Community Service

Many projects, some already started in the late nineties, continue to be supported by CFUW North Bay.  Like our scholarships, some help our local community, but others contribute to national and international causes. Some did not continue during the pandemic or have continued in different ways. In 2023 our club restarted the Gift of Reading planned for March 2024.                  .

The Last Twenty Years

Issues and Advocacy Committee

Our Issues and Advocacy Committee works every year to fulfill our club’s mandate to stimulate the interest of members and the community at large in public affairs.  You can check out what the committee accomplishes each year by reading the chair’s reports included in the annual reports available from a link in the Information for Members tab at the top of the page. 


As well as running the annual resolutions meeting every March, before the pandemic the committee organized our April Lunch and Learn meetings to which we invited members of the community to join us to hear panel discussions or guest speakers on topics of interest such as the proposed pipeline, the Serenity Hospice, populism and influence of democracy, and human trafficking, 

In May of 2016 a large contingent of CFUW members and friends joined the Hike for the Hospice after hearing  about the hospice during the Lunch and Learn meeting. CFUW members are proud to have raised over $1000 for this worthy cause.

Of special note is the relationship the committee before the pandemic established with the North East Women’s Health Alliance (NEWHA) in partnering to host a variety of events to celebrate International Women's week in early March. The Nugget photo and article below gives credit to our own Kaarina Tulisalo for organizing the Join Me on the Bridge event and the reception that followed it.

On the Bridge continued during the pandemic. The photo on the left is of CFUW members in March 2021.

The Charitable Trust

For many years In early December our club held a Charitable Trust dinner in memory of the 14 women killed December 6, 1989, at the École Polytechnique in Montreal and arranged for guest speakers such as Kathleen Jodouin, the chair of NEWHA as the speaker in 2014.  She  is in the middle of the photo on the right with Brenda Robertson and Diane Wallace.

Money donated by members at the dinner is sent to the CFUW Charitable Trust, which awards scholarships to a postgraduate female student studying a topic of relevance to women. 

During the pandemic members met at City Hall for a candle-lighting ceremony instead of holding a dinner. 


Heritage Gardeners

When Harriet Madigan and Bonnie Cappadocia founded Heritage Gardens in 1998 to look after the neglected gardens at the waterfront, a CFUW team of gardeners called The Voyageurs started working there with Diane Stewart as the team leader of  Heritage Gardeners and our Voyageurs team celebrated their 25th anniversary in 2022.  

The Voyageurs look after two beds at North Bay's waterfront during the spring, summer, and fall. Two of the beds are next to the road where the Golden Mile sign is located (beds 26 and 27). The third bed is in front of the lilac bed on the promenade by the lake bed 34) . 

The top photo is of Ann Bullman, who passed away in 2013, and Diane Stewart, until recently the team leader.  A tree was planted in the middle of one of our gardens to remember Annie.  The photo on the left shows the team with current team leader Bonnie Cappadocia. Members garden once a week during spring, summer and fall and often go to each other's gardens for coffee and refreshments afterwards.

Gift of Reading

During the first week in March, to celebrate International Women's Day, our club, along with other CFUW clubs, participated for almost 20 years in The Gift of Reading. Doris Toswell started the event for our club and organized it for most of those years until recently when Nat Brunette took over.  Because of the pandemic, 2019 was its last year. 

Volunteers from the club chose a different senior kindergarten class in the district each year and visited the class, distributing one book for every pupil to take home. They then stayed to read and discuss the books with the children. These books were all purchased and donated by individual CFUW members and schools in both the public and separate school systems were the beneficiaries.

Local media, including The Nugget, often publicized this event.

The last Gift of Reading before the pandemic took pace at Phelps Public School (photo on left).  The first Gift of Reading after the pandemic, again headed by Nat Brunette, took place at St. Alexander’s in March 2024 (photo on right). 

Christmas Gifts for Residents of Transition House and True Self

Each Christmas, at our annual December Christmas celebration, members of CFUW North Bay bring wrapped Christmas gifts for women and children to be delivered to Transition House and True Self.  Nipissing Transition House is a 20-bed shelter located in North Bay, dedicated to ending violence against women and the toll it takes on families and our community.  True Self strives to provide streamlined access to services that promote the safety, self-sufficiency and wellbeing of individuals and their families by fostering a structured collaborative community response.

The tradition has continued during the pandemic with gifts brought to one of the members’ homes and then delivered to Transition House and True Self. In 2023 Transition House asked that members donate cash instead of  purchasing gifts.

International Connections: Supporting Rural Schools in Tanzania

For almost 20 years, CFUW North Bay has supported rural schools in Tanzania East Africa. From 2004 to 2010, the club gave support to the rural schools in the Dodma area, central Tanzania, as project initiated by Brenda Robertson. Since 2010, members have supported the Montessori Under the Tree Oltepesi, northern Tanzania. From a setting in the sand under a tree, to a thatched framework to the more permanent building, we have seen how our donations have made a difference in the lives of Maasai children, their teachers, and their whole community.  Brenda’s first-hand experiences in Tanzania, most recently in 2020, have brought us photos and stories to share with our members. She provided an update               for the project in the fall of 2023.

Support for AIDS Committee of North Bay (ACNBA)

Starting in November 2014 and continuing into 2021-22, CFUW North Bay members supported the AIDS Committee of North Bay and Area (ACNBA) by donating items for their Bathtub Project.  The project’s goal was to fill a bathtub with items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, feminine products, razors, hotel shampoo, soap, toilet paper, and other hygiene supplies.  Donated items are packaged by the staff at the ACNBA and distributed to their clients through the outreach program.

Sock It to Us! is another ACNBA project started in 2014 and continuing into 2020.  Its purpose is to provide warm socks to those in need.  CFUW North Bay members have been donating gently used or new socks and bringing them to meetings to place in the collections bag. 


The third ACNBA project with which the club helped is The Red Scarf Project.  ACNBA used red scarves to raise public awareness on World AIDS Day on December 1.  Members of our club have donated red wool, knitted scarves, and participated in World AIDS Day.

Coldest Night of the Year

The CFUW North Bay Cool Cats led by Kaarina Tulisalo (shown in both photos below) participated once again in 2023 in the local Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser. For the last number of years, our club members have participated in the event and raised several hundred dollars each year. The Coldest Night Event is the major fund raiser for the Gathering Place, which serves meals to those in need in our community.

Since the pandemic the event has been a hybrid one with some participants walking on the actual night while others walk when it is convenient and enter their results on line. In 2024 club members donated over $1000 to this worthy cause.