On September 18th, members from 34 chapters came together at the 42nd National Christ Child Society Convention in Scottsdale, Arizona, at the beautiful FireSky Resort.  While the attendees registered, National Board members were on hand to welcome everyone and answer any questions they had.  The convention seminars began at 3pm with Nuts & Bolts of Strategic Planning and Hit the Ground Running: Board Orientation being presented.  Following these seminars, a free wine reception was held in the FireSky lobby which was very well attended!!  Dinner on Thursday night was very special. We had attendees randomly choose a table number to sit at and we ate dinner outside under the stars at the Oasis Lagoon.  The evening concluded with a candlelight commitment ritual ceremony for chapter presidents and representatives and each chapter received a special commemorative Christ Child votive to take back to their chapters. 

Friday began with breakfast followed by the attendee’s choice of the following seminars:  Use of Social Media to Get Your Story Told; Report Card Time-Program Evaluations; Sharing the Wealth: Knowledge you can Gain From Grant Seeking Victories; and Focus on the “Fun” in Fundraising.  We then gathered together as one group for two separate panel discussions-one on membership and one on program which we called The Heart and Soul of Christ Child Society.  Although these panel discussions were facilitated by a National Board member, they could not have been done without the knowledge and expertise of several chapter members.  The majority of this year’s seminars were presented by members of the National Board whose hard work and dedication made each of the presentations not only educational but enjoyable as well. And a huge thank you to the many chapters that either presented during the convention or gave us the knowledge we needed to present your wonderful ideas to the convention attendees! 

If the noise level at lunch was any indication, the attendees had plenty to talk about and share with other chapter members and the new friends they had made since arriving in Scottsdale!! Our speaker during lunch, Corine Raygoza of the New Life Center, gave a very moving talk about the impact that the Christ Child Society of Phoenix has made at their domestic abuse center.  Our lunch concluded with the Phoenix chapter handing out handmade Teddy Bears to each chapter in attendance. We were all in awe at the talent found in the Phoenix chapter!! These beautiful bears are made with much love and given out with Phoenix’s Bedtime Bags project. 

After lunch, we all gathered once again for the final seminar of the convention-Communication Skills for Women Leaders-which was presented to us by Erin Lawler.  Erin is National Board member Joan Watkin’s daughter.    The seminar was interactive, educational and thoroughly delightful and we all left with new ideas on better ways to communicate our story and new techniques to interact with each other.

A fantastic Raffle was held on Friday evening and the wonderful donated items brought in over $5,000!! Thank you to Dorothy Pauly, Anne Kroha and Dorothy Kennedy for the superb job they did organizing the entire raffle and to every chapter and person who donated!

Our dinner Friday concluded with live entertainment provided by the Scottsdale International Club!  Dancers ranging in age from 3-18 dazzled us with their moves-a few attendees also dazzled us from the sidelines!!  And if this was not enough, attendees gathered together at the end of convention in the Fuego Room to discuss the day’s events, share ideas and also have more dessert since the Detroit chapter surprised Maureen Wesley with a sheet cake wishing her well and thanking her for all she has done for the Christ Child Society.

National Reports were given on Saturday along with our Annual Business meeting. At the meeting, Duluth was awarded Provisional Status while Baltimore became a chartered chapter.  Congratulations to both chapters! Since we ended early, attendees were able to relax before the evening’s festivities.  Phoenix member Julie Berkel planned a beautiful Mass for us at the Old Adobe Mission in Old Scottsdale.  Layettes from every chapter were taken up to the altar at the beginning of Mass and these layettes were then donated to the Phoenix chapter.  Following Mass, Fr. Ralph Wiatrowski installed the new National Board Members. Congratulations to all the board members but especially our new President, Anne Kelley!

At dinner, we had much to celebrate …Atlanta marked 10 years of service to children in need.  The Pasadena chapter was our Red Wagon Grant Recipient for their Christ Child Treasures program and they received a $500 grant which they graciously then donated to the Baltimore chapter so they could purchase more books for their Hooked on Books program!  The Membership award was given to the Sarasota chapter for the highest percentage of membership growth over the past two years.  Congratulations to all our winners and to the other nominees who are also winners in our eyes!

It was a fun-filled, exciting four days in Scottsdale.  Thank you to all the members of the Phoenix chapter for their help, their knowledge and their welcoming presence. You are an amazing group of ladies!  We were all together in mission-we shared ideas, we supported one another and hopefully, the knowledge we took away will help us better serve our chapters.

We are all looking forward to Conference 2015 which will be held in the Washington area in September 2015.  Details will be sent out as soon as arrangements are made.  We hope to see you all then!

Information from the Presentations

Note:  Please click on the title to access the associated document

Nuts & Bolts of Strategic Planning  (Presenters - Anne Kelley and Mary Graves)
Strategic Planning Power Point Presentation
Strategic Planning Checklist
Example of a CCS Strategic Plan
Example of a CCS Strategic Plan Report

Hit the Ground Running: Board Orientation  (Presenters - Maureen Wesley and Elaine Szot)
Board Orientation Power Point Presentation
Board Orientation Checklist
Example of a CCS Chapter Board Orientation Package
CCS of Detroit Organization Chart

Use of Social Media to Get Your Story Told  (Presenter - Elizabeth Anderson)
Use of Social Media To Get Your Story Told Power Point Presentation
Social Media Planner
Selecting Social Media Channels Checklist
List of Chapters Using Social Media Channels

Report Card Time - Program Evaluations  (Presenters - Joan Watkins and Ellen O'Brien)
Report Cards - Program Evaluations Power Point Presentation
Samples of a Program Evaluation (pdf)
Board Summary for Layettes Document
Board Summary for Programs Document
Mission Focused Evaluation Document
Sample Layette Questionnaire Document
Sample Program Questionnaire Document
Volunteer Questionnaire Document

Sharing the Wealth: Knowledge You Can Gain From Grant-Seeking Victories  (Presenter - Deb Low)
Sharing the Wealth Power Point Presentation
Sample of a Corporate Grant Request
Example of an Acknowledgement of a Grant from a Community Foundation
Faith Based Narrative for Grant Applications
Example of a Request to a Private Foundation
Helpful Reminders

Focus on the "FUN" in Fundraising: Ten Fundraising Ideas  (Presenters - Marybeth Baucco and Joan Watkins)
Fundraising Power Point Presentation
Examples of Fundraising

The Heart and Soul of Christ Child Society: Membership Panel Discussion  (Facilitator - Cheryle Mackie)
Akron Chapter
Summit Chapter
Texas Capital Chapter
Washington Chapter
 - Guild Formation
 - New Guild Guidelines
 - Girls on the Rise Sample Case

The Heart and Soul of Christ Child Society: Programs Panel Discussion  (Facilitator - Linda Brammer)
Columbus Chapter
Milwaukee Chapter
South Bend Chapter
Toledo Chapter

Communication Skills for Women Leaders  (Key Note Speaker - Erin E. Lawler, Esq.)
Communication Skills for Women Leaders Power Point Presentation

The following information was shared with the delegates before the Annual Business Meeting began:

Annual Business Meeting

Note:  Please click on the title to access the associated document

Amendments to Bylaws (Kaye Rowe)

2014-2016 Slate of NCCS Officers and Directors at Large (Patty Myler)

2015 Budget (Joan Watkins)

President's Report (Maureen Wesley)

NCCS Office Report (Carolyn Pumphrey)

Treasurer's Update Report (Joan Watkins)

Membership and Expansion Report (Cheryle Mackie)

Canonization Update Report (Roseanne Anderson)

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