Bereaved Families of Ontario - Durham
"Bereaved, helping the bereaved to learn to live with grief. We can help the healing begin."

The role of the Bereaved Families of Ontario-Durham Board of Directors is to ensure that this organization is responsibly managed and 

that its goals are met effectively and efficiently.  These dedicated volunteer Board members are responsible for decision making, 

including strategic planning, finances, organizational operations, community relations and human resources.  They also ensure that the programs and services reflect the mission and goals of the organization.

This Board is a managing Board who, together with the Director of Member Services and the Director of Public Affairs, and volunteers, assists in the operation of BFO-Durham. Board members are not required to be bereaved parents; previous experience is an asset.

The Board of Directors meets once a month, and when the need arises for special called Board meetings.  Some of our Board Members 
have served on the Board for an extended period of time showing their dedication and belief in BFO-Durham. 
2014-2015 Board of Directors
Chair - Gary Goswell 

Gary came to BFO-Toronto for support after the loss of his 5 year old daughter Kelly Eilleen in June 1992.  After attending a mixed group, he was invited to take facilitator training which he completed in the fall of 1993.  Gary facilitated groups, did one-on-one interviews and spoke at family support nights for BFO-Toronto.  He was invited to join their Parental Advisory Committee to the Board of Directors.  By this time Gary had moved to Pickering and also began volunteering for BFO-Durham, facilitating several groups and one-on-one interviews. After becoming a member of BFO-Durham’s first Board of Directors, it became too time consuming to volunteer for both affiliates.   Gary continues on the BFO-Durham Board as its Chair, conducts facilitator training and on occasion is still an active facilitator.  Gary has a certificate in Bereavement Education from the Canadian Centre for Bereavement Studies and has shared that knowledge presenting at conferences, other community organisation events and of course family support nights.  Gary spent a year as Coordinator of BFO-Durham before paid staff could be hired and was part of the committee that established the children and youth support programs.  Gary was the Recipient of the Susan E. Hendrick’s Volunteer of Distinction Award in 2002.


Vice-Chair Louise O'Donnell
Louise currently works for a large medical company as an Associate Product Manager, is married and is the proud mother of 2 boys.  Tragically her youngest son Kevin died in a traffic accident in 1999.  Louise, together with her husband, found solace in BFO-Toronto in 1999, which then led them to BFO-Durham.   She was drawn to the safety and compassion found at BFO and has been volunteering since 2001.  She is a trained facilitator and has facilitated many drop-in support nights and 12 week closed groups, has provided one-on-one support to bereaved parents and most recently has trained other bereaved parents to become facilitators.  Her initial volunteering began as chair of the Walk to Remember and she has been involved in many of the fundraisers held since.  She has been Vice Chair on the BFO-Durham Board since 2003.  She was awarded the Volunteer of the Year award in 2004 and the Susan E. Hendricks Volunteer of Distinction Award in 2008.  Louise was the recipient of a 10 year pin at the 2012 Ontario Volunteer Service Awards Ceremony.
  Board Member - Jane Carter

Jane joined the Board in January 2011 so that she could continue to "give back" to BFO-Durham, as without their continuous support and guidance, she would not be where she is today. She became a member of BFO in 2001 following the death of her 13 year old daughter Julie. Fifteen years prior to Julie's death she lost her son Paul, who was full term, at birth. Jane attended a mothers' group early in 2001. She has taken facilitator training and now facilitates groups both in infant loss and older children. She also manages drop-ins for both age groups. She has been the Chairperson of the Angel Tree Committee for many years and has helped organize two BFO spring dances. She was presented with both the Volunteer of the Year Award and the Susan E. Hendricks Volunteer of Distinction Award.  Married and living in Pickering, she has two remaining children Michael, 25 and Jennifer, 22 and has been an ophthalmic assistant for 36 years. Through her training and experience with BFO, she is hoping she can now help the Board in the management of this wonderful organization.

 Board Member - Margaret Fortune
Maggie has owned and operated a business as a Personal Organizer since 2000.  Her daughter Annette Elizabeth passed away as a result of an auto accident in 1989 at the age of 20.  Maggie attended a Couples’ Group through BFO-Toronto in 1990.  She became a bereavement facilitator in the same year and facilitated at BFO-Toronto until her move to BFO-Durham in 2007 where she has been an active volunteer as a facilitator for drop-ins.   Margaret can always be relied on to assist in any fundraising events and has served as a Board member since 2007.  Margaret is the recipient of the 2012 Volunteer of the Year Award.
Board Member / Treasurer - Marian Rehr
BFO Durham was founded in 1983 and Marian was one of four founding mothers.  She has been a Board member and Treasurer since.  Marian facilitated many groups in the first 8 years.  At present, she is more involved in the background of BFO Durham.  She attends Board meetings and looks after the financial affairs such as the accounting and reporting to Revenue Canada.  She looked after the Incorporation and obtaining of the Registered Charity status.  Marian has recently retired from TD/Canada Trust and is working in the office part-time.   
Board Member / Recording Secretary - Micheline Ball
For the past 25 years, Micheline has been involved in property appraising in the Durham Region and has recently semi-retired from the field.  Married, with 2 sons and 3 granddaughters, 2 of them toddlers, keeps her busy but always smiling.  Micheline is a bereaved aunt and has been a volunteer with BFO-Durham for the past 12 years.  She has served as Recording Secretary for the Board since 2004 and has recently become a Board member. Her most recent projects are the new Web Site and the Newsletter.  In 2011, Micheline was the recipient of the Volunteer of the Year Award.  She was also the recipient of a 5 year pin at the 2012 Ontario Volunteer Service Awards Ceremony.