In May of last year, I was doing a job for my dear friend Carrie Ruschinski, Dying City. It was being directed by Ben Ratner. One day I got a phone call from Ben, asking if I’d be interested in taking on administrative duties for a society he was president of: The Babz Chula Lifeline for Artists. Things were winding down for the summer, so I agreed to meet with Babz.
For any of you who know Babz, this will come as no surprise, but I fell in love with her the moment I met her. Babz has three different types of Cancer, and a few years back, when she had her first bout with Breast Cancer, this group of friends rallied together to form a society to help pay for her medial bills–specifically, treatments not covered by MSP.
So, I took the job on, but in short order, I stopped asking to be paid. My mother died of Cancer, so helping someone else’s mother beat it seems like reward enough to me.
It became apparent to me pretty quickly that the society needed a new website. Donations had basically stopped trickling in, and the site was very old, static, and simple. There was basically one page, not unattractively designed, but I knew it could be so much more.
In the fall, my sweetie, Dave, who works as an instructor at Capilano University’s Interactive Design program, was teaching a course in Project Management, and asked if I had an non-profit clients that needed a website built. It would be a kind of practicum or internship for his students. Needless to say, the Society jumped at the chance, and we were assigned a team of students: Laura Mason as project manager, Sabrina Franco, and Thomas Matthews.
The goal was to create a site that was more interesting, interactive, and easily updateable. Babz had been blogging about her experience of cancer treatment, but the blog lived in two different places, and we needed an admin person to upload her posts. We also wanted to incorporate video, seeing as Babz is a film actor. Finally, we wanted to be able to let folks know what was going on inside the society: celebrity dinners, fund raising efforts, etc.
Here is the old website:
The new website was created using WordPress, and the team created a custom Theme for us. We now have the blog built right in, as well as information about the Board of Directors, Babz, and I’m able to upload photos and stories. I filmed a video Babz doing a video introduction, and we hope that she will eventually be able to do Vlog posts (when she returns from India). It’s a great site, and I’m very proud.
A very special thanks to Dave Rankin, Laura Mason, Sabrina Franco, and Thomas Matthews, and the Interactive Design Department at Capilano University.