Sunday, March 31, 2013

Scams - Services Scams

Many Canadians are being targeted by individuals claiming to offer reduced rates or deals for various services.

What to Look For

These scams typically involve individuals that make offers for telecommunications, Internet, finance, medical and energy services. This category of scams may also include offers such as extended warranties, insurance, and door-to-door sales.

The two most reported service scams targeting Canadians are the antivirus software scam and credit card interest rate reduction scams.

The scammers involved in the antivirus software scam promise to repair your computer over the Internet. This can involve the installation of software or permission to have remote access to your computer. Payment for the software or repair is typically made by credit card.

Downloading software from an unknown source or allowing someone to remotely access your computer is risky. Scammers could use malicious software to capture your personal information such as user names and passwords, bank account information, identity information, etc.

Everyone likes to get a deal and scammers know this. The people behind credit card interest rate reduction scams often impersonate financial institutions and claim to negotiate with credit card companies to lower your interest rates. They guarantee they can save you thousands of dollars in interest. The caller will tell you that the lower interest rates are for a limited time only and that you need to act now.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Scams - Small Business Scams

Scams that target small businesses can come in a variety of forms—from bills for advertising or directory listings that were never ordered to dubious office supply offers.

What to Look For

Small business operators and individuals with their own Internet sites continue to be confused and caught by unsolicited letters warning them that their Internet domain name is due to expire and must be renewed, or offering them a new domain name similar to their current one.

If you have registered a domain name, be sure to carefully check any domain name renewal notices or invoices that you receive. While the notice could be genuine, it could also be from another company trying to sign you up, or it could be from a scammer.

  • Check that the renewal notice matches your current domain name exactly. Look out for small differences—for example, ".com" instead of ".ca" or missing letters in the URL address.
  • Check that the renewal notice comes from the company with which you originally registered your domain name.
  • Check your records for the actual expiry date for your existing domain name.

A directory listing or unauthorized advertising scam tries to bill a business for a listing or advertisement in a magazine, journal or business directory, or for an online directory listing.

The scam might come as a proposal for a subscription disguised as an update of an existing listing in a business directory. You might also be led to believe that you are responding to an offer for a free listing when in fact it is an order for a listing requiring later payment.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Scams - Job and Employment Scams

Job and employment scams target people looking for a job. They often promise a lot of income—sometimes they even guarantee it—for little or no effort.

What to Look For

Work-from-home scams are often promoted through spam emails or advertisements online or in newspaper ads. Most of these advertisements are not real job offers. Many of them are fronts for illegal moneylaundering activity or pyramid schemes.

You might get an email offering a job where you use your bank account to receive and pass on payments for a foreign company. Or you might be offered a job as a "secret shopper" hired to test the services of a chequecashing or a money transfer company. Some "job offers" promise that you will receive a percentage commission for each payment you pass on. Sometimes, scammers are just after your bank account details so they can access your account. They might also send you a counterfeit cheque along with instructions for you to cash the cheque and transfer a portion of the sum over a money transfer service.

A guaranteed employment or income scam claims to guarantee you either a job or a certain level of income. The scammers usually contact you by spam email and the offers often involve the payment of an up-front fee for a "business plan", certain start-up materials or software.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Scams - Charity Scams

Charity scams take advantage of people's generosity and kindness by asking for donations to a fake charity or by impersonating a real charity.

What to Look For

Charity scams involve scammers collecting money by pretending to be a real charity. The scammers can approach you in many different ways—on the street, at your home, over the phone or on the Internet. Emails and collection boxes may even be marked with the logos of genuine charities.

Often, the scammer will exploit a recent natural disaster or famine that has been in the news. Other scammers play on your emotions by pretending to be from charities that help children who are ill.

Scammers can try to pressure you to give a donation and refuse to provide details about the charity, such as their address or their contact details. In other cases, they may simply provide false information.

Not only do these scams cost people money; they also divert much needed donations away from legitimate charities and causes. All registered charities in Canada are overseen by the Canada Revenue Agency and listed in its database. You can also contact your local Better Business Bureau to see if they have any information about the organizations that interest you. If the charity is genuine and you want to make a donation, get the charity's contact details from the phone book or a trusted website.

If you do not want to donate any money, or you are happy with how much you may have donated to charities already, simply ignore the email or letter, hang up the phone or say no to the person at your door. You do not have to give any money at all.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Reporting Scams - whom to turn to

Getting Help and Reporting a Scam

The best agency to contact depends on where you live and what type of scam is involved.

