Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is instrumental in successfully leading Lions Foundation in its efforts to provide Dog Guides at no cost to Canadians with disabilities. Each member sits on the board for a three year term, with the exception of the Chairperson, who is voted in annually.
- Bill McKitrick
Chairperson of the Board
Bill became involved with the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides because he was interested in the many disabilities Dog Guide are trained to help with. He is dedicated to educating others about the Lions Foundation because he knows that greater awareness will result in helping more people live independently with a Dog Guide."It is important to help others gain greater independence"
- Andre Nimchuk
Vice Chairperson, Director, Alberta & Northwest Territories
Andre is a longtime supporter of the Lions Foundation and has served the organization in many ways. As the Director for Alberta and Northwest Territories, Andre is working to promote and secure funds for the six Dog Guide programs."Dog Guides are important because they provide safety, independence and freedom to their recipients."
- Mel Stokes
Treasurer, Director, British Columbia & Yukon
As the Director for British Columbia, Mel had set a goal of increasing both awareness and support of Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides. He is also striving to ensure that his efforts help residents of British Columbia who are living with disabilities."Dog Guides touch so many lives throughout Canada. To be a small part of this is rewarding."
- Frederick Thompson
Secretary, Director, Newfoundland & Labrador
Fred is the new Director for Newfoundland and Labrador. He first became involved with Lions Foundation of Canada in the 1980’s through his local Lions Club. Since then, he has been active in fundraisers in support of the Foundation and has worked to sponsor a Dog Guide team."Everyone has the ability to help others. I want to use my term to ensure the Lions Foundation continues to grow and help more Canadians with disabilities."
- Gordon Ziegler
Executive Member at Large, Director, Saskatchewan
Gordon is the second-term Director from Saskatchewan. He is a strong supporter of the Lions Memorial Forests in both Regina Beach, Sask., and Breslau, Ont., and has helped his Lions club in Richmound, Sask., sponsor six Dog Guide teams. Gordon tries to follow the words of Robert F. Kennedy:"Some men see the way things are and wonder why. I dream of things that never were and ask, ‘Why not?'"
- Douglas Cook
Doug Cook’s involvement with the Lions Foundation started in 1996 when he helped organize a local Walk For Dog Guides. His love of dogs and commitment to helping others has led him to various initiatives but he has always kept the Lions Foundation at the top of his list."I truly believe in the work the Lions Foundation is doing. Not only are we helping people with disabilities receive the assistance of a Dog Guide, we are ensuring that they can receive them at no cost."
- Paul Gauthier
Director, Prince Edward Island
Paul Gauthier became a Lions club member in 2002. His club, Parkdale Sherwood Lions Club in Charlottetown, P.E.I., donated funds to sponsor a Dog Guide that year, and continues to donate each year, sponsoring a number of Dog Guide teams since. Paul considers it an honour to serve as Lions Foundation Director for P.E.I., and continues to promote the work of the organization, raising the funds in order to ensure more Canadians can receive a Dog Guide at no charge."When someone is matched with a Dog Guide from Lions Foundation of Canada, it changes their life in such positive ways. They regain their independence, and also have a loyal companion."
- David Manning
Director, Nova Scotia
This is David Manning’s second term on the board of directors. His first involvement with LFC began in the 1990’s when he was inspired hearing one of our CVC clients speak. He has since been Nova Scotia Director from 2004-07 and Chairperson following. He has been active organizing Walk for Dog Guides events. His motivation is strong and he has a great deal of knowledge about the school."Dog Guides that are trained at the Lions Foundation of Canada can make such a great difference in a person’s life. As a Lion, I believe that supporting the programs at LFC ensures that we can continue the process of changing lives"
- Beatrice Barnard
Director, Manitoba, NW Ontario & Nunavut
Beatrice became a member of the Winnipeg West Lions Club in 2010, but has been active with Lions Foundation, planning and hosting the Walk for Dog Guides since 2002. As the Director for Manitoba, North-Western Ontario and Nunavut, her goal is to increase awareness of the services provided by Lions Foundations, and to raise the funds to help support independence for more Canadians."The difference a Dog Guide makes in someone's life is immediately evident. I am honored to continue to raise awareness of this amazing Foundation to Lions and the general public."
- Richard Dufour
Richard became involved with Lions Foundation after a fellow member of his Lions club received a Dog Guide. Attending the graduation ceremony convinced him that he could help others by raising awareness of Lions Foundation’s programs, promoting the organization’s mission in his home province of Quebec. Together with his club, he is dedicated to working on community efforts fighting blindness, promoting active living, as well as Dog Guides’ programs."Attending a graduation ceremony showed me that I could be helping more people receive a Dog Guide by actively promoting our school. I’m very proud to serve as a Lion for the Foundation."
- Al Leach
In 2004, as a Lions Club president, Al took on the project of sponsoring a Canine Vision Dog Guide, and had the pleasure of attending the graduation ceremony of the team that year. He was "bitten" in the best way possible, as the ceremony captured the heart of what Lions Foundation can do for Canadians who need assistance."The freedom a Dog Guide provides is another word for independence, hope and a sense of a normal life. I hope as a Director for Ontario, I can help spread the word about the incredible work of Lions Foundation."
- Margaret Laking
Director, New Brunswick
Margaret Laking became involved with both Lions Foundation of Canada and with Lions clubs when she met her husband, the late Jim (James) Laking in 1993. Jim was the recipient of a Canine Vision Dog Guide to help him navigate the world with blindness. Today, Margaret is hands-on in ensuring more Canadians can receive the gift of a Dog Guide, just like Jim had. She hosts an annual fundraiser, Raise the Woof, with her Lions club."When a dog enters our life, it changes everything. Imagine how much a life can change with a Dog Guide. I want to help make that change happen, and what better way to do so than through Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides."