Throughout Lutherwood’s 50-year heritage, many who have connected with the agency choose to stay. Ann Van Norman has helped the organization grow and thrive for more than two decades. A long-time Lutherwood Board of Governors member and former Chair of the Lutherwood Child and Family Foundation Board, Ann’s philosophy is to give 100% of herself into everything she does, and it shows.
“Being on boards isn’t important to me, community work is important to me,” Ann said as she reminisced about being Board Chair of the Cambridge YWCA, and Board Chair of Cambridge Interfaith Family Counselling when it became part of Lutherwood in 1998.
A retired high school teacher, Ann occasionally referred students to Lutherwood. So, to be part of the organization’s governance was a great fit for her. Ann continues to do amazing things for everyone at Lutherwood, whether it’s with face-to-face interactions with youth, staff and volunteers, or holding her own in the board rooms. She’s a catalyst, an innovator and an ideas-person who is happy to put in the work and make ideas happen.
Those ideas include a past annual event called Women at Play which brought hundreds of women together for presentations and “funshops”, to raise money for the Foundation. More recently, she and her mother orchestrated the making of over 200 masks for front line Lutherwood staff with the Trillium United Church Knotters, who also make dozens of quilts for youth at Lutherwood’s Children’s Mental Health Centre. And, for this year’s virtual Steps for Kids, she offered her community neighbours a walk through the nature trail on her beautiful property in exchange for donations.
"Being a part of seeing great ideas take shape has been amazing. Lutherwood is always about providing a service filled with care and compassion." — Ann
This summer, Ann was planning on stepping back to spend more time with her husband Alan, children and grandchildren. However, when the call came asking her to remain on the board for another term through these difficult times, Ann happily agreed.
“Being a part of seeing so many great ideas take shape over the years has been amazing. There is never a dull moment and I always feel valued. It’s always about providing a service filled with care and compassion, and that is key to what Lutherwood is.”