by Rhonda Massad
Corrie Sirota takes active to a higher level. Corrie and her husband Andy Frankel can be found ballroom dancing, fundraising, teaching, coaching and traveling. Corrie and Andy met in 1981 at the Y Country Camp.
“We hold Camp Erin at the same camp location where we met,” Corrie explained in an interview with Westmount Neighbours. “We did not date at that time but met again six years later at a costume party. The theme of the party was ‘Back to the Future” and we were engaged six months later! Married June 19, 1988, we celebrated our 30th anniversary this past June.”
Corrie lives by the mantra “Don’t let looks fool you, everyone faces a struggle of some kind.” Corrie’s philosophy is that one’s attitude in life determines one’s altitude in life. That is to say; Corrie doesn’t care if one believes their glass is half empty or half full, she prefers to help others recognize that regardless of what’s in your glass, you can always refill it.
Corrie holds a Masters degree in Social Work as well as a Graduate Certificate in Loss and Bereavement from McGill University, Montreal, where she has been teaching for over twenty-five years. As a licensed psychotherapist, Corrie maintains a private practice specializing in grief & bereavement, stress management, relationship issues and she also facilitates support groups that focus on loss and grief, as well as Caregivers support. Most recently, Corrie has taken on the role of Clinical Director for Camp Erin® Montreal – a free weekend-long bereavement camp for children aged 6-17.
Camp Erin® is the largest network of free bereavement camps in North America, designed for children and teens aged 6-17 who have experienced the death of someone close to them.
Camp Erin® Montreal brings hope into the lives of bereaved children and teens by providing a safe environment to share their story, process their grief in healthy ways and honour the memory of the person who died. Led by grief professionals and trained volunteers, Camp Erin® Montreal provides a unique opportunity for peer bonding for children and teens facing similar life circumstances. This weekend-long overnight experience is filled with traditional, fun camp activities, combined with grief education and emotional support.
Grieving the death of a significant person in one’s life can be such an emotionally challenging experience; if Camp Erin® Montreal is able to help a grieving child or teen, we are here to join them on their healing journey.
“Both of my daughters volunteer at Camp Erin, as does my husband. My younger daughter, Justine, is also trying to break into the modeling community as a plus-size model. My older daughter, Ashley, is very involved in WISTA – West Island Theatre Association, a nonprofit local theatre group that performs in and around the city.”
When Corrie is not focusing on Camp Erin, she can be found at the gym and on CJAD, not to mention that she is also a company director for Westcoast Connection, where she supports groups of youths traveling around North America and Europe.
“I am a Monster gym rat – which is where you can find me most weekend mornings as well as various times during the week. When possible, I love to travel, and just returned from a bucket-list trip to South Africa,” Corrie shared. “I enjoy participating in Community events and offering a helping hand whenever possible – this is how I met Rhonda, the editor of this magazine when she created a food depot for flood victims, I came to help.”
Corrie is a co-host of Life Unrehearsed on CJAD every Sunday from 4 – 5 p.m. The show is all about the ins and outs of everyday life. Whether you’re a parent to younger ones or an adult child of older parents, hosts Matt Del Vecchio and Corrie tackle topics that will help you navigate what life throws your way. The show features guests who are experts in their fields, as well as people who have experienced adversity such as cancer, organ transplants or who are battling an addiction. Matt and Corrie also field calls and texts with questions from their listening audience.
Should you be interested in learning more about Camp Erin® Montreal, Corrie would be happy to meet with you; or, if you know a family that could benefit from this program, please contact her at any time: CampErin@ymywha.com or 514-737-6551 ext 264. www.camperinmontreal.com