“It is better to chase your dreams than to run from your fears”
Wall art with that saying hung facing my seat in my office at Fresh Start’s Greenview facility from May of 2012 – one month before we officially opened – until my last day on June 30th of 2021.
This sentiment served to inspire me in many ways. It inspired me to explore new opportunities and ways of reaching out to community members like you to generate interest in Fresh Start to believe in our mission and vision and provide vital funding to make recovery possible for countless men and their family members.
Among the opportunities, there were several appearances in the Calgary Herald Christmas Fund starting in 2010, the Calgary Motor Dealer Association’s Vehicle & Violins (x2), Willow Park Golf Classic, Giving Tuesday, Global Giving, several successful nominations for various outstanding philanthropists in past National Philanthropy Days and several other events, campaigns and offerings.
You may know that I made a choice to spread my wings on June 30th after eleven and a half years at Fresh Start, with a dream of making a difference in the upcoming Calgary Civic Election. While I would have liked to have connected with you to say goodbye, the time and workload did not permit.
Since leaving Fresh Start, my focus has changed, I am no longer working to elect a new mayor and I find myself with some time to circle back and do some things that I did not have time to do prior to leaving.
In circling back, the most important thing that I want to do is to express my gratitude for your friendship and support over the years. That support helped make Fresh Start the success it has become, helped many men and family members find lasting relief from their disease of addiction through Fresh Start’s housing, treatment and support programs and it paved the way for my award of Outstanding Fundraising Professional of 2020 this past May 18th . Thank you for your many, valued and varied gifts!!
The second thing of equally great importance that I would like to do is to introduce you to my long-time friend, colleague and skilled replacement Rod Garossino.
I know that Rod will serve Fresh Start with the kind of passion and dedication that you found in me. I would invite you reach out to Rod and introduce yourself to him by email at [email protected] or cell (587) 777-8332
and please continue to sustain the outstanding housing, treatment and support at Fresh Start that you have made possible in the past.
I would also encourage you to stay in touch with me as Fresh Start has been generous enough to let me keep my cell number (587) 777-7796 and emails sent to [email protected]
still manage to find their way to me.
In closing, I would like to say that while my one dream may not have worked out, the next one or the one after that will hold more promise. I have learned that we are not defined by the number of times that we stumble or fall, but by the times that we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and continue on … this is the spirit that I learned to believe in at Fresh Start as I saw men come through sometimes three, four, five or more times before they achieved some success in their lasting recovery.
You have been a big part in fueling that culture of hope at Fresh Start … I encourage you to continue to do the same with the new face of recovery support that has replaced mine – namely Rod – and others that will likely come in the future.
Past Director of Fund Development (2010 – 2021)
Fresh Start Recovery Centre