If you think you have spotted a scam or have been targeted by a scam, there are a number of government and law enforcement agencies in Canada that you can contact for advice or to make a report. This may help you and prevent others from being ripped off by scam operators.

Canadian Anti–Fraud Centre

The Competition Bureau's Information Centre

Local Scams

Contact your local consumer affairs office

Your local consumer affairs office is best placed to investigate scams that appear to come from within your own province or territory. A list of provincial and territorial consumer affairs offices can be found in the Canadian Consumer Handbook on the Office of Consumer Affairs website.

Scams - Dating and Romance

Despite the many legitimate dating websites operating in Canada, there are many dating and romance scams as well. Dating and romance scams try to lower your defences by appealing to your romantic and compassionate side.

What to Look For

Some dating and romance scams work by setting up a dating website where you pay for each email or message you send and receive. The scammer will try to hook you in by continuing to send you vague-sounding emails filled with talk of love or desire. The scammer might also send emails filled with details of their home country or town that do not refer to you much at all. These are attempts to keep you writing back and paying money for use of the scammer's dating website.

Even on a legitimate dating site, you might be approached by a scammer—perhaps someone who claims to have a very sick family member or who is in the depths of despair (often these scammers claim to be from Russia or Eastern Europe). After they have sent you a few messages, and maybe even a glamorous photo, you will be asked (directly or more subtly) to send them money to help their situation. Some scammers even arrange to meet with you, in the hope that you give them presents or money—and then they disappear.

In other cases, scammers will try to build a friendship with you, perhaps even sending you flowers or other small gifts. After building a relationship, the scammer will tell you about a large amount of money they need to transfer out of their country, or that they want to share with you. They will then ask for your banking details or money for an administrative fee or tax that they claim needs to be paid to free up the money.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Happy Retirement Fred!

Fred Petruk cuts his retirement cake

Fred Petruk, CMA, Chief Risk Officer, retired from Ukrainian Credit Union Limited on March 23, 2013. Fred joined UCU as Chief Financial Officer on July 31, 2000, having volunteered on the UCU Audit Committee between 1994 and 2000.

Following our merger with So-Use Credit Union, Fred took on the newly-created position of Chief Risk Officer on December 14, 2010 and was subsequently appointed Chief Anti-Money Laundering Officer (CAMLO). In these roles Fred was responsible for introducing a robust enterprise risk management and anti-money laundering regime. Fred is looking to remain active in retirement combining increased leisure with consulting work.

All of us at UCU wish Fred all the best! We'll miss you.

You can see more photos on our Facebook page.

Scams - Emergency scam

Emergency scams target grandparents and play upon their emotions to rob them of their money.

What to Look For

In the typical scenario of an emergency scam, a grandparent receives a phone call from a scammer claiming to be one of his or her grandchildren. Callers go on to say that they are in some kind of trouble and need money immediately. They claim to have been in a car accident, are having trouble returning from a foreign country or they need bail money.

You may get a call from two people, one pretending to be your grandchild and the other pretending to be either a police officer or a lawyer. Your "grandchild" asks you questions during the call, getting you to volunteer personal information.

Callers say that they don't want other family members to find out what has happened. You will be asked to wire some money through a money transfer company. Often, victims don't verify the story until after the money has been sent.

In some cases, scammers pretend to be your old neighbour or a friend of the family, but for the most part, the emergency scam is directed at grandparents.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Scams - Health and Medical

Medical scams prey on human suffering. They offer solutions where none exist or promise to simplify complex health treatments.

What to Look For

Miracle cure scams offer a range of products and services that can appear to be legitimate alternative medicines, usually promising quick and effective remedies for serious medical conditions. The treatments claim to be effective against a very wide range of ailments and are often promoted using testimonials from people who have used the product or service and have been "cured".

Weight loss scams promise dramatic weight loss with little or no effort. This type of scam may involve an unusual or restrictive diet, revolutionary exercise or "fat-busting" devices, or breakthrough products such as pills, patches or creams. The products are promoted with the use of false claims such as "lose 10 kilos in 10 days " or " lose weight while you sleep", and often require large advance payments or that you enter into a long-term contract to participate in the program.

Fake online pharmacies use the Internet and spam emails to offer drugs and medicine at very cheap prices and/or without the need for a prescription from a doctor. If you use such a service and you actually do receive the products in response to your order, there is no guarantee that they are the real thing.

