Easter Seals Celebrates 85 Years of Helping Children With Physical Disabilities



    TORONTO, March 5 /CNW/ - 2007 marks the 85th anniversary of The Easter
Seal Society of Ontario which is kicking off its annual March is Easter Seals
Month campaign today to raise awareness and much needed funding for children
with physical disabilities. The organization was founded in 1922 by
representatives from ten Windsor area Rotary Clubs as a vision to create a
better life for children with physical disabilities. The organization is also
celebrating the 70th anniversary of its camping program which began in 1937 as
the first Canadian camp for children with physical disabilities. Easter Seals
has since become the industry leader in providing specialized residential
camping programs at two fully accessible camps.
    "The Rotary Club of Windsor (1918) is proud of its long history and
leadership in supporting children and youth with physical disabilities and
their families so that all may achieve a sense of self-worth, independence and
accomplishment," says President of The Rotary Club of Windsor (1918), Maureen
Lucas. "We are pleased to know that Easter Seals continues to help children
and youth get the equipment they need to achieve a sense of independence and
accomplishment."
    Thanks to the support of sponsors and individual donors, Easter Seals
continues to assist families with the financial aspects of raising a child
with a physical disability, such as expensive mobility equipment and
communication devices, which can cost up to $40,000 per year.
    "Easter Seals children and their families are so inspirational and face
their challenges with such determination and spirit," said Buzz Hargrove,
National President of Canadian Auto Workers, one of Easter Seal's largest
supporters. "We want to give them as much support as possible."
    Over the years Easter Seals has enjoyed the support of many prominent
individuals, including Whipper Billy Watson who not only implemented a variety
of fundraising initiatives, but also helped introduced the Easter Seals
Ambassador program in 1947. The program continues today with a boy and a girl
being selected to represent Easter Seals and help increase awareness for
children with physical disabilities. The 2007 Easter Seals Ambassadors are
twelve-year-olds Yannique (Nikky) Henderson from Toronto and Matthew Debly of
Windsor.
    As mayors across Ontario are declaring March is Easter Seals Month, these
two new ambassadors will be busy spreading the word about Easter Seals kids at
a variety of fundraising events and activities.
    Schools across the province organize their own Penny Power fundraising
campaigns. As well, participating retailers across Ontario will be offering
Paper Eggs for $2 from March 16 to April 8. On March 31 and April 1, tune in
to the Easter Seals Telethon to hear inspiring stories of Easter Seals
families. This year's Telethon kicks off with a live benefit concert featuring
Canadian east-coast music award winning trio "Shaye" on March 31 at 5:30 p.m.
Returning Telethon hosts Roger Abbot and Don Ferguson from The Royal Canadian
Air Farce will be joined by celebrity guests and entertainers. For more
information or to donate visit www.easterseals.org.




For further information:

For further information: Meredith Wiens, 1-800-668-6252 ext. 368


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