Newsletter 2023



Musings from the Editor - Debbie Mercier



Ahhhh… post-pandemic retirement. THIS is what our golden years were meant to be like! At long last, I am morphing and bursting forth from cocooning over the past 3 years into a socially and physically active butterfly. Take, for instance, Sunday, June 4. For the very first time in my almost -- but not quite -- 70 years of existence, I participated (and completed) 52 kms with Velo Quebec’s Tour de l’Île along with 17,000 other cyclists. Yes, we are the pilots of the rest of our lives, (CAUTION – EDITORIAL WARNING FOLLOWS) for as long as we don’t need any publicly funded health care, which is seemingly in an irreparable state post-pandemic.

Our Spring 2023 newsletter is full of exciting activities and events that enrich our lives through our association with MURA. In this issue, the annual compte rendu of MURA efforts to enhance our day-to-day is followed by an ODE to VOLUNTEERS.



I attended MURA’s Annual General meeting in June and was very happy to see that the MURA Board has “new blood”. Mercedes Delacroix, Richard London, and Carlette Walker, in addition to the usual suspects,  will be working feverishly over the next 1, 2, or 3 years to bring you programming and activities that add social, physical, and intellectual benefits to our lives. View the 2023-2024 MURA Board. (Note: Bob Huot, Eduardo Pereira, and I have all stepped down from the MURA Board effective May 31, 2023.) Volunteering in retirement ensures a full and fulfilling life, while making a difference and perhaps even leaving our imprint and/or legacy in a truly meaningful way. Perhaps even better…. with volunteering you are your own “boss” and there are no performance reviews – just gratitude! Chapeau to MURA members who volunteer to help worthwhile organizations in our community, including MURA itself!

Thank you, Newsletter Contributors!

MURA activity organizers, and community volunteers Honora Shaughnessy, Mike Daoust, Lawrence Mysak, Joan Wolforth, Mercedes Delacroix, Suzie Bogos (Vikram Bhatt), and Tim Stanley (Bob Stanley) Newsletter design: Kate Maguire




MURA Events

How does MURA enrich my life, you may ask. Let me count the is a snapshot of all of the special events organized by MURA volunteers over the past year.


Use this link to view a complete list of events enjoyed and upcoming. 

Table of events





MURA Activities

MURA volunteers are busy organizing interesting, enriching, and social activities all year round. Do you have an activity that you would like to suggest and/or spearhead? If so, please feel free to email: mura-arum.association [at]

Book Clubs


Downtown Book Club - Joan Wolforth

This group continues to meet on the afternoon of the first Monday of the month. We began our 2022-23 year in August with an in-person meeting and repeated the experience in September. Over the winter months we agreed to meet on Zoom, but May and June were, once more, in-person. Zoom is a fantastic alternative, but we do like to meet together at a member’s house if that is at all possible. We ended the year with a potluck lunch, and we will take a break in July.

Each year at the June meeting we choose our books for the following year. Since this book club began, we have concentrated on books by Canadian novelists. In this way we support the Canadian book industry and its writers, but also, incidentally, learn a lot about different parts of the country and explore different aspects of the Canadian social and cultural scene. This year we have covered immigrant issues from both the perspective of being an immigrant and of an immigrant looking back from Canada at their country of origin. We have read about life on the Prairie frontier and life in contemporary Newfoundland. We have joined an indigenous dance troupe on a tour of Europe, and accompanied residents of a small rural village in England on a journey to honour a local heroine. Such is the pleasure of reading the diverse fiction produced by talented Canadian writers. Our annual lists of books are posted on the MURA web site. If you are interested in joining us, please email: joan.wolforth [at]

West Island Book Club - Katherine Gray-Donald

MURA’s West Island book club has been meeting on a monthly basis, with a hiatus over the summer months. Our meetings have been virtual to date, but we are moving towards in-person or some blend of the two modalities. We read a variety of books: historical fiction, current fiction and non-fiction with occasional departures into Sci-fi or other genres.

