Firefly seeking board members

Sam Odrowski

Firefly, a children’s health and family wellness organization, currently is looking for more board members in the Fort Frances area.
Those passionate about children and their well-being, who feel they would be an asset to Firefly’s board of directors, are being asked to apply.
“Our board members have a strong interest in children services,” said Firefly CEO Karen Ingebrigtson.
“But there are various skill sets that we find valuable,” she noted.
“It’s important to have a whole mixture of folks with different backgrounds.”
Ingebrigtson said the board is made up of representatives from across the region to make sure it is getting input from people who are living in the communities which Firefly serves.
In addition to seeking board members locally, Firefly also is searching for ones in Atikokan, Ignace, Dryden, Sioux Lookout, Red Lake, Vermilion Bay, and Kenora.
Firefly came into existence in 2011 when the Lake of the Woods Child Development Centre and Patricia Centre for Children and Youth amalgamated into one organization to support children and their families in the Kenora-Rainy River districts.
Ingebrigtson said between the two legacy organizations, they’ve been providing services to the area for about 40 years.
Firefly receives funding from a number of different organizations, with a majority of it coming from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services and the Ministry of Community and Social Services.
One of the key services Firefly provides through its funding is children’s rehabilitation services, where speech therapists, occupational therapists, and physiotherapists work with families in the community.
Ingebrigtson is glad to be able to provide children and their families with Firefly’s various support services, noting “children are our greatest resource and asset in our future.”
“The early investments in the health and well-being of our young people have lasting positive outcomes,” she noted.
Firefly hopes to generate these outcomes by assisting families every step of the way when their kids are facing developmental challenges.
“We’re very committed to supporting young people and their families,” Ingebrigtson stressed.
“We help them to work through the various stages in a child’s development.”
When children are facing difficulties, Firefly provides families with the tools and resources to work through those obstacles.
“Part of our goal is to be able to help strengthen families and to have children make the most of their childhood,” Ingebrigtson said.
“That’s why we’re here–it’s all about children and young people.”
Achieving that goal, and “seeing the growth and development of children,” is what Ingebrigtson says is the most rewarding part of the work she does.
“It’s nice to be there for a part of their journey growing up,” she remarked.
Looking ahead, Firefly is going to focus on priorizing children’s mental health across the district.
“That’s a big area of attention for us,” Ingebrigtson said. “We want to strengthen the resources and supports that are in and around the Kenora-Rainy River district.”
But Firefly can’t do it alone. The organization needs help from residents across the district to ensure it can continue to carry out its vision.
“If you have any interest in an organization such as ours, certainly get in touch with us and we will welcome your interest,” Ingebrigtson said.
“Even if you’re not quite sure, get in touch with us,” she urged. “We can always tell folks more about the role.”
The board of directors meets nine times per year, with four-five of those meetings held via teleconference.
Anyone interested in applying to sit on the board of directors is asked to contact Firefly’s executive assistant, Jennifer Marquis, at 467-5427 or via e-mail at