Janice is no stranger to the west coast. A retired physician who worked in general practice and sports medicine, Janice grew up in Victoria, BC and returned after time spent in Calgary and on the Southern Gulf Islands. She is a great lover of the outdoors with a passion for being in and on the water. So much so that in July she competed for the 5th time in the Race To Alaska, a 1200km non-motorized boat race from Victoria to Ketchikan.
Janice has undertaken the multi-week journey by motorless sailboat, tandem rowboat, and tandem kayak, paddling through all types of weather, including days of dense and disorienting fog. As an unsupported race, sleeping locations were sorted as they went, with Janice and her partner Ian camping on beaches, docks, and in boat berths and other accommodations thoughtfully offered along the way. For Janice this is all part of the event’s charm. In addition to loving being active, Janice has been drawn back by the community the race creates, the generosity of spirit and kindness of those she meets along the way, and positivity the event generates.
Janice first joined the Power To Be community through her involvement with the David Mason Educational Fund through Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island. The fund was created by the G. R. Pearkes Women’s Auxiliary, in honor of her brother to help youth with disabilities to pursue their education goals beyond high school. David was born with hydrocephalous and spina bifida, spending his life in a wheelchair. This didn’t stop his parents and siblings from spending time with him in the outdoors. The Mason family ensured David was included in their adventures in nature, including visits to beaches and parks with Beacon Hill Park in Victoria being a favourite, and traveling on a cross-country road trip. Janice has fond memories of pushing David in his stroller as a 2-year-old into the shallows of the Atlantic Ocean off PEI and later in his wheelchair on the sand of Long Beach (well before there were any wheelchair accessible accesses!) While he died at the age of 17, soon after the start of his first year in a regular high school, David’s memory lives on.
When researching local organizations to receive a donation from the fund, Janice saw parallels between Power To Be’s mission and her own beliefs in the importance of outdoor education and nature as essential to life. Reflecting on her family’s experience with David, she realized that not everyone is able to access and explore nature, which supported the direction of a kind gift to help develop Power To Be’s site at Prospect Lake.
Janice continues to support Power To Be by donating monthly, a giving practice she knows the sustainable benefits of from her experience of volunteering with other organizations. As for next adventures, Janice is looking forward to more paddling, coastal rowing and hiking adventures, along with an upcoming trip to New Zealand to visit her daughter. In the new year she plans to become further involved with Power To Be.
We are so immensely grateful that Janice is a member of our Power To Be community. A big heartfelt thank you for your support throughout the years!