With our group of 10-12 consistent MURA readers, we have lively discussions of the books we choose at our first meeting in early fall. Lots of suggestions and discussion provides us with the books we enjoy reading. If you would like to join us, please email Katherine Gray-Donald at Katherine.gray-donald [at]

Cercle de Lecture - Claude Lalande

Pour sa saison 2022-2023, le Cercle de lecture de McGill a élargi son répertoire en explorant la poésie et les nouvelles, en plus des romans, des essais et des récits comme dans ses saisons précédentes. Le groupe continue de privilégier les œuvres québécoises, canadiennes et celles des Premières Nations.

Nos plus grands coups de cœur de cette année ont d’ailleurs été les recueils de poèmes Nipishapui Nete Mushua (Un thé dans la toundra) et Uiesh (Quelque part) de Joséphine Bacon et le roman Kokum de Michel Jean. Ces œuvres nous montrent le respect pour les personnes âgées et pour la nature des premiers peuples et l’effet dévastateur qu’ont eu les colonisateurs sur ces peuples, leurs individus et leurs territoires ancestraux. Nous avons d’ailleurs opiné que ces œuvres devraient être enseignées dans les écoles, tant pour leurs qualités littéraires que pour le message qu’elles contiennent.

Les poèmes de Marie-Andrée Gill et Benoit Pinette (connu comme le chanteur Tire-le-Coyote) nous ont aussi beaucoup touché.e.s. Le recueil de Quatre histoires de famille a été une belle incursion dans l’univers de la nouvelle, où Bernard Émond a su avec une belle économie de mots saisir les absences et les retrouvailles de quatre familles dysfonctionnelles séparées par l’espace et la langue, quand il est parfois trop tard, ou quand un nouveau commencement est encore possible.

Le roman autofictif La Minotaure de Mariève Maréchale a abordé le thème des identités de genre et de la transition d’une façon beaucoup plus ardue que notre coup de cœur de l’an dernier, la fille d’elle-même de Gabrielle Boulianne-Tremblay. Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette nous a donné de belles réflexions sur le retour à la nature et la philosophie dans Femme forêt, touchant des thèmes difficiles comme le suicide, l’infidélité et la santé mentale.

Tout est ori de Paul-Serge Forest, qui a créé un univers fantaisiste un peu déjanté, n’a pas fait l’unanimité. Et, au moment d’écrire ces lignes, nous anticipons avec impatience les romans L’averti et Le plongeur. Ce dernier roman de Stéphane Larue a d’ailleurs été adapté pour le grand écran cette année et nous pourrons discuter à la fois du livre et du film. Et une belle saison 2023-2024 est en préparation. Pour plus de renseignements et pour vous joindre à notre cercle, veuillez écrire un courriel à claude.lalande [at]

Crafternoons - April Colosimo

alt=""The MCLL/MURA-ARUM Knitting and Needlework Club has been meeting virtually since 2020 and we would like to extend an invitation for potential new members. If you are a knitter, crocheter, or enjoy other fibre arts, consider joining in on our biweekly crafternoons. We meet every other Thursday afternoon (more or less) from 4-5:30 pm via Zoom. After sharing our finished items and works in progress, we move on to the predetermined theme of the day. If you are interested in joining us, please email April Colosimo at april.colosimo [at]


Cycling - Gregg Blachford

June 20, 2023 - Ste-Martine to Beauharnois

Hello Cyclists - and those would like to be. Consider joining the MURA Cycling Group for our 8th season, where we enjoy getting exercise in a convivial environment with our fellow retirees. Our rides range from 20 to 40 km in a variety of urban and rural settings, usually on dedicated bicycle routes separated from traffic. We are not racers, and we pedal at a comfortable pace on mostly flat surfaces starting at 10:30 am and finishing around 2:30 pm which allows us to get home before the traffic builds. Some of our routes are out and back and others are circular.

