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Taking Stock and Going Forward

July 23, 2016

Sometimes an Annual General Meeting is something to dread: Hours (or days) of dreary staff work, tedious meetings, sins of omission to hide, mountains to be made into molehills and vice versa. However, when it is a joy to run a small vibrant group of dedicated people, AGMs are something to anticipate!

At our recent AGM we eagerly took stock of 2015: First, we had 30 eager volunteers with eleven fully trained CCGA-accredited SAR-Techs (and more on the way). We could also look back at 20 patrols, several public events — including our Christening Party at the Cathedral Bluff Yacht Club, where our yare and trim T-SAR-2 was berthed for the summer. Our crewmen might not all be trim, but they are likewise eager and now forged together in common purpose.

Nor can we merely be pleased about our Rescue Boat and its crew. Our Life Jacket Loaner program was trialed on two weekends, and we intend to expand it to other locations. Our innovative premise works: You don't want to drown, we don't want to have to fish bodies out of the Lake (though it is a part of our work), here's a free life jacket to borrow to keep both of us happy, just bring it back when you're done.

We were also pleased with the success of our Educational Outreach Program. This is now blossomed into a partnership with the Life-Saving Society and the Canadian Safe Boating Council (with funding from the Grass Roots Program). In 2015 this resulted in a new water safety course for children in Grades 2 and 6 and delivered to 337 children in four Toronto schools. Onwards and upwards, and now we can teach more children about the essentials of water safety... There are indeed no sharks in Lake Ontario, but there are plenty of hazards to avoid while enjoying yourself!

So all in all, a year to be proud of for the T-SAR Board, and good reason to look forward to our next AGM.

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