2017 VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
Meet ACT Edmonton Club… now ACT/UCT Edmonton Council
The ACT Edmonton Club has been actively advancing the cause of independence and integration for children and adults with special needs living in Northern Alberta since 1929. While disability issues represent the main focus of the ACT, they have funded a wide range of organizations and supported a number of causes that fall outside their stated mandate.
The ACT established the Northern Alberta Crippled Children’s Fund (NACCF) – now the Children’s Ability Fund in 1947.
Search for Talent was the first major project of the Associated Canadian Travellers and the first major financial source for the NACCF. The first show was held at Barrhead on October 4, 1947 (and raised a whopping $ 139.78). Other shows followed every Saturday for twenty-two weeks each winter. Monies raised enabled the NACCF to assist people with disabilities throughout northern Alberta in ever increasing amounts. The Northern Alberta Crippled Children’s Fund was expanded to assist the community of people with disabilities by building facilities at Camp Health Hope and Happiness. The Club became involved with Camp He Ho Ha shortly after its inception, and was responsible for the operation of the Camp until 1990. Through monies raised from Telerama, the NACCF funded millions of dollars in construction and operating costs over the years.
The next massive project was the A.C.T. Recreation Center which provides inclusive recreation for people with disabilities. Started in September 1975, Phase 1 of this marvelous facility was officially opened on January 9th, 1977. Phase II was started in October 1976 and was competed on September 30, 1977. Total cost of the center, including furnishings, and three special buses for transportation was over $2,000,000. The ACT Edmonton Club turned this building over to the City of Edmonton where it remains in operation today.
The ACT Edmonton Club held many unique fundraising events and activities. From Search for Talent (1947 - 1977) and Telerama (1975 - 1992), to the Gold Brick at Kdays (1967 - 2011), the ACT name is well known throughout Edmonton and northern Alberta.
Through countless hours of volunteerism they have raised millions of dollars for people with disabilities. Over the years they have provided monetary and volunteer support for all of the Children’s Ability Fund activities and events and continue to have representation on the Board today.
It seems only fitting that everyone at the ACT Edmonton Club be included in our recognition of volunteers who are shining stars. It takes a dedicated group of people – with a mission – to make a difference!
We are very proud to honor the ACT Edmonton Club with the Gerry Herman Volunteer of the Year Award for 2017. (This posthumous award is named for an ACT Member and a dedicated Children’s Ability Fund volunteer – Gerry Herman).