Susan Wheeler

Susan Wheeler

Coffee with… Susan Wheeler

Longtime volunteer with the Comox Valley Therapeutic Riding Society

 

Scott Stanfield

Record staff

For 23 years, Susan Wheeler has been a board member with the Comox Valley Therapeutic Riding Society, which offers a host of programs for people with mental, physical and emotional challenges.

She is also one of about 200 volunteers who assist participants on a weekly basis.

“I started out as a volunteer, and I still volunteer on Tuesday afternoons. I enjoy it, the volunteers enjoy it, and of course the people that ride enjoy it.”

Originally from Ontario, Wheeler moved west in the mid-70s. She attended Malaspina College when she lived in Nanaimo. She took a course and moved to the Comox Valley in the late-70s.

“I raised two kids here in the Valley,” said Wheeler, a grandmother of seven. “One is still here and one has moved to Vancouver. It was a great place to raise kids.”

When she was a single mother and her children were young teens, various special needs teenagers lived at her house on weekends to provide their families respite. When her own children reached high school, she was a foster mom to one teen for about four years.

“He was part of the family.”

Wheeler’s partner, John, also had a special needs man living with him when the couple moved in together. He too was part of the family for many years.

Before retiring, Wheeler had been a program worker with the Comox Valley School District for 20-some years. She operated a kitchen for special needs’ students at Vanier Secondary.

“We did a lifeskills program. That’s another connection with here (Riding Society).”

At times, she sees former and current students at the riding centre at the exhibition grounds — the same location of Vancouver Island MusicFest.

“I haven’t missed one,” Wheeler said of the annual, multi-day music festival. “It’s just great. It’s fun. Once you get to know lots of people, it’s like having a party and not having to host it. You just go around and chat to people and get caught up on their lives.”

For several years Wheeler has been having a great time singing with the Celebration Singers, a non-auditioned concert choir consisting of more than 90 members.

“It’s a highlight each week,” Wheeler said.

Another passion is keeping fit by gardening and hiking. She also takes fitness classes offered by Courtenay Recreation.

Wheeler is also busy selling tickets for a 50/50 draw to raise funds for the society. The grand prize is up to $25,000, depending on ticket sales.

Tickets are $10. The draw date is March 18.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Danita Bilozaze and her daughter Dani in Comox. Photo by Karen McKinnon
Valley woman makes historic name change for truth and reconciliation

First in Canada to be issued new passport under the TRC Calls to Action

For Leela Harrop, the recent death of her brother Raju Tiwari pushed her to sign up for the vaccine. Photo supplied
Comox woman on fence books vaccine due to brother’s death

Leela Harrop says she did have issues with signing up online this past week

Most categories of crime held steady from year to year in Cumberland. File photo
Cumberland crime numbers hold steady year to year

A few categories had notable changes but many were similar to 2019

The colourful Taylor’s Checkerspot butterfly has been reintroduced on Hornby Island, BC. Photo courtesy the Taylor’s Checkerspot Butterfly Recovery Project.
Checkerspot Butterfly Recovery Project releases more caterpillars on Hornby Island

Chris Junck Special to Black Press The number of Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies… Continue reading

Paper Excellence took over Catalyst Paper operations in B.C. in 2018. (Paper Excellence photo)
Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Most Read