Ontario region switcher


For content relevant to your community in Ontario, Please select your region

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.

Please also check out our blog post about how camp changes lives. 


A young woman with long brunette hair is smiling at the camera. She is wearing a long-sleeved black shirt and a necklace.

Meet Bree: CNIB Lake Joe’s Camp Program Manager

CNIB Lake Joe is thrilled to introduce Bree Leblanc, our new Camp Program Manager. With her vibrant personality, love of puns, and a passion for camp, Bree is already making a positive impact on our community.
A smiling Sam Smadella in the mountains in the backgound

Sam Smadella: Bringing Music to the Ears of CNIB Lake Joe’s Virtual Campers

Sam Smadella is a recreational therapist who has always had a passion for helping others. Whether it's in palliative care, child care, or diverse communities, Sam always finds herself making an incredible impact wherever she goes.
Jane Casey, Board member, CNIB Lake Joe Advisory Board

Jane Casey invites you to “Get on Board”

The CNIB Lake Joe Advisory Board (LJAB) is currently recruiting new members. Jane Casey, LJAB member and long-time CNIB Lake Joe alumnus shares why she joined the Board and why you should consider this opportunity too.
Anne Lindsay and Colin Cripps (part of the Jim Cuddy Trio), David Throssell and his wife Cassidy, and Jim Cuddy at CNIB Lake Joe.

Meet David Throssell

David Throssell, Executive Consultant at IG Private Wealth Management – Throssell Group, has a long-time history with CNIB and played a special role as the presenting sponsor of CNIB Lake Joe’s 2023 Cookout With Cuddy fundraising event. Thrilled that David will be our presenting sponsor again for the 2024 Cookout With Cuddy encore event, we wanted you to learn more about him and why he couldn’t resist the chance to support CNIB Lake Joe.
 Vivian playing her ukelele on the lawn at CNIB Lake Joe.

Volunteer Profile: Vivian Chong

It has been said that in order to truly grow, we must be willing to stretch. Vivian Chong, past CNIB Lake Joe guest, long-time CNIB Lake Joe volunteer and yoga practitioner has been stretching her whole life and encourages everyone to “expand yourself!”
Khrisstina sitting in the front of a canoe holding a paddle in her hand. She is turning around to smile at the camera. The water is sparkling and there are green trees on her left.

Khrisstina Engel: Live, laugh, love at CNIB Lake Joe

In 2014, at the age of 38, Khrisstina's world was forever changed when a stroke caused her to lose her sight. The following two years were a tremendous struggle, marked by a profound loss of direction and the challenge of navigating life without sight. In 2016, she took a pivotal step by attending CNIB Lake Joe, a decision that would redefine her perspective on her ‘second life’ after losing her sight.
From left to right: (L-R) Emilee Schevers, Tavish Gillan, Taylor Gaudon and Jade Ondrik by the outdoor pizza oven at CNIB Lake Joe. They are wearing blue t-shirts with the word “Fearless” in print and braille.

“This is where we met our people.” CNIB Lake Joe online and onsite

The COVID-19 pandemic was all about keeping everyone safe at home, but for the Gillan family – and hundreds like them – it was the start of a whole new way to connect with others sharing a sight loss journey.
Matt Simonot (seated) with his friends, setting up for the CNIB Lake Joe Cookout with Cuddy event. Matt’s sister, Lara is beside Matt, second from the right.

Meet Matt Simonot: Volunteer with a Vision

When Matt first arrived at CNIB Lake Joe in his role as a volunteer counsellor, he was a teenager with a humble goal of completing volunteer hours for school. He jumped at the chance to get involved with CNIB Lake Joe as it was a stone’s throw from his family’s cottage. It didn’t take long before he began to understand the magic of CNIB Lake Joe.
Jessica in the shed at CNIB Lake Joe, wearing her coveralls while she takes care of the fleet of red tandem bicycles.

Volunteer Jessica Bailey: over 20 years and counting

CNIB Lake Joe is lucky to have long-time volunteers, but not many are like Jess Bailey. She has been volunteering at CNIB Lake Joe for most of her life!
Maria Reinhart, posing for a photo outdoors, wearing a red plaid shirt with green shrubs behind her.

Meet Maria, CNIB Lake Joe’s new Program Manager

We are so pleased to welcome Maria to CNIB Lake Joe as our new Program Manager.