Rocky View Regional Handibus Society is undertaking a non-partisan survey of the Alberta Leadership candidates. Details here: leadership 2011
Ongoing responses ( for purposes of transparency and openess), will go here rocky view bus Blog
It is still a few weeks away from completion but Rocky View Regional Handibus Society is now overseeing service in Cochrane. Our colleagues at Big Hill Senior citizen's Activity Society (BHSCAS) are wanting to retire and have asked us to carry the ball for them. We are in the process of transferring their buses and drivers over to our organization but things are going smoothly.
BHSCAS is leaving us some really big shoes to fill but we are encouraged by the help we have received from them and the Town of Cochrane. We'll have some more details in October.
Thank-you Mr. & Mrs. Teske
Dick and Phyllis Teske posing by #10
Here is our press release:
Citizen’s big heart pays off big time
Thanks to the generosity of local retired auctioneer, Dick Teske, seniors and children with special needs like Amy Drysdale have better access to services only available in Calgary such as medical specialists.
General Manager of Rocky View Handibus, Paul Siller knows about turning families away. “It’s not pleasant – more families are asking for transportation help but we have limited resources.” So when Siller got a call in the fall of 2008 from Teske telling him he wanted to donate a bus, he was ecstatic, “All I could say is oh wow, oh wow, oh wow,” says Siller. Winding up Teske Auctioneering Ltd after 40 years, Mr. and Mrs. Teske wanted to give back to the community that supported their family business.
Getting a new bus on the road normally takes about 100 days. However, numerous obstacles including the 2009 shut-down of the auto industry turned that 100 days into 18 months. “It’s a relief to get this new bus finally on the road especially as one of our oldest buses just failed a vehicle inspection,” said Siller.
Teske’s donation also allowed Siller to access matching funds including a $75-thousand dollar grant from the Community Initiatives Program which will help with operational funding over a two year period.
“We really appreciate Mr. and Mrs. Teske’s support, we can’t do this all on own.”
We got coverage in Chestermere Anchor and in the Rocky View Weekly.
(it is always a good day when we can get a new bus on the road)
We have been a little slow getting these documents onto the website, but here is our summary of last year:
2009 Report To Stakeholders
2009 Audited Financial Statements
Iain Makes It Official!
In September of 2008, we took delivery of a brand new bus. Due to a bunch of strange circumstances, we never had a chance to take an official possession of the keys. In late June, Iain and his family inspected their contribution. Although Iain lives in Chestermere, his bus has been working in the North Rocky View region, taking schools kids and seniors. By taking about 40% of our trips, Iain's bus frees up other vehicles that we've redeployed to the Chestermere region.
Here is Iain (supported by his dad) handing the keys to Handibus board member Jo Ann Miller.
We had our AGM and with the Board's approval, we can present these reports to the public. Many thanks to all the folks who helped get us through yet another year.
2008 financial Statements
2008 Report To Membership
Feb 5, 2009
It went into service today, but the keys were handed over on Feb 3 when the MD of Rocky View issued this Press release....
But we've got better pictures. Plus, we unveiled a bus donated by the family of Iain Cullen Ramsay which has been in service since Sept 2008.
It took us about two years to get here. We started with a need for two buses. Then we decided that we needed three vehicles with an estimated $240,000 budget. EnCana was our anchor donation and we beat under the rocks and trees repeatedly to match EnCana's donation over and over and over again!!!. A couple of service clubs pitched in, a concerned Chestermere resident put up a full bus and the the MD of Rocky View independantly decided to apply some leftover infrastructure money for another matching bus (we told them we were on a hunt for three buses).
It should have cost us $240,000 for three full sized vehicles, but somehow we got two full-sized buses and two wheelchair-accessible minivans for a total price of around $200,000 (Note: a single mini van is about half the cost of a full sized bus -- you could say that we "doubled-down").
The key was a favourable exchange rate on the american dollar. That great exchange rate is gone and we have put the leftover funds from our $240,000 towards our next project. Four to go!
Stay tuned for our Four to Go! campaign
2008 Alberta Special Needs Transportation Survey
Several years ago, we mailed out questionaires to groups providing special needs transportation services to Albertans. After five years, we think it's time again to revisit the state of special needs transportation in Alberta. If you are part of a special needs transportation provider in Alberta, we encourgae you to participate in our survey. We are hoping to have all responses by October 31, 2008 December 15th, 2008.
(To be honest.. we've been having trouble finding the time, to promote this survey)
Go here for information regarding our 2008 Survey
In Spring 2009, we will try to get our house in order to conduct another $500 survey endevouring to reach the opinions of some 100 special transportation providers in Alberta.
That's Barry Meeds (right) from ACT delivering their pledge to our Three To Get Ready Campaign.