We often offer shorter and longer versions of some rides. Our members comment that it’s a treat to discover so many tranquil and beautiful on and off-island bike paths. We bring a packed lunch to eat at the midway point.

Some of us now have e-bikes which makes the ride even more manageable. We do have first aid kits and several knowledgeable bike repairers on most trips but we do ask you to sign a form releasing MURA and its Cycling Group from any liability for participation in this activity.

For more information, please use this link. If you are interested in joining us and are not already on our mailing list, please contact Debbie Mercier (Debbie.mercier [at]

Golf - Anne Billyard

Golfing is a nice way to enjoy the summer outdoors, get exercise, and have conversations with your fellow retiree-golfers on and off the course. A post game refreshment with the group at the "19th" hole is a social activity involving more conversation and laughs.

May 17, 2023 - first game of the season!

The first game of the 2023 season was held on May 17th, and we expect the season to wrap up by the end of October. The group will play on Wednesdays every 2 weeks. If you would like to join the group this year, please email: anne.billyard [at]


Pickleball - Henry Leighton


When the MURA Pickleball Group was launched in January 2022, probably none of us had ever played pickleball. That first session has now been followed by two more sessions, one of 12 weeks (fall 2022) as well as a 15-week session (spring 2023). We rent three courts at the Cote-St-Luc Aquatics and Community Centre and play for two hours on Thursday mornings. We now have over 30 people signed up with about half showing up regularly to play. Although there is a range of ability in the group, the quality of play has improved significantly over the three sessions. Several members have found outdoor pickleball courts where they plan to continue to play during the summer. In this last session, a coach, and a player from a Montreal pickleball club were kind enough to volunteer to give our group some tips on one of our Thursday games, which was very much appreciated. We welcome MURA members to try out pickleball with us. One of the nice things about this sport is that one can start having fun right from the beginning. If you are interested in participating in this activity either this spring or in the fall don’t hesitate to email Henry Leighton: Henry.leighton [at]

Restaurant-Dinner Group - Joan Wolforth

April visit to Le Square Restaurant on Prince Arthur

After our enforced COVID break, the monthly BYOB restaurant group began meeting again in July 2022. We had a somewhat slow uptake at the beginning as people gradually readjusted to the idea of meeting in a group again. However, in the last few months, our numbers have risen to 22 members per outing on average. We welcomed several new members to the group during the year.

We have visited a variety of restaurants, some of which we have been to in previous years, and some of which were new to us. We have experienced a good selection of food origins from sushi (Japanese) to Greek, French, Italian, and Persian. We have visited restaurants in Eastern Downtown, the Plateau, Westmount, NDG and the West Island. Many thanks to all the organizers who pitch in to take on a month of planning and coordination of the outings. And thank you to the participants who come out to make each of our social gatherings a real pleasure. If you are interested in being included in this MURA group, please contact Joan Wolforth at joan.wolforth [at]

Contributions by members  

An ”Anniversary” of sorts and McCord Museum exhibit until August 13 - Robert D. Stanley

Chinese family circa 1923
Wm Notman & Son - group photographed for Sun Ton, copied in 1923, before 1923, 11-253991.0.1 McCord Stewart Museum
An “anniversary” of sorts is being recognized this summer. Canada has always been known as a country of immigrants, but its treatment of Jews, Japanese, Chinese, and other "others" over the course of our history is nothing to be proud of.

July 1, 2023, marked the 100th Anniversary of the Chinese Immigration [Exclusion] Act that blocked Chinese people from immigrating to Canada until it was repealed 24 years later in 1947. The Act also required all Chinese in Canada (including those born in Canada!) to register with the federal government to obtain proof that they had the right to live/remain in the country. Those who failed to register or who failed to produce their registration certificates upon request were subject to fines, imprisonment, and deportation. Among the 56,000 registered Chinese people in Canada was Ann Stanley (née Annie Fong) mother of Bob & brother Tim Stanley.

