To sum up everything Lee did for Distress Centre Calgary in just a few paragraphs is impossible. The impact of her generosity, advocacy and spirit is immeasurable.
Distress Centre rarely has caller stories to share, as most people don’t want others to know they’ve used Distress Centre’s services. That Lee chose to share her story so many times, to so many people, in such an articulate and thoughtful way, was one of the greatest gifts she could give to Distress Centre. Yes, it resulted in donations, which is amazing, but even more importantly, it decreased the stigma that surrounds mental illness, making it easier for others to reach out for help. Lee spoke at several Distress Centre events, captivating the audience as the keynote speaker for Lend An Ear 2018. She also hosted many fundraisers for Distress Centre, including donating the proceeds of her book sales, putting a streak of blue in her hair for every $1000 raised for Distress Centre and just recently selling calendars featuring her beautiful photography, with proceeds going to DC. All of that on top of Lee and Neil being generous donors to Distress Centre for many years.
Lee’s legacy can be seen all over Distress Centre. Her photography is on the back of the postcards Distress Centre uses to send thank you messages to donors. Distress Centre has given out countless copies of her book, with several copies always floating around the office. The Family Room at the Distress Centre office is named in honour of the Horbachewski family and in 2014, the Horbachewskis won the Generosity of Spirit Award for Philanthropic Family for their philanthropic work with Distress Centre and other charities.
Distress Centre is so grateful to have benefited from Lee’s passion and generosity. She was also simply a lovely person to work with and be around and will be dearly missed. Rest in peace, Lee.