We started in Fall 2006 with a goal of $160,000 to acquire two new buses. When an uninsured driver hit one of our oldest vehicles, we had to raise the goal in January 2007 to $240,000 to replace buses and expand our fleet. The larger fund-raising goal meant more work but old friends such as Rotary Club of Calgary Olympic, Associated Canadian Travellers and Burnco Rock Products helped us out yet again (thank-you, thank-you thank-you). New fundraising friends such as the MD of Rocky View, EnCana and a nameless resident of Chestermere were also important contributors to our goal. We also used a significant part of our 2007 casino proceeds (Thank-you to all the volunteers).
Two full-sized handibuses are on order and will arrive in fall 2008. Two wheelchair accessible mini-vans are already in service because of this project (we took this option because two minivans cost about the same as a full sized bus and were available for immediate delivery). Leaving no opportunity wasted, we are applying for yet another matching grant that may let us acquire more buses from this initative.
To summarize; we started looking for two vehicles and we may end up with as many as six by the time we finish. Special thanks to EnCana who committed to this project early and stood by us as our fundraising project grew.
Stay tuned for details.
Our Annual General Meeting (AGM) was on March 27
2007 Fnancial Statements
2007 Report to Skaeholders
Now we can tell you the story...
Last month, one of our drivers was overdue for his first pick-up. A couple of phone calls led us to the discovery that while enroute to his first pick-up, our driver had encountered nine bulls on a dark early morning road. As the cattle where distributed across the road, there was little option to avoid them. Although the driver walked away with only some scratches, three bulls were killed instantly. Our new minivan did not fare the incident well but obviously protected its lone passenger (i.e. the driver).
We are pleased to report that insurance is covering the loss and a replacement will be with us next month. Now that everything is resolved, one question remains... What do we call this incident? (please cast your vote)
$80,000 Donation Pledge!
Three For The Road just got a big boost. An $80,000 pledge with the stipulation that we find matching funds from the community. This is the largest single donation in our organization's history!. Stay tuned for details of how we will match these funds with other donations and when we'll have rubber meeting the road!
Our latest delivery!
Thanks to our Fairy Godmother, we transformed our wish for a new bus to arrive as soon as possible into the purchase of two wheelchair accessible mini-vans. These smaller vehicles from Liberty Motors Co will help us with some (but not all) of the current workload. More importantly they were available NOW instead of waiting for nine months. The first arrived in July. The other will arrive in about 4 weeks. We appreciate Fairy Godmother's help plus the help of EnCana, Rotary Club of Calgary Olympic, ACT/UCT and our casino volunteers! We'll have a formal roll-out early this fall!
(unfortunately... this vehicle must always return home before midnight. We suggest that you consult with your own Fairy Godmother for details.)
Thank-you Casino Volunteers !!
Every two years, we get a casino licence. A casino requires some 30 people to donate a 6- 8 hour day so we can raise some $35,000 - $40,000. We had more than enough people step forward to give us a hand and should know results of our effort in July.
Thank-you everyone who helped us out!
In the news: (It appears we made the local papers!!!!!)
Service clubs mobilize for Rocky View handibus
Rocky View Weekly June 5th
Organizations make commitment to handibus service
Airdrie Echo June 6
Loss of a Friend
Long-time supporter, Ray Howden passed away this past weekend (April 22). Farmer, historian and genuine nice fellow, Ray helped a lot of folks in this region. We were particularly blessed by his generousity when he donated a bus to us in 1998. The "Howden Bus" has 340,000 km and has provided thousands of trips to folks in this region.
Group Commits to "Three To Get Ready"
Our friends at Associated Canadian Travellers informed us that their group is going to commit to a $15,000 donation to our bus campaign. ACT was the anchor donor of our "Two For the Road" Campaign, believing in us before anyone else could.
Our latest newsletter is here: marchnews
Our 2007 Annual General Meeting was on March 22:
2006 Report to Stakeholders
2006 Financial Statement
Chestermere Town Council recently approved support for a pilot project providing handibus service to Chestermere residents. Most of the the operating costs have been covered but more importantly, an actual physical bus is now required to be added to the fleet so that service can commence in Chestermere (see "off the road.
Donations can be made online or please contact Paul Siller at 403-948-2887
January 23 Article from the Rocky View Weekly See it Here (PDF)
Off the Road!
In early December, bus #1 was rear-ended. No one was hurt but our insurance company has determined the bus was a write-off.
Bus #1, a 1996 GMC rally van, was bought second-hand (slightly used) in 1998 and modified to accommodate wheelchairs. With 10 years of age and over 430,000 km on the vehicle, the damage to the back doors and frame is not economic to repair. Unfortunately, the insurance value on this bus is only about 5% of the cost of a replacement.
