I am writing to you with the greatest of admiration and appreciation for all that you have done, and continue to do, to ensure that the Acoustic Neuroma Association of Canada (ANAC) can continue to provide high quality programs to the hundreds of people and families across Canada who depend on our support and resources. It is only through your donations and support that ANAC exists.
2020 - 2021 will go down in the books as the time the world was turned upside down and many of us were forced to pivot and adapt accordingly. No one expected a pandemic, but here we are. The good news is there is light at the end of the tunnel.
When the pandemic began, organizations across the globe were faced with a new reality that would impact how businesses functioned, challenging them to find new ways to operate and survive. ANAC was no different. As an organization, we were forced to evaluate and identify new initiatives to help us grow, sustain, and provide continued support to our members.
Today, it is with great gratitude I share with you ANAC’s accomplishments over the span of the last year-and-a-half, including our 70 new members! The pandemic has allowed us to expand our reach to support more Canadians with acoustic neuromas than ever before through virtual group chapter meetings and the use of web conferencing.
This past May, the Toronto chapter recently celebrated 17 years - and we continue to grow! ANAC is pleased to announce we will be starting an Eastern Canada chapter in the coming months which will allow us to support even more Canadians.
I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to our support group leaders, who volunteer their time and efforts to make everyone feel welcomed. Our support groups would not be possible without you!
Another huge accomplishment was ANAC’s first virtual walk to raise awareness for acoustic neuromas which generated more than $15,500. The theme for last year’s event was “No one with acoustic neuroma should walk alone.” All donations raised go back to our member support services. It was truly special to see everyone come together, share their personal stories to inspire others and generate awareness for ANAC. I am excited to reveal ANAC will be hosting our second annual virtual walk at the end of this summer. Our goal is to surpass funds raised last year! Stay tuned for upcoming details.
Though we saw success with our virtual walk, the event reinforced something we already know: ANAC is virtually unknown. We are a small but mighty organization. The decision was made that ANAC needs to be rebranded to help increase awareness. Presently, we are in the preliminary phase of redesigning our logo. Our new logo will represent our core values: sharing, caring, educating, and supporting.
This year is a transformational year for ANAC. We continue to look for innovative ways to continue to increase brand awareness and generate revenue to support individuals and family members impacted by an acoustic neuroma. The board recently reviewed all our existing policies and bylaws and made the necessary amendments to ensure ANAC is operating to the highest standards of governance. This year we will look at applying and securing grants.
ANAC continues to make improvements to our website and populate our Facebook page with relevant content. The website includes treatment information, resources, personal blog experiences and the ability for you to renew your membership and donate. Our Members’ Forum will soon become fully operational, allowing members across the country to communicate with one another by directly sharing their questions and experiences.
Before I conclude my President’s Report, I would like to acknowledge our Executive Director, board members and our Scientific Medical Advisory Committee chaired by Dr. Gelareh Zadeh. I strongly believe our team is made up of complementary skillsets and a genuine passion for ANAC’s best interests. We are dedicated and understand the importance of growing and sustaining ANAC, so we continue to provide programs and resources to the communities we serve.
Each of you are at the centre of ANAC and the reason we can help so many people. Thank you! I encourage each of you to continue to spread awareness about acoustic neuromas and the value of ANAC .
Stay well and be safe,