Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs Society
Barb has lived on Vancouver Island for over 20 years. Her home is filled with animals- some permanent and some visiting for a period of time. She is a teacher who has worked with adults and children of all ages, from elementary, to middle to secondary. Barb believes in the importance of giving back to her community and recognizes the level of commitment our Canadian veterans have given to others. She strongly believes in the connection between animals and humans, especially the bond that develops so naturally between children and animals. Barb loves bringing animals, specifically cats and dogs, into her classroom as she observes them reduce the stress and anxiety of her students. It is because of these powerful observations that she is proud to be a member of the Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs Society, both as a Board Member and in her role as a Foster Coordinator.
DIRECTOR OF FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION
From a professional point of view, I have over 52 years working experience in the hospitality and banking industries, and have been co-owner of Qualicum Pet Foods for the last 18 years. Most of my working life has been in organizing and developing record keeping systems, general book keeping, the handling of incoming monies, budget and payroll preparation, and accounts payable.
On a more personal level my Father was a Chief Warrant Officer in the Army and fought in World War II, Korea and Viet Nam. Even after retirement from the Army my Father worked for the military. My Father and his friends suffered, I am sure from PTSD, and handled their war time experiences with alcohol and family detachment. My father was away from home so much that we hardly knew him. Sometimes his tours lasted for 3 years, when he was home it was awkward and troubling.
I am privileged and honoured to bring my skills and experience to VICD to help administer the organizational requirements and financial record keeping necessary to run a registered charity. I often reflect on how my father and his friends’ lives would have been helped with the aid of a dog and being a part of a community of Veterans that would understand their experiences serving their Country.
MARIA YEREMA, BA, CMNS
Maria Yerema is a grateful civilian who is honoured to support our veterans. An avid bicyclist, Maria has participated in Boomer’s Legacy BC Bike Ride seven times. She was proud to participate in Wounded Warriors Battlefield Bike Ride in Europe in 2015. Maria is a self-employed bookkeeper and author of ‘No Longer Alone: 365 Loving Suggestions on How to Recover from Depression’. In addition to VICD, she also volunteers with several other non profit organisations.
Graeme grew up in Scotland and graduated from the University of Glasgow School of Veterinary Medicine in 2008. He also completed a BSc in Conservation Medicine at the University of Liverpool. He worked as a mixed animal veterinarian in Scotland and Ireland for 3 years until coming to Canada in 2011, where he began working in general practice as a small animal veterinarian. Graeme is our newest member and just joined the board of VICD in 2017.
Candy graduated from U.B.C. with her Master’s Degree in Library Science, and worked in her chosen profession for over thirty years in both special and public libraries. She provided reference and literacy programs in several communities. Candy has served on the Society of Organized Services (S.O.S.), various S.O.S. Committees, and is actively involved as a volunteer. She is also on the Board of Qualicum Cat Rescue, and volunteers regularly at Qualicum Pet Foods.
Candy has been an Oceanside resident for over twenty years, and has a great affinity for those who need a hand up, and also for animals. She has a profound admiration for our V.I.C.D. veterans who struggle with P.T.S.D., and for their devoted canine partners. Her late husband was a sergeant with the R.A.F., and she knows first- hand the anguish and torment many of our veterans suffer in their lives. Our V.I.C.D. teams are her heroes!
My name is Mary Jane Alyward a retired accomplished Royal Bank senior business and personal account Manager of 35 years. I have enjoyed volunteering for Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs Society for over 2.5 years now. I am a board member and assist with fundraising and our working advisory group team to be successful at training our Teams.
I have witnessed our Veteran’s first day to when they receive their dog and while they go through some of our training programs. Their quality of lives changes to be more positive, healthy and happy. They return to more of a normal daily routine with their families and enjoy activities again.
I have volunteered for many years for non profit societies and I find it very fulfilling and a great way to meet people and keep active in our community. I assisted in starting the Lantzville Farmers Market and managed it for 2 years to a very successful and popular market.
My favourite daily pastimes are hiking with my Dog Luke and husband everyday and enjoy cooking healthy meals. I am dedicated in hitting the gym 3 times a week.
We grow a huge vegetable garden to can and freeze food for the winter. In loving the outdoors we try and go camping in our 5th wheel in the spring and fall between weeding and harvesting time.