Meet Bob and Elizabeth-Anne Armstrong. They joined SVP Vancouver in 2015, and are a great example of a family that plays and volunteers together, stays together. Bob and Elizabeth-Anne are that rare couple made up of of two people who were actually born and raised in Vancouver. They have three children, aged 22, 20 and 17 and split their time between New Westminster and Crescent Beach.
Elizabeth-Anne is a Community Health Nurse and works in the Downtown East Side. “If we ever get stranded on a desert island, she’ll be the one who keeps us alive – and I’ll be relegated to counting the coconuts,” says Bob. Bob’s an accountant by training and spent most of his career with Ritchie Bros. in various roles including CFO, COO and head of strategy development. While Elizabeth-Anne is still nursing, Bob left Ritchie Bros. in 2014 and now spends his time on a portfolio of board and advisory roles.
Being a part of SVP allows the Armstrongs to contribute their experience and time to groups that can really benefit from their involvement – and it’s something they can do together. “The idea of participative philanthropy is very appealing,” says Bob.
Bob has facilitated strategic planning workshops for Red Fox and BASES (a prospective Investee) and he conducted a Financial Management for Non-Profits workshop for SVP Investees and Lead Partners. He is also one of the Lead Partners with Do What U Luv (DWUL), SVP’s newest Investee – having shepherded DWUL through the SVP vetting process over the last several months. Elizabeth-Anne currently volunteers as a Mentor with Mom2Mom.
But if you really want to know something about the Armstrongs, you have to hang around the Crescent Beach Swimming Club (CBSC). The CBSC is a 98 year-old volunteer-run organization that puts on an action-packed eight-week program every summer with more than 1,500 people participating in swimming, tennis, sailing, water polo, synchronized swimming, triathlon, volleyball, lifesaving and more. Bob and Elizabeth-Anne met at Crescent Beach when they were kids, and grew up in the CBSC. Their children have spent all their summers at Crescent Beach; and Bob and E.-A. have been part of the volunteer army that puts it all on, running events, timing at swim meets, pulling weeds – whatever needs to be done. E.-A. chaired the swimming committee for several years and Bob currently serves as President. They find it extremely rewarding to be able to give back to the organization that has been such an important part of their lives. It’s also an unbelievable amount of fun, according to Bob!
Bob and Elizabeth feel lucky to live in Canada, lucky to be healthy, and to have healthy children, and lucky to wake up each day knowing that they are pretty much in control of whether or not they’re going to have a good day. But they know the world is filled with people who don’t have any of this kind of luck. “Finding ways to help those less fortunate and making a valuable contribution to our community are simply the right things to do if you’re in a position to help” says Bob. “SVP is a great vehicle for this and we are proud to be SVP Partners.”
PHOTO – The Armstrong Family: Bob, Elizabeth-Anne, Harry, Alison and Cookie