It is with much gratitude and heartfelt thanks that we say goodbye this summer to two long-standing Kids Up Front board members, Nora Stephens and Tahira Karim-Jetha.

Nora Stephens has served on the local chapter’s board for 10 years, as well as making significant contributions nationally. Nora brought incredible energy, enthusiasm and passion to her time with Kids Up Front. Nora’s dedication and commitment were evident in all of her activities on behalf of our organization. Nora did not just “host” our annual general meetings, but rather, created memorable evenings combining business, friendship, food, warmth and a genuine sense of a Kids Up Front family. She opened up her home to us with amazing hospitality, and invited her family to also become champions for Kids Up Front. It was a family affair for Nora; she believed in her family’s responsibility and ability to give back to the community.

Nora never took no for an answer, seeing only possibilities and potential. Her support of our staff and the organization was unwavering and her leadership, guidance and expertise were an incredible asset to Kids Up Front. Nora worked from the ground up, helping us build our organization locally and nationally (travelling on her own expense), and getting to know the daily workings of the office and clients we serve, as well as the donors and sponsors that make it all possible. Nora knew the founders of Kids Up Front, John and Vicky Dalziel, and thus brought knowledge of our humble beginnings as a Calgary-born charity. As one board member wrote to us, “One of the finest board members we have ever had, and that I have had the privilege of serving with….”.   We also heard this, “Nora was on the board for the right reasons. She really just wanted to help and did not view her time on the board with any aspirations at all of anyone ever noticing or recognizing her efforts.” Well, we think we need to recognize your efforts, Nora!  We will miss your incredibly sunny, delightful and exuberant nature; it is hard not to be successful with such a positive force in the room working alongside us! Best wishes as you move on to the next chapter!

Tahira Karim-Jetha joined the board of Kids Up Front in 2012 as an important part of our legal committee.  Through the lens of the Family Law office, Tahira worked steadfastly behind the scenes on imperative legal and administrative needs important to our daily operations as well as for our marquee fundraising event that launched in 2016, Stranded: Water Valley – creating waivers and fundraising agreements, mitigating risks and ensuring compliance are all necessary functions of our legal committee. This can be time consuming and seemingly thankless work. We simply could not have made progress on these initiatives without Tahira’s guidance, countless hours of time, and commitment to completion.  Thank you for offering your expertise to our organization; I think people would be surprised by the sizable contributions that board members make to the non-profit sector.  We see the many hours that it takes to ensure accountability, scrutiny, and good and responsible governance.   Thank you for your leadership, and your giving of time and talents specific to the needs of our organization.  You have been an integral part of our success over the past several years.  We wish you well in your new endeavours!

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