Cowichan Family Life Association, also known as CFLA, has been supporting individuals and families in the Cowichan Valley since 1970.
Bruce McGuigan is President of the board for the non-profit.
“CFLA has been around for four decades as a small family service, and community service organization” says McGuigan.
“We train people to be peer counsellors in the community. We also provide a little bit of professional counselling services. Right now one of our principle programs is our men dealing with anger program, to learn coping strategies to deal with anger.”
CFLA runs all these programs on just $100,000 annually. Which is why the organization is hosting its 25th fundraising Garden Tour on Sunday May 12.
“It’s a huge amount of our revenue for the year,” says McGuigan. “It’s our principal area of fundraising that we do ourselves — in terms of having volunteers come out and do fundraising for the organization.”
One of the gardens to be featured on May 12 is Gary and Carrie Saville’s, who live in Duncan.
“I knew nothing about Cowichan Family Life,” says Gary Saville. “Although I live in Cowichan Valley, I’d never heard of them before.”
And he was pleased to help the non-profit, by agreeing to be part of the Garden Tour.
“We’ve been through some tough times ourselves with our family, and I know people fall on hard times, and it’s very important to have that support. I think they’re under-resourced, and they need to get the word out there. It’s a tremendous thing they do.”
Tina Short, organizer of the 2019 Garden Tour, agrees.
“We really do need the support – it is the main fundraiser for the Cowichan Family Life,” said Short.
There are six gardens on this year’s tour.
“We always want variety,” says Short, “so we have one on our tour that’s 15 acres, and then we have the Saville’s beautiful, adorable courtyard, and then we actually have a working farm this year. Of course, we have master gardeners at each of our gardens to answer any questions that arise from people that may be on the tour.”
“I really hope a lot of people take advantage of the tour,” says McGuigan.
“It’s a great thing to do for Mother’s Day, and all of that funding goes to support the programs that we run as a community service organization.”