Timothy J. Stanley contributed to a newly available booklet in 1923, the act, its consequences and context. Copies of the Collective, 1923: Challenging Racism Past and Present (Victoria: Canada-China Focus, 1923) are available for free download (Tim’s article appears on page 49). Use this link to download these documents.
Related to the 100th anniversary of this discriminatory Act, McCord Museum has an exhibit on until August 13, entitled “Swallowing Mountains”. Use this link for more information

Ode to Volunteers - Debbie Mercier

With “freedom 55, 65, or 75”, we retirees may find ourselves searching for new meaning in our lives after a hectic and all-consuming 40-plus year career. What follows is a sampling of the activities that some of our members are involved in that you may or may not know about. Do you participate in a worthwhile venture that you want to share with fellow MURA members? Please send your personal stories to Debbie Mercier at debbie.mercier [at] for inclusion in a future newsletter.

This Ode to Volunteers would not be complete without a call-out to MURA itself, and to Joan Wolforth – both of whom were recognized at the June 2023 CURAC Conference at the University of Saskatchewan.

MURA won an Association Award for having turned cartwheels and having pulled out all the stops to forge ahead with the 2021 CURAC Annual Conference (virtually), in spite of the challenges posed by a measly pandemic. What a coup! Mazel tov to MURA for its resilience and resourcefulness and this well-earned recognition.

MURA members receiving the Association Award
Image by David Mandeville, University of Saskatchewan Retirees Association.
MURA representatives receiving the CURAC Association Award to MURA for its Virtual Assembly in 2021 (l-r: David Brown, Rosemary Cooke, Kate Maguire, Ginette Lamontagne, André Lapierre, U. of Ottawa, Ante L. Padjen)

Nominated by both Ginette Lamontagne on behalf of the MURA Awards Committee, and Bruce Shore, Chair of the MAUT Retiree Affairs Committee, Dr. Joan Wolforth deservedly won a Tribute Award. She is a Founding MURA Board member, and there are very few MURA activities that were not initiated or co-initiated by Joan. To name a few: book club, cycling group, restaurant group, pre-retirement sessions to active McGill employees planning their retirement, and, yes, indeed, even this Newsletter! MURA is grateful to and proud of Joan for her “foundational, multifaceted and perennial” contributions. In Bruce Shore’s words, “Joan Wolforth is not just at the heart of engagement for hundreds of colleagues and friends; she is the heart.” (Ed note. I will never forget how Joan took me under her wing as a new retiree, shyly showing up for my inaugural, novice bike ride with the MURA cyclists. She is a warm and welcoming ambassador and a key volunteer. On behalf of all of us, thank you, Joan for all you have done for MURA!). Use this link to view the article about Joan's award with citations.

Joan Wolforth posing with her award
June 14, 2023 - Joan Wolforth posing with her CURAC Tribute award at the MURA Annual General Meeting (l-r) Juan Vera and Grazyna Wilczek (MAUT-RAC), Joan Wolforth, John Gradwell & Ginette Lamontagne (MURA)

Volunteering in Retirement and the NDG Community Food Centre
-Honora Shaughnessy

neg food depot logoThe one thing we can be certain of when we retire is that there is no end of organizations looking for volunteers. The need is great in Montreal, and simply checking out organizations in your neighborhood is a great starting point. A year or so after I retired, I was feeling somewhat at loose ends. I had lots to keep me busy, but something was missing. So, I approached The Depot Community Food Centre in NDG close to my home. That started a great volunteer experience that lasted several years. The Depot has many programs geared to supporting those in need in the community. For two years I worked in the area distributing Emergency Food Baskets to clients. I met great fellow volunteers and was humbled by the need I saw in the clients served by The Depot. Once the Depot reopened after the pandemic, I put my long doormant waitressing skills to use by working in the Depot Resto, serving meals to clients. That too was a great experience and I met interesting people, both fellow volunteers and clients. For me the best parts of volunteering with The Depot were the direct volunteer to client contact, followed by meeting fellow volunteers. I felt the need, and I felt the direct impact of volunteering. I am involved with several other organizations as a board member. These too are worthwhile volunteer opportunities. However, if you like direct contact, I highly recommend volunteering in a community organization. I had to stop working in The Depot this year because of changing family circumstances but as soon as I am able, I will be knocking on their door.

Volunteering at Chateau Ramezay - Mike Daoust

three people in period costume standing in front of the Chateau Ramezay
Image by Michel Pinault.

I became aware that the Chateau Ramezay was looking for volunteer guides through a MURA notice last year. I contacted the museum and shortly after that, a new adventure began for me. I attended classes to learn the history of the Chateau and of Montreal. I experienced lots of pleasure with a group of other enthusiastic participants!! We have all become friends. I then shadowed previously trained guides who showed me how it’s done. I have now done many solo tours. It’s quite enjoyable to give a guided tour to visiting tourists. Volunteers wanted! The Château Ramezay Museum and Historic Site of Montreal is recruiting volunteer guides who would like to share their love of history with visitors. Anyone interested in guiding is invited to contact Karine Langlois, Head of Education at: rh [at] Information is available on the museum website. Training is provided. Use this link for more information.


Dad Was Right: Flute Beats Hockey - Lawrence Mysak

When I was a young teenager, I had to choose between conflicting hockey and band practices. “You may not be playing hockey in your senior years, but you might still be playing the flute,” my dad advised. How right he was.

When I retired from McGill in 2010, I stopped teaching but continued to supervise a few talented graduate students in climate dynamics as an emeritus professor. Marc-Olivier Brault was one of those students. He also had a diploma in piano performance from Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music. Since I was a keen flutist, in 2012, I proposed to Marc that we team up as a flute-piano duo and volunteer to give concerts at seniors’ residences in Montreal. He thought this was an excellent idea. With Marc as an accomplished pianist, I could now do some serious flute-playing again by giving concerts to other seniors.

During the period 2012-14, after many hours of practice, both separately and together, Marc and I gave nine concerts in five different Montreal seniors’ residences: Fulford Residence (now closed), St. Andrew’s Residence, Manoir Westmount, Place Kensington, and Westmount One. These residences were recommended to us by neighbors or friends, and at first it took a lot of courage for me to approach the management of each place with the offering of a concert. But once we got started with this venture, we were pleasantly surprised how many invitations we received. During the first few concerts, we offered a good dose of Bach, Handel, Mozart, and Beethoven (Photo 1). But these were interspersed with some lighter pieces by Dvorak and Monti (Csardas is a lively gypsy piece).

For two years, during the main part of the COVID-19 pandemic period (March 2020 to March 2022), the elderly residents of Manoir Westmount had no live entertainment. Paul Austin, a resident of the Manoir and a former McGill professor, was very excited at the prospect of a flute and piano concert in the dining and bar area. I was the flutist and Karen Boeckh, the pianist (and daughter-in-law of my wife, Janet Boeckh).

The idea of spending part of my retirement playing flute at seniors’ residences goes back to Vancouver over 40 years ago. In the early 1980s, when I was a professor of mathematics and oceanography at UBC, I loved doing concerts at such residences with flutist-colleague, Michael Schultz. As well as playing flute duets, the two of us joined up with pianist Mary Mysak, my then wife, to play trios. My sister Helen, who, at the time, had a lovely soprano voice, also took part in these recitals. I still remember how much joy we brought to the folks in these residences. After a concert, many came up to us and asked, “when are you coming back?” Unfortunately, I had to quit this activity after a couple of years as I was overwhelmed with teaching and leading a growing research group at UBC. In 1986 we moved to Montreal, and I then had the challenge of establishing a new climate research program at McGill and had little time for giving concerts.


