Community engagement manager Kerri Davies retires with fond memories of CMHA
To some, five years might seem like a long time and to others, it may seem like a flash in the pan.
For Kerri Davies, the community engagement manager with the local Canadian Mental Health Association, five years has meant a lot.
Now as she’s set to retire, she’s able to reflect on her accomplishments and her work, which doesn’t go unnoticed in the community.
“I’ll miss the people,” said Davies. “And I’ll miss my team and the people that I got to meet.”
Davies has been the face of the CMHA at community events in the region, where she’s spearheaded dozens of fundraisers for the not-for-profit organization.
One of her most fulfilling endeavours was partnering with the Pogue family to help start the Team 55 Tackle Suicide Program.
An initiative honouring 23-year-old Mitchell Pogue, who died by suicide in 2013.
The Team 55 campaign with help from the community has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, all of which has gone back into local mental-health programs.
Dave Pogue the founder of Team 55 says Davies was instrumental in the success of the initiative that continues to come up with creative and unique fundraising events, like the Breakfast with Babcock event that brought Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock to Peterborough for a special speaking engagement and raised more than $100,000.
Pogue credits Davies for helping execute the events and making them a reality.
“I am just the idea guy,” said Pogue. “I come up with these crazy ideas and I lay it on her [Davies] and she’ll tell me whether it will work or not and she’s always said, ‘Let’s go with it.'”
Pogue says the Team 55 campaign will miss Davies. “We’re going to miss Kerri, she’s done a great job and I know they are going to miss her down at the CMHA.”
Jack Veitch, as health promoter and educator, has worked with the CMHA for 11 years, and spent the past five working side-by-side with Davies and will step into her role.
Veitch admits he has some big shoes to fill but says he’s learned a lot from his colleague.
“I’m hoping just to be able to build on what I’ve seen and watched Kerri do and continue to do so in a way that makes our agency proud,” he said.
Davies says she’s looking forward to retirement and spending more time with her family and plans on doing lots of travelling.
“I just bought tickets this morning to Costa Rica in January for three weeks,” said Davies. “We were going to drive to Arizona this fall but I just couldn’t put my money in the states so that trip to Arizona has been changed to Winnipeg.”
Still, Davies’ idea of retirement might sound busy to others as she’s just accepted a second term as the provincial appointee to the Peterborough Public Health Board and will also sit on the board at The Market Hall performing arts venue and volunteer as vice-chair with the Age-Friendly Peterborough committee.
So, even in retirement, her community work will continue.
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