My first project as Dogwood’s new Development Assistant was to help plan our 10th Anniversary party.  It turns out planning a 10th anniversary party is probably the best way to get to know your new place of employment, its history, supporters, friends and sponsors.

Dogwood has developed a vast community over its 10 years.  The lists of these started out long and as the date neared continued to get longer.  More supporters, more partners, more businesses were brought forward by the staff – “can’t forget so-and-so”, “don’t forget to ask such-and-such!”  As I reviewed the lists again and again I became intimately aware of all the names of our supporters; though I would have to wait for the party to put faces to all those names.

A new set of names also came forward as we neared the anniversary. New businesses that had never worked with Dogwood before were thrilled at being asked to participate and quickly offered up silent auction items with words of gratitude for the projects Dogwood works on.  A quick email to students at UVIC gathered a new crowd to the party to mingle with the gathering of founders, past staff, board members and long-time supporters.

As I struck out to find photos for a slideshow I learned more about Dogwood’s progress and actions over the years.  Photos abounded of Dogwood work with First Nations, young people, Raging Grannies, coastal British Columbian’s and northern residents.  It became clear that Dogwood has touched people throughout BC and has worked on some of the most important issues in the province.

It’s fitting that Dogwood Initiative’s 10th Anniversary Party included five BRAND NEW staff members.  The team at Dogwood has stretched from eight to 13 almost overnight, demonstrating that Dogwood’s work is as pertinent today as it was 10 years ago.

What better way could there possibly be to excite and engage new staff than to bring together the amazing community of people that have brought Dogwood to where it is today?  What better way could there possibly be to reassure the long-time supporters than to show a growing Dogwood – full of people inspired to continue the mission?  What better way could there be to celebrate 10 strong years and push our way into the next 10?

Happy Birthday Dogwood!