Philanthropy became Maggie’s focus on the death of her husband in 2002 and in 2004, The Bras Family Foundation was formed. “Our foundation lends me the freedom to establish a mission statement which reflects the areas of my interest outside of the BRAS Drug Development Program at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto. While cancer research is very much my passion, establishing the foundation enables me to do more in the areas of cancer and in the arts and abused women and children.”
“I jumped into the philanthropy arena with the formation in 2001 of The Robert & Maggie Bras and Family New Drug Development Program, now the BRAS Drug Development Program at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. My husband Robert and my and our families involvement in raising funds for this program, ensures the success with which it is operated. The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation plays a leadership role. The program offers ground-breaking clinical trials, and is now considered one of the top drug development programs in the world.”
Paul Ivany - Director
Paul Ivany is a minister within the United Church of Canada, having retired after 30+ years of ministry at Norval United Church, a dynamic, thriving congregation northwest of Toronto. Paul has a passion for people – hearing their story, challenging them to grow, motivating them to give and serve. Raised by Salvation Army officer parents, Paul has always lived in an environment of care and compassion for others. He has extensive experience in the administration of social service programs for Provincial Offenders, Young Offenders, Federal Parolees, and individuals enduring gender-based violence.
Paul’s participation in The Bras Family Foundation allows him the opportunity to broaden his commitment of service to others.
Paul was welcomed as a board member on March 30, 2005.
Leah Lambrakis Bras - Director
Leah Lambrakis Bras is the daughter-in-law of Maggie Bras, a wife and mother. Leah is a University of Guelph Alumna, having achieved a Bachelor’s of Science in Animal Science and a Master’s degree in Animal Nutrition. Leah’s career in animal nutrition began in 1998 and today she holds the position of Vice President, Research and Development and Innovation at Simmons Pet Food, leading a team of 24 scientists. Leah has a passion for innovation, nutrition, health and wellness and makes this a significant part of her personal and family’s lifestyles, including her furry companions, otherwise known as dogs!
Leah strongly believes in philanthropy and is actively involved in volunteer work in her community. Along with her husband Jamie, they support and volunteer for many hospital, cancer and children’s programs and charities. Her ongoing desire to help and her drive to ‘be part of the solution’, make her a great addition to the board.
The director’s welcomed Leah June 17, 2010.
Savannah Snyder - Director
Savannah Snyder is the eldest granddaughter of Maggie Bras and is currently attending Queen’s Faculty of Law, after having graduated from Western University in the spring of 2020. Savannah is passionate about advocacy and is currently volunteering with Queen’s Legal Aid, as well as participating in research regarding the legal rights of abused women. Furthermore, Savannah is passionate about chronic illness and actively volunteers with Crohn’s and Colitis initiatives.
After losing loved ones to cancer, Savannah has had a passion to help those living with cancer. She has embraced The Bras Family Foundation’s Mission Statement, and the areas of philanthropy that it serves.
Savannah’s participation in The Bras Family Foundation provides her with an opportunity to further serve and help others, as well as add a fresh and young approach to philanthropy. The directors welcomed Savannah in October 2017.
Darien Brass - Director
Darien is the granddaughter of Maggie Bras and graduated from Carleton University in the winter of 2020. She is currently finishing her post graduate degree at Humber College in Marketing Management.
Darien has always been passionate about youth, with a keen interest in supporting under privileged youth in her community. Her other interest is being able to help those who are battling cancer. Darien has experienced a loss in her family due to this insidious disease.
Darien has embraced her new role in The Bras Family Foundation and will continue to support the foundation’s mission statement and its focus. Darien is looking forward to beginning her career in the field of Marketing.
Keeping her family close is extremely important to Darien, and what better way to do so then to work with them as a member of the board. Darien was accepted as a board member on October 16, 2020.