Congratulations to Mike and Fran Reid

The Calgary Police Commission Community Policing Awards honour individuals, groups, organizations and businesses that contribute in an extraordinary way to improve police policy and the ability of the Calgary Police Service to serve the community.  The Foundation is extremely proud to congratulate Mike and Fran Reid who were selected for this prestigious award in the category of “Corporate Business”.

Mike and Fran Reid are franchise owner/operators of six Tim Horton restaurants in N.E. Calgary and have been supporting the Youth at Risk Development (YARD) program since 2009.

Mike and Fran have been providing an incredible gift to YARD.  Up to 11 YARD teams, comprised of a CPS Officer and a social worker, together work with youth ages 10 to 17 who are at risk of gang activity or exhibiting behaviour which puts them at risk.  The overall caseload averages 110 youth per year.

The Tim Horton’s franchise owner/operators, husband and wife team, have been providing unlimited meal vouchers every year for the YARD teams to provide at-risk youth with a fulfilling meal when they meet with the Officers.  These donors understand that connecting with troubled youth can be most difficult. They also understand that often a day goes by without a hot meal.  They were compelled to help.  They felt the interaction between youth and Officers could be much more effective in a comfortable setting with a hot meal at their restaurants.  The YARD clients and the professional teams are never rushed – they are encouraged enjoy a hot meal, to hang out, and beyond chatting, are even encouraged to stay to play board games.

The Reids’ have been contributing to the community and policing in this manner for over ten years now.  In that time, the program has positively impacted over 1,000 relationships between at-risk youth and the many teams of CPS Officers and social workers.

CPF also congratulates nominee Sergeant Jim Gourley of the CPS Canine Unit, nominated for his commitment and dedication to producing the annual K9 Hero Calendars which is the Foundation’s number one annual fundraiser. 

Volunteer Spotlight – Joel

At CPF we know our volunteers are great and pretty special. Joel Matthews is no exception. Joel is engaging, bright and incredibly knowledgeable about the Foundation.

In April, Joel attended the volunteer appreciation night with his wife Angie, and volunteered at the Canadian Energy Executive Association Governors Ball helping with the putting golf station with daughter, and CPF Youth Ambassador, Bronwyn. Joel was also critical in the success of CPF’s community booth at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo.

Joel volunteers at Victory Outreach and is involved in ensuring 30 – 40 kids on “Youth Nights” are fed. He also oversees the food preparation on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday which can host up to 300 people over one meal. Joel can connect with anyone and he has been such an asset in the execution of CPF events.

The Value of Partnerships

The Calgary Police Foundation sincerely values our partnerships.  It is through supporters like these that the Foundation raises the money needed to fund six youth-based programs that require $2M annually.  These funds impact 9,000 youth every year aged 5 – 17.


We are thrilled the Canadian Energy Executive Association (CEEA) has selected the Calgary police Foundation as a featured charity for 2019.


Thank you, TELUS Friendly Future Foundation, for the grant to support CPF in its Integrated School Support Program funded by CPF.  @friendlyfuture  #supportingcommunity #supportingkids


Thank you for another amazing year of media support from Corus Entertainment/Global TV for over $80,000 in-kind committed in 2019.  The CPF message simply cannot reach our audience without such dedicated and caring media partners. 


CPF is very pleased to welcome a new supporter – Pembina Pipeline Corporation.  Pembina has made a 3- year pledge to the Foundation, specifically supporting the Integrated School Support Program (ISSP).  When asked why they selected this wrap-around fully integrated program in two NE schools, John Young, Pembina’s Vice President of Community & Aboriginal Affairs, and a former Calgary Police Officer himself, had this to share. 

“It underlines how crucial these kinds of programs can be for vulnerable youth. At Pembina we’re committed to building safe and healthy communities, and programs like the ISSP help achieve this by ensuring that kids have the resources and support they need to reach their full potential. Pembina is proud to support the ISSP through our partnership with the Calgary Police Foundation, and from my time as a Police Officer I know what a positive impact this initiative will have on the lives of local kids, their families and their communities.”

Go Flames Go – Ticket Sales Convert to Charity Dollars

Did you know third party event fundraisers can come from ticket sales? The Calgary Police Foundation is privileged to be a partner charity of the Calgary Flames Foundation.

The Calgary Flames graciously set aside a section for the March 21 and 29 games for CPF as well as a website specifically for CPF ticket sales. $5 from every ticket sold on these nights came directly back to the Foundation to support our six youth programs. The Calgary Flames have also generously supported the Foundation with signed jerseys and hockey sticks which have been used for draws at our events.

(Photo by Mark Shannon/Calgary Flames)

The Foundation is also fortunate to have James Neal as a program ambassador for the Power Play program. James regularly volunteered his time this winter to help coach and skate with the Power Play program kids.

