Bonnie, Oaklynn, James, Anna, Lauren

Welcome Back

We are beginning our December newsletter with this beautiful photo of the Vickaryous Cummings-Vickaryous family. This has been/is a challenging year. It is also the year our Executive Director, Bonnie Cummings-Vickaryous has been on maternity leave. At Astonished! we are a community that is like a big extended family. The joys and concerns of one individual or household are held by others in the community. We are grateful to have Bonnie and her whole family in this community and welcome Bonnie back to her role of Executive Director. She will be returning in mid-December
Elisa Wong

Thank You

In December 2019 Elisa Wong began the job of Interim Manager for Astonished! covering Executive Director, Bonnie Cummings-Vickaryous’ maternity leave. Elisa was no stranger to Astonished! but this was a new role for her and 2020 turned out to be an unfamiliar year for all of us. Elisa had many changes to adapt to in this year and she took all of them in her stride. Thank you, Elisa, for your calm, creative, competent approach to the job and all the adaptations that were required. We wish you all the best as you continue your studies in the Faculty of Education at the University of Regina. 
Ruth & Rebekah
Mind Check painting night

Mind Check - Coping During COVID 19

This three-part event, facilitated by Mia Bell, Melissa Turbuck, Emma Hancock, and Dr. Helen Pridmore, took place via Zoom in November 2020. In early November participants received packages that included a Mind Check workbook, art supplies, and self-care items (chocolate, warming bags, stress balls, bubbles, journal, pen, acupressure rings, etc.) On Thursday evenings participants gathered via Zoom to check-in, share with each other, learn more about the mind and emotions, discover ways to change negative thoughts and feelings to positive thoughts and feelings, and practice self-care while having fun together. This is such important work in this time when anxiety about the pandemic is pervasive.

Astonished! gratefully acknowledges the financial support of The Lorne and Evelyn Johnson Foundation, a private foundation serving the people of South Saskatchewan. The Foundation was established by the late Lorne and Evelyn Johnson to respond to the changing need and opportunities of the community and provides grants to eligible charitable organizations in culture, health, education, environment, recreation and social service sectors.

Walk and Roll 2020

In harmony with the UN International Day of People with Disabilities, Astonished! hosted its 6th Annual Walk & Roll as a virtual event on December 3rd at 7:00 via Zoom. The Walk & Roll is a family-friendly pledge event that raises funds to support the work of Astonished! Sixteen teams (with 48 participants) had creative fundraising ideas and wonderful support from their family and friends. Thanks to all the participants, their supporters, and our event Sponsors we almost reached our goal of $25,000. Thank you to everyone involved. You can check out team details here

Silver and Bronze Sponsors

Great big THANK YOU to our Silver Sponsor, The Education Students’ Society University of Regina.

Great Big THANK YOU to our Bronze Sponsors, Redhead Equipment and Dusyk and Barlow Insurance Brokers.

Prize Sponsors

Great big THANK YOU to our Prize Sponsors: Direct West, Fresh Carnival, Harbour Landing Village, Leopolds Tavern, Level 10 Fitness, Magpies Kitchen, Malty National, Orange Theory Fitness, Original Joe’s Restaurant and Bar, Project Barre Studio, Queen City Cakes, Safeway, The Copper Kettle, and The Owl.

Jun Yang Gan

This semester Jun Yang Gan is doing his Sports and Recreation Studies 130 class Junior Practicum placement with Astonished! Jun is assisting us with planning the Walk & Roll. Some of his responsibilities include: utilizing social media platforms to spread awareness and raise funds, recruiting and supporting the management of Walk and Roll Teams, developing campaign materials, and sponsorship and donor acquisition.

  This is how Jun describes himself and his goals:
My name is Jun Yang Gan, I am majoring in Sports and Recreation Management. My hobbies are watching College football and basketball, CFL, and the NFL. My future career is to become an athletic director. Lynn Hickey, the current athletic director at Eastern Washington University, is the person that inspired me to become an athletic director.
Thank you Jun for being part of the A! Team.

