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Meet the CNIB Lake Joe Community

A collection of stories that highlight the voices of CNIB Lake Joe. From past and present campers to our dedicated volunteers, board members, and generous donors – discover why our community is so passionate about CNIB Lake Joe.

Kathy and her son Clayton stand on a waterfront balcony at their cottage.

All in the Family: Kathy gives back to CNIB Lake Joe by volunteering

Kathy McCormick and her family have a long history with CNIB Lake Joe. Their first time at camp was in 2002 with their oldest son Jack, and since then, someone in the family has either volunteered or worked at the camp.

“I always wanted to volunteer at Lake Joe because I think it's a great spot and changes lives. And I wanted an opportunity to give back.”
Munashe Nya gives the thumbs up on the deck near the Welcome Centre at CNIB Lake Joe.

Meet Munashe

In July, Munashe Nyenya visited CNIB Lake Joe with three other youth from Alberta for the Canadian Leadership Development Program (CLDP). This program offers youth who are blind or partially sighted an opportunity to come together for learning, skills development, social interaction and good fun. We caught up with Munashe to hear what he had to say about his time at CNIB Lake Joe.
A selfie of Laura Mason. She sits outdoors in the sunshine with a lush green plant behind her.

An intervener’s experience at CNIB Lake Joe

Every year during Adult Week programming, CNIB Lake Joe welcomes guests who are Deafblind and their intervenors. Laura Mason is an intervenor with CNIB Deafblind Community Services in Hamilton, Ont. And we spoke with her about her experiences at CNIB Lake Joe.
A selfie of Harjinder Saran at CNIB Lake Joe.

Meet Harjinder Saran

In July, Harjinder Saran visited CNIB Lake Joe with two other youth from British Columbia for the Canadian Leadership Development Program (CLDP). We spoke with Harjinder about her experience. 
A puck drop. Hockey players, Brayden, Mathew and Eli during practice on the rink.

CNIB Lake Joe’s New Blind Hockey Program

This summer, CNIB Lake Joe was extremely fortunate to have Luca DeMontis, Program Director at Canadian Blind Hockey and General Manager of the Canadian National Blind Hockey Team, coach the first-ever Blind Hockey Camp during Camp Abilities Week. 
Daniel Kisielewski, guest at CNIB Lake Joe Adult Week 2022, playing the black grand piano in the CNIB Lake Joe lounge.

An interview with Daniel Kisielewski

This interview is based on a “Guestimonial” Llonella Gilbert, our CNIB Lake Joe Communications Intern, had with Daniel during his stay at CNIB Lake Joe. 
A headshot of a Shawn. He is smiling and wearing a red CNIB Lake Joe t-shirt.

Meet Shawn Johnson

Born in Peterborough, Shawn now lives with his family in Hiawatha First Nations, Ontario. He is First Nations Mississauga Ojibwe and is a Sun Dancer. Shawn lost his sight in 2010 at the age of 50. His first visit to CNIB Lake Joe was in 2013, and he hadn’t missed a year until the pandemic closed in-person camp in 2020.
Peter and his wife Denise pose for a photograph at the bus entrance. Both are wearing t-shirts that say, "If they can't get there, they can't benefit."

Lion Peter Best: Smashing Transportation Barriers

For many campers, transportation poses a significant barrier to visiting CNIB Lake Joe. With the support of Lions Clubs and dedicated Lion Peter Best, campers from southwestern Ontario have travelled safely and comfortably to Lake Joe on "Peter’s Bus" since 1989.

“In the late ‘80s, I noticed many people with sight loss from the Windsor area were not able to get to CNIB Lake Joe,” says Lion Peter from the Windsor Downtown Lions Club. “It seemed like the people who were least able to travel were those who could benefit the most from CNIB Lake Joe.” 
Jason Mitschele and Dwayne King are standing together at a CIBC Run for the Cure event.

What’s YOUR Mountain? Team Limitless encourages kids to live without limits

Jason Mitschele always wanted to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. He used to live in Africa and knew others who had made the assent. Blind from birth, Jason thought climbing was a lofty dream, but he is not the kind of guy to hold back. 

As a Federal Crown Prosecutor with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, Jason reached out to his friend Dwyane King, a past police officer and special investigator with Toronto Police Service, to ask if he would be his sighted guide. 

Dwayne laughed, thinking Jason was joking, but a week or two later said, “I’m in.”

“Initially, it was just the two of us with a plan to climb in 2018 or 2019,” explains Jason. “Then someone suggested we fundraise to create awareness too. We created an account called ‘Team Limitless.’”
Cerenna-tee Racey standing in front of the Wellness Centre wearing a grey CNIB Lake Joe sweater, smiling.

Creating a Sensation: Cerenna-tee Racey

“It was overwhelming but in a good way,” says Cerenna-tee Racey when reflecting on her first visit to CNIB Lake Joe at the age of nine. 

“At that time, I was in mainstream public school system and didn’t know a lot of partially sighted kids. At Lake Joe, I met other kids my age, and we did new things together, like wakeboarding. I actually did it…and it was exhilarating!” says Cerenna-tee. “I was excited to meet other kids who had similar struggles. We were able to learn from each other. And on Family Weeks, the parents were also partially sighted or blind. It was important to see adults with a similar diagnosis to me functioning well and continuing with their lives.”