Reflections of a Retiring Executive Director

Marla Cohen, Executive Director of the Calgary Police Foundation

She announced her retirement four years ago – from a different organization.  That lasted less than a year when another youth-based not-for-profit caught her attention.  But now, she really is trading in her office, desk, and computer – for travel, volunteer work, golf, photography lessons, and her interests in wildlife.

Marla Cohen, Executive Director of the Calgary Police Foundation (CPF) has officially announced her retirement, and this time we think she means it! 

A friend of Marla’s serving on the CPF Board of Directors introduced Marla to the Foundation by asking her to assist in fundraising in 2015.  Marla jumped into her volunteer role with two feet to develop a robust resource development program.  It wasn’t much later that Marla was asked to join as a staff member.

“A few meetings and I was hooked,” says Marla.  “I saw an organization that was giving kids a voice, helping them in critical times in their young lives.  I saw Calgary Police Officers dedicating their expertise and compassion to helping young kids under the age of 18.  Helping them to make better life choices to stay out of a life of criminality, and to better protect themselves from becoming a young victim.” 

When Marla joined as the Director, Resource Development at CPF, the organization was under the expert leadership of Tara Robinson.  Tara had the dual role of Executive Director for both CPF and YouthLink Calgary.

“Working with Tara is a highlight of my nearly four years with the Foundation – we worked extremely hard, but also took time to celebrate our successes – large and small.”

Eventually the role and expectations of CPF grew and the Board recognized that the two organizations had outgrown a single leader.  “I was honoured to be asked to take the reigns at CPF in July 2017,” says Marla.  “I continued building our small but dynamic staff team, and we grew exponentially alongside our exclusive partner, the Calgary Police Service, to achieve the Foundation’s goal of safe kids.”

Marla officially kicks off the Paws for Compassion campaign at Jelly Modern Doughnuts with Cali at her side

Marla’s leadership has seen many new campaigns and fundraisers developed and executed, and it is fair to say that the awareness of CPF both within the CPS family, as well as with Calgarians in general, has grown significantly. 

“What has me jumping out of bed every morning has been the opportunity to work with a team of professionals including Police Officers, social workers, teachers, health care professionals, and those who came to us simply because they wanted to help,” says Marla.  People like James Neal of the Calgary Flames, Cassie Campbell-Pascall, Cindy Klassen, and Akeem Haynes – all Canadian Olympic medalists, media celebrities like Leslie Horton, Eric Francis, Hot Rod Harriet, and Phoenix.

But if you asked Marla what her very favourite memory is, she will tell you it has been the opportunity to increase the positive impact in children’s lives with all the special opportunities that CPF was able to introduce.  Those included making it possible for presentations to young students with a police tradition – a challenge coin for their accomplishments in school.  Supporting yoga classes led by a CPS officer with mats and supplies for the two Integrated School Support Program (ISSP) schools.  Developing the CPF youth and family ambassador program.  Giving kids the opportunity to dream big when they met Canadian Olympic athletes or local sport heroes like Bo Levi Mitchell of the Calgary Stampeders.  Developing and launching the successful Paws for Compassion campaign with CPS Victim Assistance Support Team and Justice Facility Dogs this past May.

“Every time we could do something special for the kids, it would make me so proud of the Foundation, and all that we have been able to accomplish in three short years,” says a proud Executive Director.  “The entire team feels the tug at their heart strings every time we get to interact with the kids and the Officers.  To personally see the difference we are making – that is what I will take with me for the rest of my life,” says Marla.

Some of Marla’s favourite CPF moments include spending time with youth ambassadors like Phil Luu, Matthew Zelaya, and Bronwyn Matthews.  Interacting with supporters that sincerely care and make a difference to our community like the staff at the Shaw Charity Classic and its Patrons Group.  “They put so much work and passion into what they do, and their effort has resulted in millions of dollars being donated to Alberta charities – our Foundation being one of them,” exclaims Marla.

Marla has also been moved to tears when program participants like Mom Jacqui and son Jeff (names have been changed) come forward to share their story – to see what they had to endure and happily, where they are now.   When parents send in beautifully written letters to share what a difference CPF has made in rebuilding a strong and healthy family that would never have been possible without funding from CPF.

“We all work with a shared vision – and that is to keep our kids safe.  When I get to meet the families that have been helped by our funding and all the program professionals, my heart surges.  There is no other reward than seeing a hurting family be supported back to health, with CPF being one of the organizations to help make that happen.”

Marla also thoroughly enjoyed working with CPS units such as Canine and Public Affairs Media Relations to create, market and sell the annual K9 Hero wall calendars.  Working with new partners such as the Pacific Assistance Dogs Society, and the CPS Victim Assistance Support Team to create a brand new campaign called “Paws For Compassion.  Because We Care”. The campaign has partnered with Jelly Modern Doughnuts in creating a special “Hawk and Calibri” (Justice Facility Dogs) custom doughnut.  The wonderful feedback from the community on the vital work these two dogs are doing, along with our two organizations, has been overwhelming” says Marla.

