a Zoom Meeting for our Executive members with Murray Wall as our special guest, providing STS updates and answering our questions regarding our Health and Benefits Plan.

In the Fall of 2020, our Chapter did organize 6 Gentle Yoga classes, with 10 participants, taught by one of our members; however, the increased COVID restrictions allowed us to only hold the first 2 Yoga sessions.  Also, our Sew Much Fun activity group planned for monthly sewing sessions featuring a variety of topics. Once again, other than the October session focusing on Seasonal ornaments (with 10 participants), other in-person sessions are currently ‘on hold’.  This Sew Much Fun group did organize two virtual personal sewing days using Zoom, February 26 with 31 registrants and March 19 with 32 participants.

The activity group which has truly stayed the most active during the pandemic has been our Monday morning Walking Group.  This drop-in group meet each Monday morning at 9:00 a.m., weather permitting, and walk various routes within our fair city – – while physically distancing.  Many kilometers have been logged.  The number of regular participants typically ranges from 8 to 12 throughout the Winter, with more ‘fair weather walkers’ joining in during late Spring and Summer.

Retired Teachers can sign up to bowl on Tuesday afternoons at Eastview Bowl from September to April.  Our numbers have decreased this year, due to concerns with COVID-19.

This year our Chapter provided a $1 000 scholarship for the College of Education’s Awards Celebration and a $500 donation to the McDowell Foundation.

We continue to ensure that our members know about the activities and sports sponsored by the Saskatchewan Seniors Fitness Association and events sponsored by the Saskatoon Council on Aging.

A huge challenge for us this year has been communication via email newsletter. With increased security measures that were undertaken by Internet providers, many of our membership did not receive our email newsletter from September 2020 to March 2021.  SimplyCast is the program we have used for numerous years to communicate with our membership monthly.  Currently, we are paying to be able to send even more than one newsletter a month.  However, many Internet providers have security measures in place that block this type of mass e-mail communication from going into email accounts or even members’ SPAM accounts.  The problem-solving process with SimplyCast is on-going at this time.

Here is hoping that the vaccination rollout in our province and country goes well and soon ‘the new normal’ will see us able to meet face-to-face with our members in the year ahead.  We have many fun and informative activities to carry out that were planned prior to the pandemic!

On behalf of our Chapter, thank you to our Provincial Executive for working through many issues via Zoom meetings during the past months.  Here’s to a wonderful virtual Provincial AGM in May of 2021.

Wishing everyone a healthy, ‘fun-tastic’ summer!

Submitted by

Eileen Deneiko, President