Our "Two More For The Road-2007" capital campaign is now renamed the "Three to Get Ready-2007" campaign. The revised budget now sets a goal of $240,000 to put three new buses on the road this year. We'll be sending out some 40 funding proposals this month with the revised campaign goal. We intend to acquire the first bus as soon as funds permit. Encana and Rotary Club Calgary Olympic are already on board.
See the revised bus proposal here: Download 2007buscampaign.pdf
This is a significant fund-raising challenge for us. We certainly could use some help. If you have fund-raising insights, suggestions or recommendations, call Paul Siller (948-2887) or drop a line to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rocky View Weekly covered our recent presentation to the Municipal District. Read it here
October 31 was the first day in our new shop. Our new location is in the Airdrie industrial area: 30 East Lake Hill (Hint: across the road from the recycling centre). For the first time in decades, we have our own place to bring a bus indoors for minor repairs.
All phone, internet and PO Box information will remain the same. However, we are going to have to ask for your patience over the next two weeks as we figure out things like: phone connections, internet hook-up or where we put the photocopier...
Calpine Energy Centre, Zapata Energy Corporation, Zytech Building Systems and Airdrie's Knights of Columbus are all recent donors to our preschool transportation program. We are very pleased to have the support of community-minded neighbours such as these.
Wild Rose Foundation Award
We received $49,588 - "Toward operational costs over two years, to meet the increased need and cost to provide rural accessible transportation in the rural Calgary region." These funds are the Foundations matching effort to our fundraising efforts of 2005 and will be used for some basic costs: rent, utilities and vehicle insurance. For more information on the Wild Rose Quarterly Grants program http://www.cd.gov.ab.ca/wrf
When Balzac-area farmers from Agricore United's Rocky-View Crop Production Centre, donated $375 towards our handibus operations, there was a mis-communication from the staff at the Balzac RPC office. We arrived as a favour to Agricore staff but apparently, manager (and Balzac community icon) Grant Northcott was not of extreme age and did not actually need neither the wheelchair nor the handibus transportation requested for his recent birthday. We regret the misunderstanding and express our belated wishes for a happy birthday
Photos: Grant taking a short ride in a wheelchair and on our newest bus
South Rock ROCKS!!!!
That's Ron Nolin (right) from South Rock Construction Employee Charitable Foundation handing over a cheque to our manager. This donation completes their three year pledge ($1000/yr) --- our first pledged donation. We were able to use South Rock's commitment to RVRH to approach other funders in the construction industry.
Thank-you South Rock employees, for your support!!
It's one page and it's available here: Feb 2006 newsletter
Notice of AGM:
Annual General Meeting March 23 2006 at:
Calgary Area Child/Family Services Boardroom:
209 Centre Ave W Airdrie
We need a new driver, preferrably on who lives Airdrie or Chestermere region: Driver job description
Have you been thinking about donating a bit of your prosperity bonus to a good cause? We know there are many good causes needing a hand but we'd also like to remind you that Rocky View Regional Handibus is a registered charity that fundraises for busses AND for operating funds. See our Donations page.
Our latest fund-raising goal is to get a kid (pre-schooler) to/from the Alberta Children's hospital as he attends daily physiotherapy after major orthopedic surgery (both legs). This child lives in a rural Calgary-area municipality that provides no support to handibus operations. We've committed the $3000 required to transport him for three months. Your donations would help.
...and if you would like to help us replace a bus... we can talk!
Once upon a time we made a promise to keep up a regular newsletter... Well, we are going to try it again!
The Rocky View Bus Blog!
We come across a lot of technical stuff that may be of interest to other special transportation providers. We've decided to use a blog to post these hints and ideas. Feel free to comment or to pass on technical/ policy information from your own experience. www.rockyviewbus.blogspot.com
Send your Blog articles to: email@example.com
We found a Driver!!!
Thanks to all of you who helped us scour the countryside to find a suitable driver!! (She starts next week)
Bert McLarty from our Board of Directors recently succumbed to cancer. One of his final requests was to direct donations in lieu of flowers to Rocky View Regional Handibus.
For information how to donate in memory of Bert, please click here
It took almost 24 months, but we found some generous funders to help us get two new vehicles on the road for this fall. Here is some local press coverage as the final donor, Nexen Energy, delivered their cheque at the Annual Balzac Community Stampede Breakfast (July 13). We owe many thanks to the participating groups: Associated Commercial Travellers Club of Calgary, Rotary Club of Calgary Olympic, Nickle Family Foundation and Nexen Energy Balzac Complex. We plan to post photos of the new bus soon. Article.
Annual General Meeting: March 16 2005-- 25 Years!