“I am also humbled at the tremendous growth CPF has seen from the public.  When I started with the organization, there was not a single third party event held by citizens or organizations to financially benefit the Foundation.  Now there are at least 25 such events,” says Marla.  “Our role as a fundraising organization means we work tirelessly to raise $2M annually.  Cracking open new industries, meeting new people and organizations, and having the opportunity to share the CPF story with new sponsors and donors is also high on my list of favourite memories,” shares Marla.

I asked Marla what her final message would be to the public about why one might want to consider supporting the CPF.  Her answer makes a lot of sense. 

Having chartered the course for CPF since 2017, Marla feels CPF’s greatest opportunity is continued growth in people hearing about, knowing about, and understanding the true impact of CPF.  “We reach 9,000 kids every year, so you know we are already making a difference.”

And the question that everyone asks a friend who is retiring – “how do you plan to fill your time?”  Marla gives a little chuckle and it makes me think she’s not totally bought into this retirement plan of personal pursuits yet.  “Well, I think how much fun it would be to develop and organize an annual iconic third party fundraising event for CPF.”

Somehow I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Marla – she promises to keep in touch with CPF through her volunteer work.   “I have made many friends at CPF and within the entire CPS family – you won’t see the end of me anytime soon,” says Marla.  “I am completely confident that CPF will continue to grow and be successful.  If there’s a role for me to stay involved as a volunteer, well, you don’t have to ask me twice,” states a smiling Marla.

On behalf of the entire police family, from the Calgary Police Foundation staff and Board, the Calgary Police Service, the youth programs and their leads and participants, the families and kids, the Calgary Police Association, Back the Blue, the Calgary Police Commission and everyone who Marla has touched with her warm heart and endless generosity, we all say a huge thank you.

“Thank you Marla for your dedication and sincerity, your leadership and empathy.  For your meticulous attention to building strong relationships and taking care of people.  We all wish you the best of life to come as you open a new chapter in your life.”

“We are stronger together.  Collectively, we can achieve the unthinkable – we CAN change more lives and save more lives of youth in Calgary.”Marla Cohen

We are a Charity of Choice for Shaw Birdies for Kids presented by AltaLink!

Since 2013, the Shaw Charity Classic has raised more than $34 million for over 180 children and youth-based charities in Alberta. The Foundation is elated and incredibly honoured to once again be selected as a member of the Shaw Charity Classic’s Official Charity Partner Program. The Foundation is privileged to be recognized by the community for improving the lives of children and youth in Calgary.  

In 2018 the Shaw Charity Classic set an ambitious goal of raising $10 million for charity – a number that would outdo the 2017 record of $8.3 million. The goal and tournament record were shattered with $12.3 million raised for charities across Alberta. The tournament is aiming to set another record in 2019 and has already set a record for charitable giving on the PGA TOUR Champions for six straight years. 

Shaw Birdies for Kids presented by AltaLink is a non-profit program run under the Calgary Shaw Charity Classic Foundation. It is a program designed to help raise funds for local charities, engage the community in the tournament, and provide matching funds for each charity involved. 100% of all donated funds through the Foundation will go directly towards the charity selected. For any generous contribution, up to 50% will be matched by BFK and the funds will go directly to your chosen charity.

To donate to the Calgary Police Foundation and have your donations to Shaw Birdies for Kids matched as described above visit https://shawcharityclassic.com/donate/cpf/

Fun for the Family!

From bouncy castles to beer gardens there is something to put a smile on everyone’s face. Visit ShawCharityClassic.com for more information on the tournament and events, ticket purchase, and the many ways you can support the Birdies for Kids.

For special discounted tickets to the event this summer visit ShawCharityClassic.com and use promo code BFK2019.

HE Shoots – WE Score!

James Neal with Power Play Participants at a Calgary Flames home game.

While cities home to NHL teams benefit in more ways than simply hosting a professional hockey team, the Calgary Flames are considered one of the most community-minded and charitable teams in the National Hockey League. Every Flame player has the ability to change a life simply because he cares – and they do.

Brian Burke, former President of Hockey Operations for the Flames once said that giving back is in this team’s DNA. It is engrained in the ownership’s culture and players give back on their own accord. They love it.  So do we.

If the current players with their arduous playing season is not enough, the Calgary Police Foundation (CPF) also benefits tremendously from the Calgary Flames Foundation, and the Calgary Flames Alumni.

“All three of these Flames groups are very supportive of our critical work with youth at the CPF” says Marla Cohen, Executive Director.  “They are involved in a number of our funded programs including Power Play, the Integrated School Support Program (ISSP), and the Multi Agency School Support Team (MASST).”

