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President's August Message

It’s been another busy and encouraging month. Our Administrator, Samantha Norberg, has been very busy responding to contacts, updating our membership database, developing our volunteer program, helping develop user manuals for technical equipment, and producing the Fall program outline. Many of you are now learning what an asset she has become to our group through personal contact with Samantha. With any future event planning, our primary aim is to keep us all safe and well, with renewed concentration on keeping this area of SW Calgary relatively untouched by COVID-19. Our full program of events for Fall will be available shortly. The September issue of the Oakridge Echo will have a colour insert to fully celebrate our past success and future plans. Our Board has been busy working with Samantha developing a strong infrastructure of policies and procedures to allow us to grow and be ready for the Ignite Program this Fall.  We have planning meetings every Monday morning to review past week achievements and plan our upcoming actions. Needless to say, we are always looking for new board or advisory group members with non-profit group experience! We so appreciate the growing number of volunteers stepping forward to not only suggest new opportunities to explore and engage members but also to take charge and actually run programs.  We need more initiatives like this please. No doubt this Fall will be a time of opportunity for OSA with so many of our Snow Bird members opting to stay home. We have to be ready for them - lots of energy and capability there!  Our website traffic is increasing above expectations, allowing many improvements as our primary form of communicating, keeping OSA members current on all our activities. Our private Facebook page continues to be a secure place to allow an informal level of interaction on many topics. Hoping to attract many FB members to sign up as OSA members via our website, and also follow us on Twitter. The growing relationship with the Oakridge Community Garden is very encouraging as a way to build bridges with the Oakridge Community Association. The first Open Garden August 1 was a great success. Our “Concert in the Garden” on September 9 will be another great opportunity to safely socialize and showcase this initiative. Register today via our website as seating will be limited!  We added fun to Oakridge on what would have been Stampede Parade day with a drive/walk/bike through, and a combined Canada Day celebration practicing safe distancing. With 2020 marking Oakridge’s 50th Anniversary we plan to celebrate that together. We have had success stories on the increasing use of technology by our members - we still have equipment and knowhow we would like to see used, especially by those who are feeling isolated. Please help us get the word out.  The Preferred Service Providers list is ready to go and will be available to OSA members in the very near future via our website. I continue to be very active in external relationships including UofC, Brenda Stafford Foundation /Technology Development, Queens University book: Global Reflections (Prof Maxwell Hart) on COVID-19 Urban Inequalities (seniors and COVID), the Sharing Network (major Calgary Seniors group CEOs), Age-Friendly Calgary and more. A big thank you to all our volunteers helping us flourish and grow. Stay Safe! Barry Pendergast

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