Vic Gnaedringer and Susan Frizzell show off Polly the puppy on the grounds of the Queen Alexandra Centre for Children’s Health in Saanich. Polly

Vic Gnaedringer and Susan Frizzell show off Polly the puppy on the grounds of the Queen Alexandra Centre for Children’s Health in Saanich. Polly

Along came Polly: Children’s Health Foundation supports guide dogs with $15K grant

B.C. Guide Dogs increasingly helping children, teens

At just 12-weeks-old, Polly rings a bell and calmly waits for her chance to go outside to relieve herself.

The golden labrador is in the guiding hands of Saanich couple Vic Gnaedinger and Susan Frizzell. The goal is to graduate Polly through the B.C. & Alberta Guide Dogs program as an autism support dog or guide dog.

Polly was at the centre of attention last week in front of the Children’s Health Foundation office, as the Saanich-based organization donated $15,000 to the B.C. Guide Dogs program. In turn, the Children’s Health Foundation were given the opportunity to name Polly.

“We chose the name for one of the first children Queen Alexandra Solarium treated at the original Mill Bay location in the 1920s,” said CEO Linda Hughes of Children’s Health Foundation. “In those days, the focus was tuberculosis and polio. It just goes to show you how the needs of children have changed.”

The solarium relocated to Saanich in the 1950s and the Children’s Health Foundation came after that.

It’s the first time Frizzell and Gnaedinger have raised a dog. They were drawn to the idea because of Gnaedinger’s visually impaired niece, who has benefited from her guide dog.

“We are really enjoying it, this might become a regular thing for us,” Frizzell said. “There’s a lot of fun to it, Polly has regular playmates with her brother Carl who is just down the road from us.”

This year, a grant proposal by the B.C. Guide Dogs caught CHF’s attention.

“We’ve moved from supporting adults to also supporting youth and children, and this is the first year we’ve received funding from Children’s Health Foundation,” said CEO Will Thornton of B.C. & Alberta Guide Dogs. “We have two whole teams of guide dogs graduation soon which are supported by Children’s Health.”

Autism support dogs help facilitate daily life skills and provide comfort and security to children with autism. The dog prevents the child from suddenly running or wandering off, and reduces stress, anxiety and frustration levels of the child. The dogs also help in social settings.

Butterfly Ball raises record donations for CHF

Children’s Health Foundation held its seventh annual Butterfly Ball, for father and daughter, and raised the most to date: $44,000.

The ball was held on May 2 at the Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour and tickets sold out in less than a week. Dinner, dancing, games and a live and silent auction made up the evening. The event included a personal story shared by a local family of how support from the foundation has made a difference to them.

The Butterfly Ball has now generated over $185,000 in support of children and youth with disabilities and health challenges across Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. The money supports child and youth mental health, the Queen Alexandra Summer Camp, the purchase of therapeutic equipment, Jeneece Place and the Bear Essentials Program, which helps families cover costs related to their children’s medical care.



Just Posted

There were 255 babies born in Victoria in May 2021. (Black Press Media file photo)
Pandemic baby boom makes for a busier Vancouver Island Father’s Day

Victoria’s 255 babies born in May up almost 10 per cent over last year

Brian Korzenowski rides with Athena, left, and Venus who are safely strapped in and goggled up with the wind in their fur. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
Double-dog motorcycle sidecar brings smiles to Sooke Road commuters

Athena and Venus are all teeth and smiles from their Harley-Davidson sidecar

Brooke Morneau, a previous participant in car parades, will watch one she has organized for this weekend from her Sidney workplace. (Courtesy Brooke Morneau)
Rolling show and shine ready to cruise Sidney through Saanich

Car parade past senior care homes set for Saturday, June 19

In January 2019, Grade 5 students from Glenlyon Norfolk School, accompanied by Grade 11 student Anastasia Castro, gave a presentation to Oak Bay council seeking a ban on plastic bags in the district. (Black Press Media file photo)
Oak Bay set to survey businesses on single-use plastic products

Survey gathers information ahead of expected legislation on provincial, federal level

(Black Press Media file photo)
School parking problems plague Oak Bay residents

Need exceeds official requirements for parking at St. Michaels school

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko, a Vancouver lawyer, has been suspended from practice for two months after admitting that his firm mismanaged $44,353.19 in client trust funds. (Acumen Law)
High-profile B.C. lawyer suspended over $44K in mismanaged client trust funds

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko admits to failing to supervise his staff and find, report the shortage

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
B.C. casino workers laid off during pandemic launch class-action lawsuit

Notice of civil claim filed in Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo against Great Canadian Gaming

John Kromhoff with some of the many birthday cards he received from ‘pretty near every place in the world’ after the family of the Langley centenarian let it be known that he wasn’t expecting many cards for his 100th birthday. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Cards from all over the world flood in for B.C. man’s 100th birthday

An online invitation by his family produced a flood of cards to mark his 100th birthday

Most Read