We are going to brag! It is not often that you get media coverage at your AGM. We had coverage in both the Airdrie Echo and the Rocky View Weekly. See the articles:
Read the reports:
It's one page. Find it here Newsfeb05.pdf
Preschool Transportation Funding
What do Nexen Balzac Employees, TD Canada Trust, RBC Foundation, Childrens Hospital Aid Society, Burnco, Finnie Transport, South Rock, TransCanada and Compton Petroleum have in common?
All have donated to our preschooler transportation program for the Sept 2004 school year. We transport 8-9 special needs kids (preschoolers) to some of the best programs in Alberta. Unfortunately, the best programs are in Calgary. More unfortunately... no government is actually responsible to fund transportation for these kids. Because of these donors, our kids get the intervention that will help them keep up with their classmates once they enter the K-12 system.
If you like to help this program, see our Donations page.
What's In Store?
Rocky View Accessible Transportation Discussion Paper
We would like to see transportation available to the entire MD of Rocky View. We've assembled a discussion paper for review by the public and government officials. This eight page PDF is available mdrvaccesstransportation2004.pdf
Your comments are welcome.
This winter Rocky View Regional will undertake a public funding drive to raise funds and replace two buses. To make donations, easier we are encouraging our supporters to donate through Canadahelps.org . CanadaHelps.org
If you prefer to donate in person, we'll put the coffee on. See Donations for contact information.
Associated Commercial Travellers Donates $15,000
The commercial travellers have a long history of of community service across the prairies. The Calgary ACT chapter recently awarded us with $15,000 towards a new bus. This donation is to be matched with government or corporate funds. We are looking forward to using this donation as the kick-off to winter fund drive. Watch for announcements!
Alberta Specialized Transportation Survey
We've circulated a letter to 35 Alberta small town and rural transportation organizations regarding a funding policy review presently conducted by Municipal Affairs (Survey Letter). We also asked transportation providers to complete a brief survey (25 questions). The survey results will be shared amongst the transportation groups and Alberta elceted officials. You can complete the survey online., or download and print the survey pdf (make sure to send it in).
See our results report
We have been remise in mentioning two significant articles that were in the press.
- Board Member, Jo Ann Miller recieves YWCA/ Global Television's Woman of Vision Award for her community work. PDF of article (NOTE: large file!!! 775kb)
- Manager, Paul Siller interviewed for a Calgary Herald Special Section for the Calgary Regional Partnership. www.calgary region.ca. The Calgary Regional Partnership has stepped up to carry forward our
effortsto assess rural/urban transportation issues through the small town rural Calgary Communities www.rockyviewbus.ca/ruti
Nexen Balzac Gas Plant is the first oil and gas facility in the world to be verified under petroleum industry's Responsible Care program.
This achievement (and a few others) helped the staff of the Balzac Complex win Nexen's President's Award, and a $15,000 donation to the charity of their choice. Thank-you Nexen!!
Rural/Urban Transportation Issues
A group of stakeholders meeting about rural/urban transportation issues nominated our Transportation Manager, Paul Siller as interim chairman. The Rocky View Handibus board is very pleased to collaborate with this group. For more information on the
rural/ urban transportation issues go to the RUTI website.
March 19, 2003 was our Annual General Meeting. Aside from keeping the same board of directors, we were pleased to be able to present:
With the assistance of CanadaHelps, we now have an online secure donations. You can use your credit card to make a donation. You can even make your donation anonymously (and Canadahelps will maintain your
confidentiality). Your tax receipt is e-mail immediately and the funds are transfered electronically to us. The standard credit card processing fees (2%) is the only amount deducted from your donation. Canadahelps meets all requirements of the Canadian
Centre for Philantrophy's Ethical Fund-raising code.Donate Here!
If you have any questions, please contact us 948-2887
North East Rocky View Community Transportation Project
The Calgary Foundation awarded us a $27,500 grant to develop a pilot
program for community transportation between Crossfield, Beiseker, Irricana, Airdrie and the interlaying regions of Rocky View. We will have project information available on our website in the coming months.
You've heard about it... Now it is happening! Handi Bus By C.R.A.B. Society is changing it's name to Rocky View Regional Handi Bus Society. Our new name provides a better reflection of our mission: accessible transportation in the Rocky
View region (and the communities therein). Stay tuned for a new logo and a new look to the website.
North East Rocky View Community Transportation Project
The Calgary Foundation awarded us a $27,500 grant to develop a pilot program for community transportation between Crossfield, Beiseker, Irricana, Airdrie and the interlaying regions of Rocky View. We
will have project information available on our website in the coming months.
If you live in Airdrie:
Effective April 1, 2002, Airdrie adult residents requiring accessible transportation within Airdrie or transportation to Calgary must call Airdrie Transit 948-9101, or visit their website (www.airdrie.com)
for forms and information regarding Airdrie service. Residents of all other municipalities/communities; call handi bus at 948-2887.