A! Volunteers

Thank you to everyone who volunteered with Astonished! this semester. Your support is very much appreciated. Molly Yungmann, Kirstin Greve, Bushra Burki, Mia Bell, Jun Yang Gan, Meagan Semenchuk, Nicholas Cuthbert, Jordan Macdonald, Kathryn Derenisky, and Hailey Unrau.

Astonished! Social Club

The Astonished! Leadership Team (Molly Yungman and Kelsey Culbert) along with the Interim Program Coordinator (Emma Hancock) plan monthly Zoom events for the Astonished! Core Members. Participants had fun figuring out clues at the October event, an escape room with District 3 Escape Rooms. The November craft project, decorating a Christmas stocking, was messy but fun. At the December event participants will watch ‘Elf’ and see who has the ‘ugliest Christmas sweater’.  Prior to each event the Astonished! staff prepare packages (snacks, craft supplies, etc.) for each participant and drop the packages off at their houses. It is a great way to be together when we have to be apart. Check out our events calendar for upcoming events.

Thank you City of Regina | Municipal Government for the Social Development Grant, which partially funds our monthly Astonished! Social Club event!

Elisa delivering craft supplies
Escape Room

Welcome Nile Sophia Myburg

We are delighted to welcome Nile Sophia Myburgh (River of Wisdom), daughter to Melissa Turbuck and Corne Myburg. Nile was born November 16, 2020. We feel like Nile is already part of the community because Mel worked as the Astonished! Program Coordinator through her pregnancy. We wish this wee family lots of love, fun, and sleep. 

Thanks to A! Student Researcher, Kaitlyn Hoar, for organizing a surprise baby shower on Zoom the week before Nile’s arrival. Mel was completely surprised, Corne was an insider on the party details. 
Emma and Sean

Welcome Back
Emma Hancock

We are delighted to have Emma back on the team in her new role as Interim Program Coordinator covering Mel’s maternity leave.
Welcome Emma!
This is what Emma has to say about her return:
I loved Astonished! so much, I just couldn’t leave! After finishing my fieldwork in August, I had a long two month wait before getting to come back but this time with a new role - Interim Program Coordinator. Melissa has been working hard to teach me her ways so that I can try to fill her shoes while she’s getting to know baby Nile! I am looking forward to getting to work with Astonished! in this new light, focusing my time on program planning, and planning social events. All while getting to hangout with some of my favourite people! 

I was born in North Battleford but have lived in Regina for most of my life. After starting my fieldwork in April, I found out that I went to the same school as three of our Student Researchers throughout my school years - Kennen in Grenfell, Avery at LeBoldus, and Kelsey in university! It’s a small world! Outside of Astonished! I coach competitive swimming with Flatland Swimming. I have 19 young and eager swimmers that I have the pleasure of learning from every day. Person-centeredness is a concept that I believe in both at Astonished! as well as when developing my young athletes. 

Grow Gratitude 2020

Grow Gratitude is the Astonished! Inc. annual Fall Fundraising Campaign. Grow Gratitude raises money to fund the innovative and vital work of Astonished! and shares stories of gratitude. 80% of our annual budget comes from generous donors like you. We invite you to support Astonished! and share your story with us. We are better together!  With your help, we are working together with young adults with complex physical disAbilities to reach their dreams, thus creating an innovative and vital expression of social inclusion. All donations of $15 or more receive a charitable tax receipt. The 2020 Grow Gratitude campaign runs from November 1 to December 31. With your help we are now at 54% of our $20,000 goal.
Your donations contribute to the vitality of this innovative expression
of social inclusion. 
Thank You.
We are indeed Better Together!

Gala 2021

Put March 6, 2021 on your calendar! The Spring Gala planning team are working behind the scenes to create a special event. We will miss being together-in-person so they want the A! Spring Gala to be a meaningful, fun event where we can connect with one another and the work of Astonished! Details will be revealed in the new year.

University of Regina 3737 Wascana Parkway | Regina, SK | S4S 0A2 CA
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