There are legitimate online pharmacies. These businesses will have their full contact details listed on their website and will also require a valid prescription before they send out any medicine that requires one.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Scams - Internet Scams

A lot of Internet scams take place without the victim even noticing. You can greatly reduce the chances of being scammed on the Internet if you follow some simple precautions.

What to Look For

Scammers can use the Internet to promote fraud through unsolicited or junk emails, known as spam. Even if they only get a handful of replies from the millions of emails they send out, it is still worth their while. Be wary of replying, even just to "unsubscribe", because that will give a scammer confirmation that they have reached a real email address.

Any email you receive that comes from a sender you do not know, is not specifically addressed to you, and promises you some benefit is likely to be spam.

Malicious software—also referred to as malware, spyware, key loggers, trojan horses, or trojans—poses online security threats. Scammers try to install this software on your computer so that they can gain access to files stored on your computer and other personal details and passwords.

Scammers use a wide range of tricks to get their software onto your computer. They may trick you into clicking on a link or pop-up message in a spam email or by getting you to visit a fake website set up solely to infect people's computers.

Phishing scams are all about tricking you into handing over your personal and banking details to scammers. The emails you receive might look and sound legitimate but in reality genuine organizations like a bank or a government authority will never expect you to send your personal information by an email or online.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

What to do if you get scammed

Scams and You: What to Do if You Get Scammed!

Canadian authorities may not always be able to take action against scams, even if it seems like a scammer might have broken the law.

Reducing the Damage

Although it may be hard to recover any money that you have lost to a scam, there are steps you can take to reduce the damage and avoid becoming a target for a follow-up scam. The more quickly you act, the greater your chance of reducing your losses.

Report a scam. By reporting the scam to authorities, they may be able to warn other people about the scam and minimize the chances of the scam spreading further. You should also warn your friends and family of any scams that you come across. Details on how to report a scam are provided at the end of this publication.

If you have been tricked into signing a contract or buying a product or service

Contact your provincial or territorial consumer affairs office and consider getting independent advice to examine your options: there may be a cooling-off period or you may be able to negotiate a refund.

If you think someone has gained access to your online account, telephone banking account or credit card details

Call your financial institution immediately so they can suspend your account and limit the amount of money you lose. Credit card companies may also be able to perform a "charge back" (reverse the transaction) if they believe that your credit card was billed fraudulently.

Do not use contact details that appear in emails or on websites that you are suspicious of—they will probably be fake and lead you to a scammer. You can find legitimate contact details in the phone book, an account statement or on the back of your ATM card.

Scams - Money Transfer Requests

Money transfer scams are on the rise. Be very careful when someone offers you money to help transfer their funds. Once you send money to someone, it can be very difficult, if not impossible, to get it back.

What to Look For

The Nigerian scam (also called the 419 fraud) has been on the rise since the early-to-mid 1990s in Canada. Although many of these sorts of scams originated in Nigeria, similar scams have been started all over the world (particularly in other parts of West Africa and in Asia). These scams are increasingly referred to as "advance fee fraud".

In the classic Nigerian scam, you receive an email or letter from a scammer asking your help to transfer a large amount of money overseas. You are then offered a share of the money if you agree to give them your bank account details to help with the transfer. They will then ask you to pay all kinds of taxes and fees before you can receive your "reward". You will never be sent any of the money, and will lose the fees you paid.

Then there is the scam email that claims to be from a lawyer or bank representative advising that a long-lost relative of yours has died and left you a huge inheritance. Scammers can tell such genuine sounding stories that you could be tricked into providing personal documents and bank account details so that you can confirm their identity and claim your inheritance. The "inheritance" is likely to be non-existent and, as well as losing any money you might have paid to the scammer in fees and taxes, you could also risk having your identity stolen.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Scams - Pyramid Schemes

Pyramid schemes promise a large financial return for a relatively small cost. Pyramid schemes are illegal and very risky—and can cost you a lot of money.

What to Look For

In a typical pyramid scheme, unsuspecting investors are encouraged to pay large membership fees to participate in moneymaking ventures. The only way for you to ever recover any money is to convince other people to join and to part with their money as well. People are often persuaded to join by family members or friends. But there is no guarantee that you will recoup your initial investment.

Although pyramid schemes are often cleverly disguised, they make money by recruiting people rather than by selling a legitimate product or providing a service. Pyramid schemes inevitably collapse and you will lose your money. In Canada, it is a crime to promote a pyramid scheme or even to participate in one.

