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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.

Roy Klementti smiling, wearing a red golf shirt

Volunteer profile: Roy & Mark Klementti

In the last two years, the CNIB Lake Joe property has undergone a makeover with the additions of a multi-sport court, a 5-a-side soccer pitch, a mini-golf course, and a fully resurfaced shuffleboard court. These accessible features will keep campers busy learning new skills and building friendships with teammates and competitors alike. None of this would have been possible without the incredible support of Roy and Mark Klementti – a dynamic father/son volunteer duo.
Taylor Gaudot is smiling for a photo wearing her hair in braids and a green top.

I learned so much about my community: staff member Taylor Gaudon

by Martha Uniacke Breen for Cayman Marshall International Luxury & Lifestyle

“As I grew older, I needed a job, but I wasn’t comfortable in the typical teen jobs like fast food or retail. So my mum applied to CNIB for ideas. They suggested becoming a program facilitator, which is a kind of counsellor, at CNIB Lake Joe."
Julia scales the climbing tower at CNIB Lake Joe. She is wearing a harness and helmet.

Dare to Dream – Meet Julia Stevenson

CNIB Lake Joe has been a “second home” for 49-year-old Julia Stevenson from Bowmanville, Ontario. When she recalled her most recent visit during the new Holiday Week program, she gushes that “It was the best experience…just phenomenal.”
Shawn Dale, Bill Vastis and Derek Thompson sit together on a bench and pose for a group photo on the shoreline of Lake Joe. Their smiles are wide and radiate joy! 

Growing up with CNIB Lake Joe – meet Derek Thompson

“My parents say that Lake Joe saved me because I was angry and miserable when my vision changed," says Derek Thompson. "But once I was at Lake Joe, those feelings dissipated, and my maturity started to develop.” 

Nearly 35 years later, Derek Thompson still remembers his first visit to CNIB Lake Joe.
Stela sitting on a leather ottoman in front of a fireplace with her German Shepherd guide dog in front of her.

Meet Stela

An advocate, student, teacher, and music specialist, Stela Trudeau started volunteering with CNIB summer camps when her eye condition was formally diagnosed in 2015.
Mason (left) and Ollie (right) and Buddy Dog Hope pose for a picture at Lake Joe. They are wearing face masks and holding their white canes.

When Ollie met Mason

Ollie has a compromised immune system, and to keep him safe during the pandemic, he has not been able to spend time with friends. But that changed when Ollie arrived at CNIB Lake Joe with his sister and parents as part of Holiday Week, a new offering at CNIB Lake Joe. Ollie met Mason, an 11-year-old boy, and as Ollie’s mum puts it, “The two became fast friends, inspiring each other to try new things.” When Mason told Ollie he was going to try kayaking all by himself – without a parent, Ollie wanted to try, too.
Fred Arbour, District Governor A2, holding the District of the Year Award, 2020-21

CNIB Honours Lions’ Top Contributors

“I was totally surprised when I got the award. It never even crossed my mind,” says Fred. “I’m very thankful. I’ve been a Lion for over 50 years, and CNIB Lake Joe is one of the areas that I’ve most enjoyed in all my years of being in Lions.” 

Fred says that the love of CNIB Lake Joe runs in the family. 
The Knip family posing for the camera on the lakeshore at CNIB Lake Joe.

Summers at CNIB Lake Joe with the Knip Family

CNIB Lake Joe has become a family vacation destination for the Knip family: Sarah, Josh and their children Caleb, Keagan, Avery, Hudson, and Nora.

Three of their children live with sight loss. After learning about the camp from an Early Childhood Intervention Specialist in 2015, the family now visits every summer.
Susan Creasy smiles for a photograph.

Meet Susan

Susan Creasy and her family have been part of the Lake Joe journey since the beginning. Her grandfather and great aunt, Wilfred C. James and Elsinore C. Burns, were both members of the Lake Joseph Planning Committee in the early stages of development in the 1960s.
In 2015, Barb Ennis poses at a ribbon-cutting ceremony when she, as Lions District Governor for A12, purchased a brand new van to enhance client service. This van is now in service at CNIB Lake Joe!

Lion Barb Ennis: Kindness and Service in Action

Lion Barb Ennis grew up in Toronto close to CNIB's head office, and every day she saw people with white canes and guide dogs travelling to and from CNIB. And every summer, her family went to their cottage in Muskoka where her mom, a relief nurse at CNIB Lake Joe, would take her along.