Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Founder of Change For Children passes away

Hank Zyp - 1935 - 2012 

"Ordinary people can do extraordinary things." 

 This quote of Hank Zyp  is used often by the organization he cofounded but rest-assured, the capital region artist, teacher, and activist, Hank Zyp, was no ordinary man. Even in his late 70's, Hank was eager to participate in the unique fundraiser Doctors and Derrieres which supports Change for Children's Health Projects in El Salvador. The Edmonton organization's co-founder (with wife Tillie Zyp) continued to be active as an artist and advocate for social justice until his final days.
In 1976, Hank and Tillie co-founded Change for Children Association (CFCA) which they ran from their home for many years. Later, in office space provided by Edmonton Catholic Schools, they continued dedicating long hours in administration, fund-raising, managing overseas projects, training interns and awareness-building among Albertans. CFCA continues to operate in Edmonton, having supported countless international development projects and local educational initiatives throughout its 36 year history. Hank and Tillie still hold honorary seats on Change for Children’s Board and regularly attended CFCA events .  
In 1987, with the help of his commercial art students, Hank designed a 100-foot mural depicting 250 men and women of many times, races, nationalities and faiths who made a difference in the world. Former students continued the tradition of muralism alongside Hank. Change for Children's’s Painting Peace Project brought together Central American and Canadian youth in creating the Edmonton Peace Mural, on the Salvation Army Building downtown, which was unveiled as part of CFCA’s 25th Anniversary celebration.
Hank and Tillie received the Alberta Achievement Award for outstanding contribution to humanity (1987); the Celebration 20/20 award for NGO International Development contribution (1988); CFCA’s Exemplary Compañero Award (1990); An inscribed bench in Mother Teresa’s Community park; and the Wild Rose Foundation Volunteer Award(1994). Change for Children recently nominated Hank for a Rise Award, to celebrate his lifetime of achievement as a newcomer to Canada in 1953.

Hanks passed away quietly in his sleep on April 21, 2012. A week before his passing Hank donated 4 pieces of art, including a print from 1971.

This year's Doctor's and Derriere's will be dedicated to him.