Ponzi schemes are fraudulent investment operations that work in a similar way to pyramid schemes. The Ponzi scheme usually entices new and well-to-do investors by offering higher returns than other investments in the form of short-term returns that are either abnormally high or unusually consistent. The schemer usually interacts with all the investors directly, often persuading most of the existing participants to reinvest their money, thereby minimizing the need to bring in new participants as a pyramid scheme will do.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

UCU Investment Challenge 3rd place winner

Michael Zienchuk, Manager CU Wealth Strategies Group presents
a cheque to Andrew Rupf at UCU's North York branch.

Andrew Rupf recently picked up his prize for coming in third place in our latest installment of the UCU Investment Challenge. He won $250 towards his investment account with UCU Wealth Strategies Group. 

Andrew Rupf is a business consultant focused on assisting companies in implementing business analytical software solutions throughout their organization. When he is not busy playing the UCU Investment Challenge, Andrew keeps himself occupied playing basketball. He has represented Canada in international competition on several occasions throughout his playing career.Andrew is also an avid reader of personal and business finance books.  

Scams - Lotteries

Don't get caught in a scam!

Every year, Canadians lose millions of dollars to the activities of scammers who bombard us with online, mail, door-to-door and telephone scams.

Scammers do not discriminate

Scammers target people of all backgrounds, ages and income levels. Fake lotteries, Internet frauds, get-rich-quick schemes and miracle health cures are some of the favoured means of separating the unwary from their money. New varieties of these scams appear all the time.

Lotteries, Sweepstakes and Contests

Many Canadians are lured by the excitement of a surprise win and find themselves sending huge amounts of money to claim fake prizes.

What to Look For

You cannot win money or a prize in a lottery unless you have entered it yourself, or someone else has entered it on your behalf. You cannot be chosen as a random winner if you don't have an entry.

Many lottery scams try to trick you into providing your banking and personal details to claim your prize. You should not have to pay any fee or tax to claim a legitimate prize.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Art of Selling Your Home... A reality check

Sales reps Ruslana and Petra Wrzesnewskyj
Just a week to go before our next FREE seminar takes place. The seminar, hosted by Vlad Karman of Ukrainian Credit Union Limited will feature Ruslana Wrzesnewskyj (Sales Representative), Danylo Luciw (General Contractor) & Victor Lishchyna (Lawyer).

The team will tell all the tips and secrets of getting the best price for your house by doing the vital preparatory work that many people don't think to do or simply skip doing.

Things that they will show you:
  • The importance of a great first impression
  • Things that MUST be considered before you put your house on the market
  • Value vs. Cost - what fixes/renos get you the biggest return for your dollar
  • Little things you can do yourself without the help of professionals
  • No-nos that will kill the value of your home
The seminar will take place at the UCU Wealth Strategies Group Office, 2265 Bloor Street West, March 27 6:30pm.

To register for this FREE seminar, please call or email Yuriy Diakunchak 416-763-5575 x208, Or sign up to the event on Facebook.

Scams - Mobile Scams

Mobile phone scams can be difficult to recognize. Be wary of somebody who talks as if they know you or of redialling a missed call from an unknown number—there may be hidden charges.

What to Look For

Ringtone scams might attract you with an offer of a free or low-cost ringtone. What you may not realize is that by accepting the offer, you may actually be subscribing to a service that will keep sending you ringtones—and charging you a premium rate for them. There are many legitimate companies selling ringtones, but there are also scammers who will try to hide the true cost of taking up the offer.

Scammers either don't tell you that your request for the first ringtone is actually a subscription to a ringtone service, or it may be obscured in fine print related to the offer. They also make it difficult for you to stop the service. You have to actively "opt out" of the service to stop the ringtones and the associated charges.

Missed call scams start by scammers calling your phone and hanging up so quickly that you can't answer the call in time. Your phone registers a missed call and you probably won't recognize the number. You may be tempted to call the number to find out who called you. If it is a scam, you will be paying premium rates for the call without knowing.

Text message scams work in a similar way, but through a Short Message Service (SMS). Scammers send you a text message from a number you may not recognize, but it sounds like it is from a friend—for instance, "Hi, it's John. I'm back! When are you free to catch up?" If you reply out of curiosity, you might be charged at premium rate for SMS messages (sometimes as much as $4 for each message sent and/or received).

