Board of Directors

Board Chair Jean Hargreaves

As a parent, grandparent, retired school principal and advocate for youth well-being, I welcomed the opportunity four years ago to work with Lori Johnson and provide leadership for the development and delivery of the programs of a growing charity. Sweet Charity Medical Assistance Dogs’ mission “to provide health care support services to persons with a medical disability by training assistance dogs and helping individuals manage their disability” compelled me to serve. Our staff and volunteers, medical professionals and local health agencies, along with families of children and youth with diabetes and/or the challenges of mental health, are learning together while sharing the rewards of this collaborative work. The pioneering research presently being conducted will give evidence of the power of a specially trained dog to provide emotional and medical support to alleviate the challenges of these chronic diseases. I am incredibly proud to act as the chair of Sweet Charity’s board of directors.

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.

Director of Program Kathy Currie-Eyers (RPN, KPA-CTP, CTB.css)

Kathy has been breeding, raising, and training purebred dogs for the past 30 years. She has competed with both Siberians and Labradors in various CKC events. Kathy is a perpetual student and is always studying the way dogs learn, think and interact with each other. She started her journey with Ch.ValleyWood’s Justy Nuff CDX WC TT CGN and has been her goal since 2000 to create clean healthy educational environment for people and their dogs. Her passion has always been training dogs to be assistance companion partners for disabled persons. Manna, Jared, Freddy, and Jasmine all provide both assistance and companionship to their handler/owners.
Her credentials include: Certified Training Partner with Karen Pryor Academy Graduated Cum Laude, Founder and Director for Camp DogWood North, Breeder of CKC Registered Labrador Retrievers, Chair of Canadian Association for Professional PetDog Trainers (CAPPDT), Founding Member of International Positive Dog Training Association, Obedience Instructor for Georgian College Orillia, Original founder/partner of Barrie Canine Connection, Certification in Canine Behaviour Studies and Canine Communications, Co-Author of Instructor Certification exam with Norma Jeanne Laurette, Certified Evaluator for Therapeutic Paws of Canada, Accredited Petsmart trainer Graduate of Thomson Education Direct Animal Sciences, Numerous courses/Seminars for dog trainers, Volhard Camp Instructor training and Canine Studies, Member of Canadian Kennel Club Competed to the Utility level, Evaluator for the CKC Good Neighbor Test, Over 28 years experience in breeding, training and competing with purebred dogs

Director of Governance 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. I am looking forward to being a member of the board and can see great things on the horizon.