CHAIR AND PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE
BECOMING MARCH OF DIMES CANADA
Over the past year, our focus has been on governance structure and national expansion, as well as the development of new program models, partnerships and fundraising activities.
The original Canadian Poliomyelitis Foundation was incorporated in 1951 and it has grown substantially over the years. Operating under the mantle of Ontario March of Dimes, it has provided significant services and advocated on behalf of adults and children with physical disabilities. In 2001, a national charity subsidiary registered as the Rehabilitation Foundation for Disabled Persons, Canada (RFDP Canada) inaugurated Post-Polio Canada in 2001 and Stroke Recovery Canada in 2004. In 2006, it began to operate under the name March of Dimes Canada (MODC). This national entity enabled OMOD to spread its wings and offer programs outside of Ontario.
In 2012-2013, we began the transition of Ontario March of Dimes to the national organization, March of Dimes Canada, by applying for continuance under the new Canada Non-Profit Corporations Act. All current programs and services, administrative departments, and communications will cease operating under the name Ontario March of Dimes in 2013-
2014 and continue as March of Dimes Canada.
By the end of 2013 the current RFDP Canada will become March of Dimes Canada Foundation, but its activities will be minimal for some years as the Board considers whether a separate fundraising entity, a true Foundation, is desirable and can be successful. Ontario March of Dimes Non-Profit Housing Corporation also sought continuance as March of Dimes Canada Non-Profit Housing Corporation and this too has been approved. The two provincial entities ceased to exist and became national entities in May 2013. Also in the past year, the charter for the York/Durham Aphasia Centre was surrendered as the services were successfully integrated into MODC.
It has been an exciting year of growth and expansion for MODC. The organization grew by 8% and new offices were opened in Calgary, Alberta and Vancouver, British Columbia.
Fundraising has been successfully conducted across Canada since 2001 and continues to grow. Rock for Dimes, our hallmark national event has expanded to include five events outside of Ontario, and Pennzoil came on board as the national sponsor.
The Rehabilitation Foundation for Disabled Persons Inc. U.S., a charity registered in Florida, partnered with the Canada California Business Council in February 2012, and produced a second, very successful Celebrity Classic Golf Tournament in Palm Desert, California. This relationship is also expanding.
We added or modified the following services this year:
Peers Fostering Hope is an expansion of our pilot “Linking Survivors with Survivors”. Stroke survivors are trained as peer mentors to visit persons with newly acquired strokes in hospitals, and assist in the re-integration process after medical treatment and in-service rehabilitation.
The Academy of Conductive Education® (ACE) is our pre-school and school-age Conductive Education® (CE) program. Long term we want the program to develop the capacity to deliver more educational components that meet the requirements of the Ministry of Education. ACE gives focus to our children’s CE program and establishes it as a learning program, not a health service.
For the last twenty years, we partnered with the Toronto School Board and Seneca College to provide a unique literacy upgrade program for adults with severe disabilities, known as Literacy Options. Last year when funding ceased, the organization took a hard look at what young people with severe impairments need. As a result, we launched Learning Independence for Future Empowerment (L.I.F.E.) for persons aged 16-26 who need life skills to achieve independence and confidence, and transition to adult services. We believe with creativity and commitment on our part, everyone can benefit from some aspect of a well-thought-out, personalized learning experience. A unique partnership has been formed with Outward Bound to deliver L.I.F.E.
Hospital for Special Needs Inc., a non-profit accessible Toronto bus service, which began operation in 1964, integrated into March of Dimes Canada. We now operate ModMobility® in the Greater Toronto Area with two accessible 20 passenger buses, each equipped to handle eight people in wheelchairs.
March of Dimes Canada now provides payroll services to several organizations and discussions are underway to serve other smaller charities. The intent is to increase efficiency for those partners, reduce their expenses and use our extensive administrative capacity to generate a small revenue stream for March of Dimes’ client services. We are now marketing Administrative Services.
There are details on other new and expanded initiatives within this report. It’s been a great year, one that produced the highest ever level of surplus enabling the organization and its subsidiaries to benefit from an increased capital reserve, new program development fund, an infusion of funds to our Paul Martin Sr. Research Fund, and our Stabilization Reserve Fund, which provides cash flow, funds internal minor capital requirements and is available for “rainy” or even stormy days when major changes or external conditions impact the organization.
By this time next year our Annual Report will be solely branded March of Dimes Canada. Our subsidiary organizations will include March of Dimes Canada Non-Profit Housing Corporation and we will have an approved set of bylaws for March of Dimes Canada Foundation.
Congratulations to all staff and volunteers, donors and sponsors who made this great year possible. Thanks to the Board volunteers who believe in our vision, support our plans, and provide immeasurable good counsel to management.
John Humphries, Chair, Board of Directors Andria Spindel, President and CEO