Mission Statement: The Teresa Group advances the dignity and well-being of children and their families affected by HIV and AIDS.
Since 1990 The Teresa Group has evolved from providing support to a handful of children and families to an organization with a dedicated team of professional staff providing a broad range of compassionate frontline services to hundreds of local children and families affected by HIV and AIDS. The Teresa Group also coordinates a provincial program to distribute infant formula to new moms living with HIV and is a founding member and fiscal agent for the global Coalition on Children Affected by AIDS. The Teresa Group and the Coalition co-organize an international symposium affiliated with each International AIDS Conference. The Teresa Group provides leadership through example, information, education and innovation.
June 2015 Newsletter
Our latest e-Newsletter is now available online for updates about The Teresa Group and our work and opportunities to support us.
This issue includes a 25th Anniversary Feature Interview with Dr. Stanbley Read (picture below) of Sick Kids Hospital.
PENELOPE MARGARET HOLETON (nee RATHBONE)
December 20, 1941 - May 8, 2015
We at The Teresa Group are very sad to announce that our founder, Penelope Holeton, died on Friday May 8th. Penelope has been described as a “tour de force” – a person who was driven with enormous energy and compassion to provide services for children living with and affected by HIV and AIDS. Penelope started the organization in 1990 after recognizing that much of the HIV and AIDS response was created to serve adults, particularly those in the final stages of illness. Penelope asked “What about the children? What about the diagnosis and the effect it has on an entire family?”
“That planted a seed…” Penelope said in a newspaper article in 1997. “This was also about the time that Bishop Finlay issued his pastoral letter regarding how we treat people with AIDS.” A British-trained nurse, Penelope investigated other AIDS service organisations and agencies that worked with families and realized quickly that work with families needed to happen in the community. She assembled a board of directors and The Teresa Group received the first referral from SickKids Hospital in November 1990. This year, The Teresa Group celebrates its 25th anniversary and serves over 500 children in almost 300 families in the GTA and across Ontario.
We will always be grateful to Penelope for the wonderful start she gave to The Teresa Group – creating a strong, purposeful agency that has always kept the needs of children firmly in its focus.
Penelope Margaret Holeton died peacefully surrounded by family. She is missed deeply by her daughter Elena (Christaan), her grandsons Matteus and Felix, her husband David and her brother Bill. After emigrating from England, Penelope spent a lifetime dedicated to support and care for others, culminating in the founding of The Teresa Group, Canada's first community-based charitable organization specifically serving children affected by HIV and AIDS and their families. Committed to making a difference, Penelope was a dedicated volunteer to multiple organizations, a pillar within the Anglican community, an activist for equal rights and a hostess who made all feel welcome and cared for. She was a deeply loving mother, relative and friend. A funeral will be held on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 at 1 p.m. with visitation on May 18, 2015 from 7-9 p.m. Both will be at the Church of the Redeemer, 162 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON M5S 1M4. For those who wish, donations may be made in lieu of flowers to The Teresa Group or the Church of the Redeemer.
Published in the Toronto Star on May 12, 2015
October 27th 1968-April 22nd 2015
Scott Gibson joined The Teresa Group Board of Directors in 2011. He served first as Treasurer and then, for the past two years, as our President. Scott was a passionate and dedicated leader who gave so much energy to The Teresa Group. He inspired us all with his positive outlook, brave determination and constant humour. Scott was a person with an incredibly generous spirit. He was a very positive and welcoming Board member – always present with a wide smile and a wonderful laugh. He was always focused on recognizing the excellent work of The Teresa Group staff. Even after his cancer diagnosis he continued to go above and beyond his Board role for as long as he was able.
Scott bravely and openly shared the ups and downs of his cancer treatment journey with his family, friends and colleagues. His personal mantra “LIFE IS GOOD” always served him well and he repeated it often, even in the most difficult of circumstances. It will continue to offer us hope and inspiration. Thank you, Scott - LIFE IS GOOD!
Please join us for our 25th Anniversary Celebration!
THURSDAY, JUNE 25TH, 2015
5:00 to 6:00pm – Annual General Meeting
6:00 to 8:30pm – 25th Anniversary Celebration
Location : Thomas Lounge, Oakham House, 55 Gould St, Toronto.
M.C. : Richard Ryder (Pride FM Radio, Host of “Ridin’ Home w/ Richard Ryder”)
Guest Speakers : Laura Arndt, Director of Advocacy Service and Youth Amplifiers, Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth of Ontario.
Please RSVP by Friday June 12th, 2015 to Wendy Firth at 416-596-7703 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 18th Annual Mane Event 2015 – A Hairstyling and Beauty Extravaganza!
Schwarzkopf ASK Academy - Sunday April 19th, 2015
The 18th Annual Mane Event fundraiser in support of the Teresa Group took place at Schwarzkopf Professional ASK Academy, 2nd Floor, 171 John Street on Sunday April 19th, 2015, from 10am - 5pm.
Teresa Group supporter wins John Steinberg Award for Community Service
Sunday November 9th marked a big night for one of our most dedicated and long-time volunteers. Steve Roy, founder of The Mane Event, won the coveted John Steinberg Award for Community Service at the prestigious Contessa Awards.
Click here to watch video footage of Steve's acceptance speech about The Mane Event and the work of The Teresa Group (the speech starts at 3:45).
Congratulations Steve! We are very proud of your success and most grateful for your incredible support.
Huffington Post article
Click here to read Nicci Stein and Adrian Betts' article Teens With HIV: The Forgotten Generation? on the Huffington Post.