History of Jerry Forbes
In 1955, Jerry Forbes, the long-time general manager of 630 CHED, asked a simple question:
Wouldn’t it be great if there would be no needy kids…and every kid had a present…not a used present…with wheels stuck on and repainted…but a brand new present?
One year later, Jerry personally helped deliver toys to 600 less fortunate children across the city and 630 CHED Santas Anonymous – a pure, heart-warming and uniquely Edmonton organization – was born.
While Jerry’s mission was simple – ensure that every child experience the magic of Christmas – his vision was far more profound; it was a vision of individuals coming together in the spirit of community. Over years later, Jerry’s legacy thrives every time a 630 CHED Santas Anonymous volunteer delivers a new, wrapped gift to the doorstep of a family in need.
For his contributions to Santas Anonymous and for his influence in our City and community, it is most fitting that Jerry Forbes be permanently honoured and recognized through the Jerry Forbes Centre Foundation which spearheads the Centre for Community Spirit project in his memory.
For a little more on Jerry, you can find some of his writing and broadcasts here.
Growth & Opportunity for Edmonton Non-profits
- The Centre reaches a milestone of 23 non-profit organizations leasing administration and warehouse space
- The Jerry Forbes Centre shuts down public access to the Centre March 15th, 2020, in response to the COVID 19 pandemic. Non-profit partners have access to the facilities and continue to be able to impact the communities they serve
- Following Alberta Health Services health and safety protocols, the Centre reopens to full capacity on September 1, 2020
Countdown to move in day...
- Continue to work with applicants to move through the lease approval process
- Begin renovations at the Centre March 1, 2018 and complete September 30, 2018
- Approved organizations to begin moving in on October 1, 2018
- Grand opening celebrations on June 24, 2019 with dignitaries attending from all 3 levels of government
- The Centre initiates the Executive Directors group, the Tenant Advisory Council, and the Social Committee to begin opportunities for collaboration
- 2019 National Volunteer Week celebrated as a Centre wide initiative with a volunteer recognition event
- Complete purchase of existing 93,000 sq. ft. office & warehouse building
- Media announcement & move in of first Tenant, 630 CHED Santas Anonymous – May 2016
- Complete design for renovations - September 2016
- Raise remaining funds for start-up operations & renovations
- Receive over 50 expressions of interest and 29 detailed applications from charities
- Work with applicants to gather needs, move trough the approval process & begin lease-up
- Complete the Jerry Forbes Centre Operations Plan and move in second tenant
- Edmonton Folk Music Festival warehouse moved into the Centre
A change of direction
- Opted to purchase an existing facility to keep costs down
- Secured $5 million funding from City of Edmonton and returned the land previously secured
- Gathered detailed space requirements for 25 Tenant Applicants
- Additional Government of Alberta pledge of $2 Million achieved through Community Grants for total of $5 million
- Drafted the Jerry Forbes Centre Operations Plan
- Received CRA Charitable Status January, 2012
- Schematic design to excite donors completed 2010, detailed Design Fall 2012
- Support secured from the City of Edmonton was 4.7 acres of land valued at $3.25 Million plus pledged $2 Million
- Secured $3 million from the Province of Alberta
- Raised $2.5 million privately
- Incorporated Jerry Forbes Centre Foundation – Societies Act – Jan 2011
- Feasibility study and project statement completed
- Developed business case & assembled a volunteer team
- Met with all orders of government and community supporters
Director and Secretary
Director and Treasurer
Barbara Engelbart McKenzie