ANGELA BLENKHORNE, FOUNDER AND CHAIR
A passionate advocate for alternative resources for grieving kids, Angela has been navigating grief since the age of 14 when her father died.
Turning this experience into action to help bereaved kids find a sense of community by honouring their losses together and remembering how to thrive again was the driving force behind creating Bernie's Buddies.
For over 20 years, Angela has worked with and learned from kids' and youth groups through teaching skiing, yoga, and facilitating peer support networks.
Angela's interest in offering support options has led to continued education through grief courses, workshops, and seminars. In addition, she has held senior roles in several industries, including oil and gas, restaurant and event management, snow resort operations, and non-profit charitable organizations. Angela is currently a freelance writer and editor - for more information click here .
BERNIE THE SAINT BERNARD, CO-FOUNDER
Bernie the gentle giant bounced into Angela's life as a four month old pup. Bernie was found out on the cold winter streets by an animal rescue group. She was deaf since birth, had no tail, and wasn't one bit concerned about any of these things. The story of how Bernie adopted her fur-ever family was published in Dogs in Canada magazine.
Bernie's undeniable connection with kids was the piece that solved the alternative grief support puzzle and inspired using therapy dogs in Bernie's Buddies workshops.
Bernie also visited with other youth organizations, community groups, schools, and summer camps from 2009 to 2016. Bernie died in 2017 at the age of 9 but her legacy lives on through the four-legged volunteers who are so important to our programs.
We're proud to have committed volunteers to help us provide programming - their participation in our vision creates a positive impact in supporting Calgary's bereaved children.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Our dedicated Board features a broad range of experiences to guide our activities, including grief therapy and education, corporate strategy, and non-profit management. This provides unique perspectives in supporting grieving kids and youth. **Bios - coming soon!