Program for the third concert by the Mysak-Brault duo at Manoir Westmount



After two years, I decided that we would focus on giving concerts at Place Kensington and Manoir Westmount where residents came out in large numbers and with enthusiasm. Karen Boeckh and I have given four concerts so far at Place Kensington and Manoir Westmount, two in 2022 and two this year. In contrast to the earlier programs with Marc, Karen and I have added more popular tunes and some folk music (Photo 2). If the Boston Symphony could do this at the “Boston Pops” concerts, so could we!

Program of the third concert by the Mysak-Boeckh duo on April 5, 2023, at Place Kensington

Lawrence Mysak playing a flute
Image by Paul Austin.
Lawrence Mysak playing Monti’s Csardas at the Faculty Club at the 85th birthday party of engineering colleague John Jonas during 2017
Since retirement, I have often been asked to play at a friend’s birthday party or at the memorial service of a former colleague or family member. For a party, I usually play Monti’s Csardas as this is very uplifting and leaves the audience smiling. For a memorial service, I play Massenet’s Thaïs or Fauré’s Sicilienne, both of which are truly soulful.

In January 2023, Janet and I spent four weeks enjoying the sun, beaches, and food in Bucerias, Mexico, which is just north of Puerto Vallarta. At 5 each evening, we had happy hour around the swimming pool patio. Before we left for Mexico, Janet suggested that I take along my flute and some music, in part to keep me in shape for the upcoming I Medici di McGill Orchestra concert, but also to serenade her at sunset. The guests at our lodge, Casa Gardenia, heard me playing the flute and asked whether I might play for them. In the end, I gave three half-hour patio concerts of both classical and popular music, and some guests even invited their friends.

Now, after 70 years of playing the flute, I often wonder how long I’ll be able to continue playing. But Dad was right – I can still toot away in my 80s.

Acknowledgements: I thank Janet Boeckh for her comments on a first draft of this memoir, Olivia Marino for inserting the photos, and Josef Schmidt for his insightful critique.


Volunteering as a Member of a Board - Joan Wolforth

Depending on your job responsibilities and the administrative roles you played, you may have attended many committee meetings at McGill. Perhaps you sat on Senate (and survived!), or on the Student Services Coordinating Council. Perhaps you represented one of the employee groups on a university body or organized departmental meetings. Maybe you found yourself going from one meeting to another and when you retired, you never wanted to see another committee again. Or maybe you miss the sense of camaraderie that meeting regularly with others to work on a project or two can bring. But you may have theoretical or practical knowledge that you would be willing to share, or an interest or hobby that you are somewhat or very expert in. When you have put some distance between your formal McGill committee work and your life as a retiree, perhaps you might consider joining a Board of Directors.

There are many types of Boards in the community that are regularly looking for new members, and it’s generally good for the organization if the Board is diverse and is renewed on a regular basis. On a Board, you can have direct input into the financial solvency, the policy direction, the ethical stance, and the general health of an organization. You get to meet and work with a diverse group of other Board members, who often have impressive career credentials and are a range of ages, some with little and some with a lot of Board experience. So, you are not just hanging out with other retirees. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but variety is the spice of life!

You may be asking yourself what you would have to offer a Board. Well, you probably have a host of valuable skills to offer. First is your longevity and life experience -- if you don’t find yourself saying too often, “we tried that in 1990 and it didn’t work” (!) Lived experience is valuable and frequently elicits confidence in formulating and expressing one’s opinions. You know how meetings are run and have at least a passing acquaintance with Robert’s Rules. This is knowledge that a surprising number of younger Board members lack. So, you know about order and procedure. You may understand governance more than other Board members. You may have run a small or a large department and understand the importance of records and procedures.

