Senior Wish Association is an entirely volunteer run registered charity.
Our volunteers are our backbone and are directed by the board of directors.
Barb Richards - Founder, Past Chair
In my work as an auctioneer I would visit many seniors and their life stories would affect me. I would visit the seniors and see how lonely they were, that sometimes all they needed was a listening ear and a friend – for that reason I started Senior Wish, so that we could grant wishes an ensure that no senior in our community would ever feel alone. Our first year we gave Christmas presents to 75 seniors, it has now grown to reaching over 3000 seniors that otherwise would have been alone or forgotten.
I could never express the full joy of starting Senior Wish and the support received from so many people – some who started as soon as I said it out loud that I wanted to start a Charity for Seniors.
Memories of wishes granted, Christmas Wish, the Memory Project, Seniors, Students and so much more still brings tears to my eyes when I think of Senior Wish and the special stories. This has been a life altering charity and I am so proud of where we are today, I may be the founder but so many people are the life blood and the heart of Senior Wish such as our amazing volunteers, Board of Directors, advisory board, supportive and caring community, and donors. There are books about Chicken Soup for the Soul. Senior Wish is my ‘Chicken Soup’ and my opportunity to give back.
Pat Imrie - Chair
I have been with senior wish since its inception in 2010 and have held a board position since 2011.
I also spearheaded the tour of lights that I approached the barrie Huronia rotary club to cosponsor and was very successful until this year where we had to cease due to COVID
I have been married for 49 years and have three sons and 51/2 grandchildren . I came to Barrie in 1957 from Thornbury and met my husband in 1967 at central collegiate .
Working with all the seniors homes in our area at that time I set up mobile banking for seniors and worked along side OPP doing fraud seminars. Also joined hands with local lawyers to do estate planning seminars . Seniors have always been my passion.
In closing I have chaired our Seniors wish association with so many passionate volunteers and our common goal is to make sure that every senior feels loved and respect.
Bonnie Neely - Treasurer, Director Wishes
I was born and have lived near Barrie all my life and have no desire to go elsewhere. I married my college beau and we’ve raised 3 amazing sons and recently welcomed our first grandchild.
Ever since high school I have believed in “giving” back to worthwhile causes and have been a team mom, baseball coach, hockey tournament co-convenor, president and convenor of various sports leagues and canvasser for Canadian Cancer Society.
Upon retirement I was motivated to give back to those in society, our valuable seniors, that are often less thought of. My 30+ years of accounting experience are a part of what I bring to the Senior Wish Association but mostly my joy in knowing that we can bring happiness and comfort somehow to the lives of those who have so much to share with us about themselves.
Dianne Malinowski - Director Volunteers
My father was in Long Term Care and I witnessed many seniors alone and forgotten. I joined Senior Wish 8 years ago to try and make a difference in their lives. I have a background in Business and Accounting and managed a business in Barrie for many years. My prior experience on a board and committees at Port Severn Campers Association. I am leading the Volunteers and Seasonal Programs for Barrie and look forward to the challenge.
Elizabeth Brandon - Director
I have been a member of the Senior Wish Association since 2018 and joined the board in 2021. Volunteering has been part of my life since my early teens. My experience includes leading a youth group,over ten years as a Director on the local and provincial boards of Ontario March of Dimes, teaching Taoist Tai Chi and almost fifteen years as a Board member for Simcoe County Carriage Driving for the Disabled
Volunteering is one of the most rewarding experiences an individual can have.
Julie Heidman - Director Orillia
I have been helping with this wonderful organization for 4 years.
I am very passionate about making sure our local seniors are not overlooked and I love seeing the smile on their faces. It makes me as happy as they are.
Krista Richards - Director Communications
Growing up it was instilled in us to give back to the community, this is just one way I can give back.
Sharon Wice - Director - Fundraising / Grants, Innisfil Chapter Chair
I am married to my sweetheart Frank, have two beautiful children and two wonderful grandchildren. I also volunteer for SafeHaven, a Project for Community Living, and am a driver for the Innisfil IdeaLab and Library.
Tracey LaSalle - Director Seasonal Events
I enjoy time spent with family, friends and volunteering within the community. Retired from RBC with 34 years of service.
Can You Imagine
Anne Marie Carson for Senior Wish Association
What do You See
when I struggle to stand
my pride and resolve or the old legs of a man
Can you imagine as you pass me in haste
that I once ran with vigor in many a race
Would it surprise you, the things that I know
the places I’ve been and still wish to go
What would you think of the musings I’d share
if only you’d pause and pull up a chair
What do you hear
when I quietly speak
thoughts I’m expressing or a voice cracked and weak
Can you imagine as you rush through your days
that I was busy like you with the children I raised
Would it surprise you that I too worried at night
if my love was enough and my choices were right
What would you think if my words eased your mind
if only you’d rest here with me to unwind
What do you think
when I stumble in song
that my memory’s faded or my passion still strong
Can you imagine the tears that I’ve shed
lost in rhythm and art and the words that I’ve read
Would it surprise you that I still long for more
of that choir of beauty beyond my front door
What would you think I’d hear in your song
if you’d only reach out and invite me along
What do you see
in the stoop of my back
my lifetime of labour or the strength that I lack
Can you imagine the spare edge of toil
in coaxing a harvest from the promise of soil
Would it surprise you that it nurtured my soul
with the blessings of gratitude reaped in my role
What would you think of my hunger to see
the sun rise on my fields, now so far from me
What do you see
in the folding of years
more time that you wish for or lines in the mirror
Can you imagine a view that is meant
to see a life lived and not a life spent
Would it surprise you, the part you could play
in shifting perceptions in a meaningful way
What would you think your donation would mean
for the lives of our seniors who wish to be seen