As a Family Physician in Hamilton, Ontario, Catherine believes that Ak-O-Mak (and places like it) are essential for empowering girls in today’s busy and ever-changing world: “I have given a large part of my life to Ak-O-Mak because I believe it makes a unique difference to girls’ lives. I see it here. A child does something that she never thought possible, connects that achievement with how she feels inside… and that is the birth of authentic self-esteem, based on irrefutable evidence. Ak-O-Mak is much more than sports training. It is a holistic experience that translates into meaningful personal growth later in life.”
For over 3 decades, Dr. Catherine McAndie has volunteered her time to Camp Ak-O-Mak, nurturing a passion ignited during her first summer as a camp counsellor in the late 1970’s. That summer proved a life-altering experience, and Buck knew he had a real Ak-O-Makker in the making!
During her years at medical school and residency at McMaster University in Hamilton, Catherine always found time on vacations to lend a hand in the infirmary, taking care of campers and nurturing her own love for Ahmic Lake and “the green and orange.” In 2006, Catherine was honoured to be appointed to the Board of Directors of Camp Ak-O-Mak by Buck Dawson and Co-Trustee of camp with Dianne Young.
Catherine has returned to Ahmic Lake for at least part of every summer since she was 17 years old. It is not surprising, therefore, that it is where she met her husband, Herb Denny, now a retired commercial pilot for American Airlines. Catherine and Herb’s daughter, Marion, also attends Ak-O-Mak and is on her way to earning her 10-year watch!