Hazel named to ‘Good Life’ post

Duane Hicks

FORT FRANCES—After heading the Riverside Foundation for Health Care for the past 11 years, Teresa Hazel will be CEO of the Good Life for Young People Foundation effective Sept. 7.
“We want to bring the Good Life for Young People Foundation to the next level,” president Al Hunter said Tuesday.
“We believe the appointment of Teresa to this position will help us achieve our short-term and long-term goals and aspirations,” Hunter added, noting Hazel comes with many years of experience in Foundation management and a proven track record in successful fundraising.
The mission of the Good Life for Young People Foundation is to bring to life the dreams and potential of young Anishinaabeg, with the support of their families and communities.
Its vision is to help young people realize their dreams for a good life.
Hazel said she’s excited to be taking on this new challenge.
“I look forward to working with the board of directors of the Good Life for Young People Foundation to help youth realize their dreams,” she remarked.
“I believe whenever a group of people work together for a common cause, good things can happen.”
Hazel, best known for her work with the Riverside Foundation for Health Care and as the communications officer for Riverside Health Care Facilities, Inc., said she’s “very proud of the success of the Foundation.”
“I am grateful for everything I’ve learned, from the people I’ve worked with, from the community that’s given so much support over the years,” she noted.
“It’s been amazing, and I am proud of what’s been accomplished.
“I’ve been able to see what people can accomplish when they work together for a common cause, and it’s pretty incredible,” Hazel added.
The first major fundraiser Hazel was involved with was the “Care Close to Home” campaign back in 2000, which in less than a year raised $3.5 million for renovations at both the Emo Health Centre and La Verendrye Hospital here.
The overwhelming success of the campaign “showed just how supportive this district is towards health care, and how much they value health care,” she noted.
This was followed in 2007 by the “Just Imagine” campaign, which saw district residents donate another $1.5 million in less than six months for a CT scan at La Verendrye.
Over the years, Hazel has helped co-ordinate a slew of fundraising events and initiatives, ranging from “Oscar” parties and other themed banquets to a myriad of sales, raffles, and even a “radio-a-thon.”
“I truly believe that the success of all of it is because we have amazing volunteers and because we have such a generous community, and those things will remain and lead to the continued success of the Riverside Foundation for Health Care,” said Hazel.
She also gives a great deal of credit to the staff at Riverside Health Care Facilities, Inc., who “work so hard to provide the services and programs to the citizens of the Rainy River District.”
As well, Hazel thanked the Fort Frances Times, and other local media in general, for helping her make these fundraising campaigns successful over the years.
She said what she’s learned over the past 11 years will be an asset in her new role as CEO of the Good Life for Young People Foundation.
“I take all this knowledge with me, and that’s where the gratitude comes in,” Hazel explained.
“I am very grateful for what I learned, and now to go out and test it in some different areas, I believe we will have success with the Good Life foundation, as well.”
After 11 years with Riverside, Hazel said she wanted to try something new and different.
“My heart is kind of leading me in a new direction,” she noted. “I am always wanting to learn more and experience more.
“That’s who I am, how I get along,” she stressed. “And there’s something calling me to check out some new experiences.
“I’ve never worked directly with a First Nations’ organization or with the youth, and that does appeal to me—to assist youth in realizing their dreams and their goals, and hearing from youth about what they need.
“That’s what excites me about the Good Life Foundation—they’re using youth to help direct them in how they are going to do what’s best for the youth.”
Hazel said although her role with the Good Life for Young People Foundation officially starts Sept. 7, she will remain with Riverside in a part-time capacity for the next month or so to help with the transition until a replacement is hired.
(Fort Frances Times)