You may also have a specific area of expertise such as financial acumen or writing and editing ability, or legal expertise. You may know how to write grants or how to interact with the government officials on specific matters. You may have useful contacts beyond Montreal and Quebec, even internationally, which can also be an asset to certain Boards. You may have experience managing employees or writing proposals and policies. You may be good at communicating in public or on paper or assessing web sites and social media. You may be a great community representative. There are so many areas where Boards -- even established Boards -- are looking for help and advice.

Right now, I sit on the Board of an independent specialist school, and I chair their strategic planning committee. This gives me the opportunity to share my knowledge of disability issues, of interfacing with the provincial government, of contextualizing the school’s direction in a national and international context, and of helping to guide the current direction that the school is taking. I am also concerned with the outcomes of students both in terms of educational success and movement through the educational system. This leads me to be quite involved in ongoing issues with the Board and the administration of the school. As Board members we have overall responsibility for the fiscal health and governance of the school. I get to work with a wide range of people from different backgrounds and ages both on the Board and at the school. Sometimes it’s a lot of work in a short period of time, but it is completely different from anything else I have done in my life, and it gives me great pleasure to be part of the organization.

So do consider looking out into your community to see what type of organizations you might contribute to as a Board member, be it a health agency, a political constituency, a social service agency, an educational establishment, a business, or a charity. You have skills to offer, and you will be richly rewarded (although not monetarily) for your contributions.

La Rencontre, le Partage et la Paix par le Voyage - Suzie Bogos

Serves logo

Servas est une ONG internationale créée après la guerre en 1949 pour promouvoir la paix par le biais de l’amitié et d’une expérience partagée. Fédérant plus de cent pays et jouant un rôle aux Nations Unies, Servas est constitué en un réseau d’hôtes de 15,000 familles et de voyageurs. L’objectif est de bâtir la paix dans le monde et de favoriser la compréhension par des rencontres entre personnes de tous les milieux, toutes les cultures et nationalités. Ce réseau permet donc d’être accueilli, d’avoir des contacts plus enrichissants lorsque vous visitez un nouvel endroit ou de parcourir le monde sans quitter votre maison en recevant des voyageurs. C’est un espace où il n’y a pas d’étrangers ! Pour en savoir plus ou devenir membre, visites le site


Volunteering for Make-a-Wish Foundation - Mercedes Delacroix

make a wish logoAfter taking early retirement last year, I had hoped to volunteer at an organization that supports children's causes. After doing some online research, I discovered the Make-a-Wish Foundation. The more I read about their mission and core values, the more I knew that it would be the right fit for me. After contacting their volunteer coordinator, we met via zoom and discussed the various opportunities within their organization. Depending on the amount of time one has to give, the foundation is able to match you with various needs within the organization. Options include: office assistance, event logistical support, and/or being a “wish granter”. I was “appointed” as a wish granter, which required a background check, proof of vaccinations and a willingness to attend training sessions. Wish Granters have the opportunity to help bring joy, happiness, and a sense of hope to children facing critical illnesses and contribute to creating unforgettable memories. As a new volunteer, I am awaiting my first wish-granting assignment, although I have done some research for a family whose child’s wish is for a safari/jungle/wildlife experience as well as another family whose child wants to experience Irish culture in Dublin and surrounding countryside. I will also be volunteering for the upcoming September 2023 Make-a-Wish Foundation "48-Hour" bike-a-thon at Mirabel airport. This yearly event typically raises $1M+ for program support. The mission of Make-a-Wish Foundation is to partner with communities across the country to provide children with critical illnesses the opportunity to realize their most heartfelt wish. To learn more about volunteering opportunities at Make-a-Wish, please use this link.




The MURA Newsletter is published once a year. It includes contributions by members on their experiences in retirement, various activities, travel, volunteer engagements, and reflections on this very special phase of life. Members are welcome to submit a brief text on the subject of their choice either in French or in English to our Editor, Debbie Mercier, at debbie.mercier [at] Members' suggestions concerning the content and format of future issues are welcome. Use this link to view past issues of the newsletter.
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