The Children's Wish Foundation of Canada to present the Laura Cole Volunteer of the Year Award to Donna Serr

PICKERING, ON, May 31, 2011 /CNW/ - The National Board of Directors of The Children's Wish Foundation of Canada announced today that Donna Serr of Alberta has been named the recipient of the eighth annual Laura Cole Volunteer of the Year Award.

With firsthand knowledge of the magic of a wish, volunteering with Children's Wish was a natural choice for Serr. Her daughter Melanie was diagnosed with brain cancer at 16.  Surgery forced Melanie to cancel a previously planned dream trip to Italy through a Rotary Club summer exchange program.  When Children's Wish sent her to Rome, Italy some months later, Melanie was ecstatic.

"Her dream was alive again, and for a whole week our burdens were lifted," Serr recalls.  "Children's Wish gave us wonderful memories that we will always be able to hold onto as a family." 

Sometime later, Donna decided to step up her involvement with Children's Wish. She eventually became sub-chapter chair for Medicine Hat, Alberta and since then revenue and brand awareness has mushroomed. Donna is often found speaking at schools, at media engagements, arranging and supporting community events and actively fundraising on behalf of Children's Wish.  She has helped raise over $300,000 and attracted numerous supporters.

"Donna's tireless efforts in fundraising and community involvement on behalf of Children's Wish has and will continue to make a difference in the lives of children living with life threatening illnesses," noted Children's Wish CEO, Chris Kotsopoulos.  "Her contributions highlight the dedication and importance of our volunteers. I would like to express on behalf of Children's Wish our sincere and heartfelt appreciation for her devotion to organization and the children we serve."

Donna is particularly passionate about a school-based initiative, surrounding Children's Wish's signature event, Wishmaker Walk for Wishes, because of its focus on children helping children.

She recently spoke at a participating school and met a current wish child: a five-year-old kindergarten student, who has an inoperable brain tumour.  Her wish was to meet real live princesses at Disneyland.  Donna asked, "any particular princess?" She looked back at Donna with big wide eyes full of wonder, "all of them of course!"

"That is my passion," says Donna.  "To make it possible for precious children like this little five-year-old to have their heart's desire.  There really is nothing like it.  Children's Wish changes children's lives - and volunteering for them can change yours."

The Laura Cole Volunteer of the Year Award will be presented to Serr on June 4, at The Children's Wish Foundation of Canada's Annual General Meeting Banquet Dinner, held in Montreal.

The Children's Wish Foundation of Canada

Each year, thousands of Canadian children between the ages of 3 and 17 are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.  Since 1984, The Children's Wish Foundation of Canada has worked tirelessly to grant exceptional wishes to 17,000 children and their families.

This year, the Foundation expects to grant 1,000 new wishes and is proud to have never refused a wish to an eligible child, and with the help of volunteers and generous donors, is able to grant nearly three wishes every day.  Each wish is an individual adventure, carefully structured to meet the needs of a particular child and family. The Foundation is a grassroots charity with chapters in every province and territory. Visit for more information.

SOURCE Children's Wish Foundation of Canada

For further information:

Paul St-Germain
Director, Communications
The Children's Wish Foundation of Canada
Phone: (905) 839-4566 x 240
Toll-Free: 1-800-700-4437

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Children's Wish Foundation of Canada

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