Dory was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her father was a career military man and that meant numerous moves across Canada and four years in Germany. She was an only child and loved to read, sing and learn. She was accelerated through school and started high school three months before her thirteenth birthday. This made her the youngest girl in her class and resulted in years of being bullied. She was not the only one bullied. Her best friend in high school committed suicide six months before graduation. That was probably the genesis for her need to champion the underdog, a trait that continues to this day.
In 1991, when she heard reports of young students committing suicide because of bullying, she decided to go public with her own story. She ran a series of features on CTV that concentrated on the topic of bullying and shared her experiences. She also wanted to create a dialogue between those who bullied and those who were the victims. She started out small, with a group of nine students in an elementary school. By 2015, over 2,500 students across southern Alberta had heard her story. She developed, “The Strength is in YOU!” program. A series of interactive talks and role-playing that creates empathy and awareness about the serious consequences of bullying. She shares her story through social media with parents and groups across the country and makes personal visits to families who are dealing with this issue.
Her career in broadcasting has afforded her the opportunity to be a voice for those in the community who think they have none and to use her position to highlight issues and causes that have touched her and many others in the community.
When she was four years old, she was burned in an accident in Ontario. In 1993, when she learned that statistics for burn injuries in children were on the rise in Alberta, she worked with the Lethbridge Fire Department, over an eight month period, to create a burn prevention video to air on CTV. For her work she received the International Fire Fighters Award from Washington, DC, and a National Can Pro Award. More importantly, the video was shared with thousands of young students across Alberta and earned a place in many school libraries. In 2011, she created another one that targeted burn safety for seniors. That video also won international recognition.
A short time as a single parent, in her early twenties, greatly impacted Dory. That experience made her very aware of the need to support local charities that help women and children who are struggling. In 1993, she started working on an annual “Warm Hearts” campaign that encouraged people to donate warm winter clothing, which would be distributed to charities across Alberta. She not only put the call out for clothing, she also helped sort, pack and deliver items to organizations. She was “in the trenches” doing the work. By 2013, the campaign had gathered over 65,000 coats, which were given to groups that distributed them to their clients in need. Updates on the annual campaign aired on her weather cast, which further encouraged and reminded people to donate.
Dory uses her position to shed light on the challenges and triumphs of those dealing with physical and emotional struggles, participating in conferences and panel discussions for a variety of issues.
Because of her ease at public speaking, she is often asked to be a key-note speaker at events that highlight these and other issues. It was for that reason she received the Toastmaster International Award for Communication Leadership.
Her passion for volunteering and encouraging others to volunteer, led to her being named “Citizen of the Year” in 2011.
She has taught “Weather in the Classroom” to over 175 school groups during her career! Her grandfather was an RCMP officer in northern Saskatchewan and developed close friendships with First Nations families. They told him stories of how weather changes can be detected in nature. He shared those with Dory, as a child, and now she incorporates those stories into her weather classes, along with the technical science of weather observation.