June 2015


“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

                                                                                                                       Winston Churchill

June 30, 2015

To paraphrase a well-known movie, “It’s a Wonderful Year.”  Last year, the Board of Directors went out on a limb and chose to give out $1,000 HOST Program awards to 22 students from 17 Ottawa high schools, an increase of six awards. Based on my financial estimate, this commitment would force us to deplete our reserve by about $6,000.  The dilemma is always to balance the number of awards against current and expected future donations.  We strive to make sure that, if most of our recipients are not yet in grade 12, we will be able to support them through graduation.  To our surprise and extreme gratitude, this year’s donations exceeded my estimates by over $14,000! 

In June, the Board was once again faced with the same dilemma: by how much can we increase the number of awards and not risk our ability to support recipients until graduation? I am delighted to announce that we will add 13 schools and give out 34 awards next year.

These are the 30 schools that will participate in the HOST Program in 2015-16:

                   Current schools                                                     New schools                          

Cairine Wilson          Canterbury                    Bell                                        Brookfield

Colonel By               Garneau                        Glebe Collegiate Institute         Hillcrest

Gisèle-Lalonde         Gloucester                     Lisgar Collegiate                     Louis Riel

Immaculata             Lester B. Pearson           Merivale                                 Notre Dame

Mother Teresa          Rideau                          Ottawa Technical Institute        Sir Guy Carleton

Ridgemont               Sir Wilfrid Laurier          St. Francis Xavier                     St. Joseph

St. Matthew             St. Patrick                     Woodroffe                               

St. Paul                   St. Peter                                                                            

St. Pius                                                                                                                   

We are very excited that we are getting closer to our goal of supporting at least one student from each of the 51 youth high schools in Ottawa.  In order to accomplish this feat, we need your continued support.  If you are a donor, I will send out a reminder email to you on the one-year anniversary of your donation.  Please renew your donation so we can continue to support students in need of our help to graduate high school.

In April, we welcomed four new members to the Board of Directors:

·      David Hill, Q.C. O.C

·      Carman Joynt

·      Dena Splinter

·      Michael van Aanhout

They bring experience and skills that will allow us to continue to expand our reach into the community.  At the same time, we said goodbye to Leanne Bergeron whose increased workload as a school Guidance Counsellor limited her availability to the Board.

As usual, I have included a financial statement as well as excerpts from the letters that I have received from this year’s recipients.  I hope you enjoy reading them; they clearly demonstrate the impact that your donations are making on these students’ lives.

If you have any questions or comments, please email me at rlussier@rogers.com.  Our web site, www.host-program.org, has been re-designed to make it easier to navigate.  You will find information about our Board of Directors, previous President’s Reports and excerpts from every letter that we have received from the recipients.

With my best regards and good wishes for a safe and enjoyable summer.


Richard Lussier

(613) 830-3633


hostprogram@rogers.com    © RICHARD LUSSIER 2016