During Christmas 2017, Johnny Gaudreau visited a MASST family with a young boy whose dream was to meet him and to one day play hockey. That child will never forget Johnny’s visit.

Calgary Flames player Travis Hamonic asked CPF to identify young children who have lost a parent early in their lives.  This replicates Travis’s childhood when his father died of a major heart attack when Travis was only ten years old.  Travis’s “D Partner Program” brings young kids and their family from the ISSP and MASST programs to a Flames home game for VIP treatment.  Travis sits down with each family to share stories about their lost family member(s), is passionately interested in how they are doing, and asks how they are coping with their new reality. This is the second year Travis has generously included the CPF and to Travis we say a heartfelt thanks.

Calgary Flames player James Neal contacted the CPF requesting to get involved with Power Play.  Power Play hosts an estimated 150 kids at Max Bell Arena every Wednesday to skate and play hockey with volunteer Police Officers.  James will be skating as his Flames schedule allows, will sign autographs, and meet with the families who are excited fans on the rink’s sidelines.  What’s more, James is inviting three youngsters to join a Police Officer for each of 11 home games this season also with VIP treatment. Time spent at each Flames game for three kids and an Officer is so impactful as the kids not only enjoy a thrilling NHL game, they also learn that Police Officers are their friend and a trusted adult – a critically important outcome of the Power Play program.  All thanks to James.

In 2018, the Calgary Flames Foundation, which is prominent throughout our city supporting many charities, made a significant donation of $20,000 to the CPF to be directed to the Power Play program.   “We strongly believe in the power of sport, at all ages, but especially for kids.  Paired with strong mentorship, the Flames and Flames Foundation are strong supporters of the Power Play program and the difference it is making in our community,” said Executive Director of the Calgary Flames Foundation, Candice Goudie.  “Hockey is more than just a game, and programs like this prove that.”

“This donation is a very sizeable contribution to our annual fundraising efforts for Power Play,” says Cohen.  “We simply could not do it without the Calgary Flames Foundation’s support.”

If all of this isn’t enough, in December the Calgary Flames Alumni contacted the CPF suggesting they would like to do a Calgary Flames Alumni Toy Drive to benefit some of our program families on Christmas Eve.  As the inaugural year, the Alumni suggested adopting 11 families. Calgary Flames Defenceman (2003 – 2008), Rhett Warrener asked Flames fans to bring an unwrapped gift to the December 21 game.  Before the puck dropped, the Alumni and their families were overwhelmed by the incredible generosity of fans. Turns out, the families did not only receive toys – but also gift cards for groceries, small home appliances that were missing from their cupboards, and so much more.

“We had a great time delivering the gifts and hampers, and sharing Christmas spirit with the families we visited,” said Curtis Glencross, Calgary Flames player (2008 – 2015) and recipient of the Ralph T. Scurfield Humanitarian Award in 2012 for his extensive Calgary community involvement.  “We would like to thank the many fans who made it all possible by donating so generously, and a very special thanks to the Calgary Police Service who drove us and our special deliveries to the families’ homes all day.  We are already looking forward to next year.”

On Christmas Eve morning, the Flames Alumni along with members of the Calgary Police Service loaded up the gifts that had been wrapped by the Alumni families, and delivered them to ISSP families who could really use the surprise visit.  “December 24 was not a typical day for us as Calgary Police Officers,” says Constable Shawn Morash who joined the delivery brigade with the Alumni.  “We know it is a pretty special opportunity to visit a home on a more personal level, where everyone is smiling and happy.” I

“Partnering with the CPF and CPS, Christmas was made possible for families who are doing their best just to make ends meet and would otherwise go without,” says Gillian Bowerman, Manager, Youth and Child Wellness Section. 

And what did the ISSP families think of all this?

“Everything in the hampers was great!! The kids really enjoyed it and the gift certificates were perfect for helping with the meals. The guys who dropped the hamper off, including the camera guy, CPS officers and hockey alumni, were AWESOME and came in and interacted with the kids. We honestly couldn’t have asked for anything more. It was awesome!!!

“It was really, really good. The kids enjoyed it but were a bit shy! Overall it was just incredible. This “made” Christmas, and if not for this there would have been no Christmas at all. It was greatly appreciated!”

On behalf of the CPF and the CPS which is the exclusive partner of our programs, we shout a huge “YEAH BABY” – our city’s famous hockey cheer first coined by NHL Hockey Hall of Fame Calgary Flames announcer Peter Maher.

“We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all players, fans, and staff – we are privileged to see the difference you are making to vulnerable kids and their families every day,” says Cohen.

As we head towards the NHL playoffs, all of us at CPF are cheering on our Flames and the “C of Red” –  Go Flames Go!

Photos courtesy of Jenn Pierce and Terence Leung, Calgary Flames photographers.