“My commitment to adding to the social capital of our community has taken many forms. In every instance I have been motivated by the words of Margaret Mead who said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has” (Phil Rauch, February 2004).
Phil Rauch will be remembered for his outstanding commitment to the non-profit sector. He was an executive director with over fifteen years of community experience with local, regional, provincial and national non-governmental organizations. Phil was a passionate believer in social justice and was actively involved in many local initiatives that address the needs of the most marginalized in our society; especially those with issues related to poverty, addictions and conflict with the law. Phil focussed his energy on the areas of HIV, hepatitis, addictions, harm reduction, non-profit organization governance and management, and working with the Aboriginal community, prisoners, injection drug users, the gay and lesbian community and the homeless.
He is remembered for his ability to develop consensus and facilitate mediation among diverse and often competing stakeholders. Phil created community support for controversial programs such as needle exchange, methadone maintenance and safer sex education and was well-known for being a voice for marginalized populations in Red Deer and area.
He worked extensively in the field of HIV/AIDS since 1995 and was the executive director of the Central Alberta AIDS Network since 1999.
He was chair of the Alberta Community Council on HIV (ACCH) from 1997-2001 and founding member of the Alberta Community HIV Fund in 1998. He was the prairie board representative for the Canadian AIDS Society from 2001-2002 and prior to relocating to Red Deer he was the executive director of the Lethbridge HIV Connection from 1995-1999. Provincially, Phil was a representative on the provincial Minister of Health and Wellness’ Advisory Committee on AIDS from 1998-2003.
His local involvement included being a founding member of the Central Alberta Addictions Consortium in 2000, a founding member of the Safe Harbour Society in 2001, founding member and Red Deer representative for the Alberta Housing Coalition in 2002-2004, vice chair of the Residential Society of the Red Deer from 2002-2003, member of the Red Deer Housing Management Committee from 2000-2004, a member of the Red Deer Leadership Network Alumni from 2002-2004, a board member of the John Howard Society of Red Deer from 1999-2004, and chair of the Helping Hands, Mobile Outreach Advisory Consortium from 2001-2004.
Phil was instrumental in the creation of the Central Alberta Methadone Program and a well-known advocate of expanding addiction services in Central Alberta, including the development of a detox centre and shelter program.
His wife Val, and two children, Alex and Kate in addition to numerous family members and friends, survive him.
The Rauch family has requested that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Phil Rauch Memorial Fund or to any Central Alberta charity. Donations for the Phil Rauch Memorial Fund can be made at any local Community Savings branch with all proceeds benefiting the family. Donations for the Phil Rauch Memorial Fund will also be accepted at the memorial service.
(with thanks to « Central Alberta AIDS Network »)