Board Of Directors
Chair - Ashley Knight
I am thrilled to be a part of the Sweet Charity organization. With my role as Vice-principal of one of the Simcoe County District School Boards secondary school and my previous role as Math, Science, and Special Education teacher, I have had the opportunity to be involved with numerous service dogs over the past 7 years. Presently my school has 6 trained CAP canine teams – one of those teams is our schools Principal Hailey McLean and her dog Mabel. Working so closely with a CAP team has demonstrated the amazing benefits of our CAP teams. Mable presence and gentle nature adds a calming layer to our office space for everyone present, staff, students and parents. These benefits are felt throughout our school as students and the community get to know our CAP teams and look forward to sharing classes with them. Ultimately seeing the presence of these teams in our schools helps to build community and wellness throughout our school. As we strive to help support students physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually these CAP teams play a large part in helping our buildings achieve this goal. I feel fortunate that I get to be part of such an amazing program that benefits so many students in Simcoe County.
Director Of Operations - Laura Lee Millard-Smith
I have been very fortunate to grow up and live in Grey and Simcoe County. Growing up with a dog as part of the our family ensured we always were greeted when coming home from school with smiles (sometimes a drool or two) and a wagging tail. I have been working in high schools in Simcoe County District School Board for 25+ years and when I became aware of Sweet Charity and the Canine Ambassador Program I wanted to get involved! As a Principal of an Alternative School, I knew that students attending the school would welcome a CAP dog at the school. My dog Bella graduated from the CAP program in December 2019 and has visited all the Alternative Campuses of my school in SCDSB. She has played an important role in student wellness at the schools with her friendly demeanor and enthusiasm to see students. I am looking forward to supporting Sweet Charity as Director of Operations and ensuring our programming continues to support learners and families.
Director Of Finance - Savanna Hargreaves CPA, CMA
Savanna received her professional accounting designation in 2010 from the Certified Management Accountants of Ontario, which is now part of a unified accounting body – Chartered Professional Accountants. She currently works at Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) as a Financial Analyst taking on the lead role of providing expertise in regards to the boards capital spending and tangible capital assets. Savanna is passionate about health and wellness and making a positive difference in her community and network. Currently, she volunteers for the SCDSB Health & Wellness committee and has previously been a Health & Wellness Champion. She has had the pleasure of being an accounting tutor as well as helping to create and facilitate learning and development sessions for the financial and actuarial community within the Canadian Division of Manulife; all aligning with her values of improving the well-being of others. She is now committed to using her skills and experience in working with Sweet Charity Medical Assistance Dogs. Improving the lives of families with children with diabetes from both a lifesaving and mental health standpoint is something she feels very strongly about and looks forward to helping the charity grow and achieve its vision.
Social Media Liaison – Marci Duncan (she/her/hers)
Being the Social Media Liaison for Sweet Charity is a wonderful opportunity! Through this role, I get to share all of the wonderful ways Sweet Charity dogs, from our Service Dog and Canine Ambassador Program (CAP) are making a positive impact in our community! I’ve always believed that dogs provide us with unconditional love and that they take care of us as much as we take care of them (even science confirms this! Read: 10 Science Based Benefits of Having a Dog) That is why I love our Sweet Charity Program so much; it gives us the opportunity to share their love and support with those who need it. As a Principal, I’ve seen the positive impact that our Sweet Charity Dogs have on students and their well-being through the CAP Program. Over and over, I saw the joy that our Sweet Charity CAP dogs bring to our students as I watched their faces light up with smiles or even just a twinkle in their eyes as they connected with their furry friend!
Contact me at email@example.com if you have any questions about the programs we offer or to share a story. Connect with us on our Sweet Charity Facebook page or tag us @SweetCharityDog on Twitter to share pictures, and stories and to celebrate our beautiful furry friends!
Past Chair - John Playford
What a wonderful opportunity it is to be part of the Sweet Charity organization. With my role as Principal of one of Simcoe County District School Board’s secondary schools and my previous role as Special Education Teacher, I have had the opportunity to be involved with service dogs within the schools. Presently my school has five CAP canines. With the growing need for students to feel safe in schools, my school has adopted a wellness approach that involves physical wellness, emotional wellness, spiritual wellness, and mental wellness. Our Wellness Dogs play a huge part in achieving that goal. I believe it is the role of education to ensure students are afforded the best opportunity for success, not only academically but also personally. The Wellness Dogs help students who are feeling anxious, with medical needs such as diabetes, and those coping with loss or other emotional trauma. Equally important is the positive effect they have on staff wellbeing.