Golden Rules of Fraud Prevention

Golden Rules

Remember these golden rules to help you beat the scammers.
·        Always get independent advice if an offer involves money, personal information, time or commitment.
·        There are no guaranteed get-rich-quick schemes—sometimes the only people who make money are the scammers.
·        Do not agree to offers or deals right away. If you think you have spotted a great opportunity, insist on time to get independent advice before making a decision.
·        Do not hand over money or personal information, or sign anything until you have done your homework and checked the credentials of the company that you are dealing with.
·        Do not rely on glowing testimonials: find solid evidence of a company's success.
·        Log directly on to a website that you are interested in rather than clicking on links provided in an email.
·        Never send money, or give credit card or online account details to anyone you do not know and trust.
·        If you spot a scam or have been scammed, get help. Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, the Competition Bureau or your local police for assistance.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Myth Busters: Dispelling Myths about Fraud

There are all sorts of myths, half-truths and misconceptions flying around when it comes to fraud. Below we list a few common myths out there. Busting these common myths will minimize your chances of being scammed.

  • All companies, businesses and organizations are legitimate because they are licensed and monitored by the government: This is not always true. While there are rules about setting up and running a business or a company in Canada, scammers can easily pretend to have approval when they don't. Even businesses that are licensed could still try to scam you by acting dishonestly.
  • All Internet websites are legitimate: This is not always true. Websites are quite easy and cheap to set up. The scammers can easily copy a genuine website and trick you into believing it is legitimate.
  • There are short cuts to wealth that only a few people know: This is not always true. Ask yourself the question: if someone knew a secret to instant wealth, why would they be telling their secret to others?
  • Scams involve large amounts of money: This is not always true. Sometimes scammers target a large number of people and try to get a small amount of money from each person.
  • Scams are always about money: This is not always true. Some scams are aimed at stealing personal information from you.

Report It! Stop It!
Stopping fraudsters is critical. By reporting a scam, you help prevent others from becoming fraud victims. The information you provide is important! If you decide to file a complaint, it is important that you keep any evidence you may have related to your complaint. Keep items in a safe location in the event that you are requested to provide them. This information may form an important part of any investigation. The information you provide could be used as evidence during a prosecution.
To report a scam, contact the:
Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or call 1-888-495-8501
In addition, credit bureaus can put a fraud alert on your account, which will alert lenders and creditors of potential fraud:
Equifax: 1-800-465-7166
TransUnion: 1-866-525-0262
1-877-713-3393 for Quebec residents

Stay tuned for more about fraud in the coming days.

Click here for more about fraud.
* With information from the Government of Canada Competition Bureau web site and The Little Black Book of Scams published by the Competition Bureau Canada 2012.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Ridna Shkola Workshop

Workshop participants gather for a group photo.

On February 16 & 17th, 2013, a teachers’ workshop was held in Montreal titled “Ways to enhance the learning process. Practical application of the most effective methods to encourage students in the classroom and approaches to improve learning”. Ukrainian Credit Union Limited was proud to sponsor this event.

The program was organized by the Ridna Shkola Initiatives Committee of the Ukrainian National Federation of Canada in conjunction with the Ukrainian Language Education Centre at the University of Alberta.

Participants of the workshop included Ukrainian language teachers who are part of the UNF Ridna Shkola program in Toronto, teachers of the A. Sheptytsky Ukrainian Saturday School in Montreal, and educators from Edmonton and guests.

Class materials, teaching methods and classroom challenges when the knowledge of Ukrainian varies from student to student were only some of the topics covered.  Presentations by Dr. Olenka Bilash, Professor, Department of Secondary Education, and Coordinator of Second Languages and International Education at the University of Alberta and Melody Kostiuk, Consultant, International Languages, Support for Staff and Students, Literacy and Assessment at the Institute for Innovation in Second Language Education, Edmonton, were very informative and engaging as teachers took on the role of student, playing interactive reading and writing games together in order to get a hands-on feel for these creative methods of learning for children. 

The sessions included practical fragments of the lessons conducted by Olenka Bilash, Edmonton, and Nataliya Kulyasa, Toronto. Tanya Onyschuk, Toronto, presented innovative approaches to purposeful reading and reading different types of texts in the Ukrainian language where the participants had an opportunity to familiarize themselves with various reading materials for different age groups. New learning materials for teaching Ukrainian as a foreign language from MIOK, Lviv, were presented by Yevgeniya Petrova, Toronto.   

The success of the event was apparent through the enthusiastic exchange of emails and telephone numbers among participants following Sunday's closing lunch in order to expand upon the additional knowledge and new ideas acquired during the 2 days. 

You can see more photos of the event on our Facebook page in the Ridna Shkola Workshop album

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

March is Fraud Prevention Month

March is fraud prevention month. So it’s a good time to take a look at fraud, its many faces and how you can protect yourself.

