Awards & Bursaries

About the Lori Sheppard Memorial Fund

The Lori Sheppard Memorial Fund was created in December of 2006 and is held in trust by the Vancouver Foundation.  Lori was an impassioned advocate who embraced life.  She was active in campaigns for the United Way, CNIB, and the 20/20 Foundation.  She was the founder and Executive Director of PAWS International and worked tirelessly to establish the biannual guide dog conference which was hosted by the charity she founded until 2017.  Lori was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes as a child and she became totally blind at the age of twenty-seven.  She passed away November 12th, 2005 from complications of diabetes and heart disease.

Her tenacity and capacity to bring the community together to assist other persons and organizations in need was her hallmark. The Lori Sheppard Memorial Fund was created by her friends, family and community members to both commemorate her spirit and provide support to individuals who possess great passion yet face significant barriers.

This year we are excited to be able to offer two bursaries of up to $2500 each. The funds may be utilized for payment of tuition fees, professional fees, purchase of adaptive equipment, or to support costs linked with the creation of a home business.

Fund Criteria

  • Must be a BC resident
  • Must meet criteria for legal blindness or have a medical condition that could result in progressive vision loss such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, etc.
  • Must be 16 years of age or older.

Application Form

If you meet the criteria listed above, please contact the Blind Beginnings office to request the application form.

Phone: 604-434-7243 or toll free 1-866-736-8620, or email

Deadline: Completed applications along with supporting documentation should be submitted no later than April 7, 2023.