We are publishing a couple of articles about fraud in Meest newspaper this month. But we are also going to upload a series of shorter articles here on our blog detailing all sorts of useful information about frauds, how to recognize them, how to protect yourself from them and how to report them.

Here are some facts about fraud in Canada. Through awareness, you can avoid becoming a victim.

  • Thousands of Canadians are defrauded each year. Recognizing fraud is the first step to better protecting yourself.
  • There is no typical fraud victim in Canada. Fraud targets Canadians of all ages and from all walks of life.
  • Fraudsters are creative and well organized.
  • If a fraudster is successful once, they will try to scam you again.

Fraudsters are professional criminals that know what they are doing. Don’t fall for their scams just because the look and sound professional or have believable answers you’re your tough questions. Impersonating real organizations like government agencies, legitimate businesses or charities are ways that fraudsters try to fool you.

Report It! Stop It!

If you are a victim of fraud, don't stay silent! Report it. Stopping fraudsters is critical. By reporting a scam, you help prevent others from becoming fraud victims. The information you provide is important! If you decide to file a complaint, it is important that you keep any evidence you may have related to your complaint. Keep items in a safe location in the event that you are requested to provide them. This information may form an important part of any investigation. The information you provide could be used as evidence during a prosecution.

To report a scam, contact the:

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or call 1-888-495-8501

In addition, credit bureaus can put a fraud alert on your account, which will alert lenders and creditors of potential fraud:

Equifax: 1-800-465-7166
TransUnion: 1-866-525-0262
1-877-713-3393 for Quebec residents

Your local police, credit card companies, credit unions and provincial records offices can also be of assistance.

Stay tuned for more about fraud in the coming days.

Click here for more about fraud.
* With information from the Government of Canada Competition Bureau web site and The Little Black Book of Scams published by the Competition Bureau Canada 2012.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Raising the roof in Sudbury

Father Peter (standing at centre of photo)
talks to guests at the gala

The roof, the roof, the roof is.... well... thirsty, so let the nice little roof drink some martinis? Yeah, that's it, that's how that song goes!

Saturday March the 9th,  St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Sudbury hosted their “Raise the Roof” Fundraiser. The church is in need of a new roof and Father Peter Bodnar came up with the idea for the fundraiser. When Ukrainian Credit Union Limited heard of this noble venture, we were more than happy to sponsor the event and send our branch manager Angela Andlar to help the parishioners celebrate.

Bruno Gobeil (owner of Royal Lepage Heritage
and his date  Irena who is originally from Odessa
The star attraction of the evening was the band Zirka. The dinner was a 5 course meal of roast beef, pork chops, roasted baby potatoes and baked pear with ice cream (hey, that's only four items, but we are going to let that pass, our intrepid correspondent from Sudbury probably counted the martinis as the first course).

The evening also included a silent auction and a dessert buffet at 10pm.

Angela Andlar of UCU (centre left) helps pour martinis
at the UCU-sponsored martini table

Monday, March 11, 2013

Thinking of Selling?

Join us at our upcoming seminar The art of Selling Your Home!

Selling a home requires you to make many important decisions. Don't get stuck making these decisions at the last moment. Learn what to expect before you take the plunge to sell your house. Ruslana Wrzesnewskyj and her team will take you through the process of selling your home from start to finish and Vlad Karman will help you prepare financially for this exciting venture!

Friday, March 8, 2013

International Women's Day

Teresa Olowianczyk and Maria Chlapak with some of
 the flowers members brought or staff for
International Women's Day
International Women's Day, is marked on March 8 every year. The focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women's economic, political and social achievements. 
The first national Women's Day was observed on 28 February 1909 in the United States. Later, it became a prominent holiday in the Soviet Bloc. 
In the West, International Women's Day was first observed as a popular event after 1977 when the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for women's rights and world peace.
2012 International Women's Day
The UN theme for International Women’s Day 2012 was Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty. In that year, Oxfam America invited people to celebrate inspiring women in their lives by sending a free International Women’s Day e-Card or honouring a woman whose efforts had made a difference in the fight against hunger and poverty with Oxfam’s International Women’s Day award.
On the occasion of International Women's Day 2012, the ICRC called for more action to help the mothers and wives of people who have gone missing during armed conflict. The vast majority of people who go missing in connection with conflict are men. As well as the anguish of not knowing what has happened to the missing person, many of these women face economic and practical difficulties. The ICRC underlined the duty of parties to a conflict to search for the missing and provide information for the families.

Sourced from wikipedia.