TORONTO, Feb. 29, 2012 /CNW/ - This month, Easter Seals Ontario kicks off its annual fundraising and awareness campaign for kids with physical disabilities, March is Easter Seals Month; and this year, Easter Seals celebrates its 90th anniversary. In 1922, a group of visionary Rotarians recognized the lack of services for children with physical disabilities and took action to bring the needs of these young people to the forefront through the creation of what is now known as Easter Seals Ontario.
"Easter Seals has a long and proud history and we continue to focus on the organization's initial priorities of providing assistance for mobility equipment, fully accessible recreation and public awareness of disability issues," said Carol Lloyd, President & CEO, Easter Seals Ontario. "In addition to celebrating 90 years of service, 2012 also marks the 75th year of Easter Seals Ontario's fully accessible summer camping program as well as the 65th anniversary of our annual Easter 'seal' direct mail campaign, which continues to be one of our most successful fundraising and awareness initiatives."
March is Easter Seals Month is of particular focus for Easter Seals' annual fundraising and awareness efforts. "During this month, and throughout the year, we hope to make people more aware of disability issues and let them know how they can reach out to help make a difference for children and youth with physical disabilities in their communities," said Carol Lloyd. "We have a number of events planned across the province in the coming months and we hope everyone will come out to lend their support and celebrate with us."
Activities planned throughout the year include:
- On March 16, Easter Seals will launch the 12th annual Easter Seals Paper Egg Campaign with retailers across Ontario including Booster Juice, TSC, The Bargain Shop!, Sobeys, Foodland, FreshCo, Price Chopper and Money Mart. Shoppers will be invited to purchase a Paper Egg for $2 in retail stores, which will be displayed in-store for the duration of the three-week campaign.
- On Sunday, April 1, 2012, from 12 noon until 6:00 p.m., the 29th annual Easter Seals Telethon will celebrate 90 years of helping kids with physical disabilities succeed on CBC broadcasting. There are six affiliated Easter Seals Telethons in communities across Ontario including, Windsor, Kingston, Peterborough, Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury, as well as the Greater Toronto Area, with some regions extending broadcasts until 8:00 p.m.
- In addition to the live on-air Telethon, the Easter Seals Webathon will air from 12 noon - 6 p.m. on www.cbc.ca as well as easterseals.org. The top winners of the 2nd annual Action! Easter Seals Video Contest will broadcast during the Easter Seals Telethon and Webathon, and the top three videos will be awarded prizes during the final hour.
- Easter Seals is proud to be a part of a special project by PhotoSensitive and Easter Seals, Kids Who Can presented by Canon. This past summer, 24 photographers and videographers visited 12 Easter Seals camps across Canada with the goal of capturing the joy and sense of discovery found in the faces of Easter Seals kids experiencing summer camp. The photos and video footage are now part of a multimedia exhibition that will be on display in Toronto from March 6-16, with an online version following the gallery launch.
- On June 7, Easter Seals will host a birthday party for its 90th anniversary in communities across the province including Toronto, Ottawa, Kingston, Peterborough, Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay, London, and Windsor. In addition, the CN Tower in downtown Toronto will be lit in red and white for Easter Seals Ontario on June 7 beginning at 4 a.m. and continue again at sundown until 4 a.m. the following morning. This special themed lighting of the CN Tower will help commemorate Easter Seals Ontario's 90th anniversary celebration.
Since 1922, Easter Seals Ontario has provided families of children with physical disabilities with financial assistance for expensive mobility equipment and communication devices such as wheelchairs, walkers, braces, as well as fully accessible Easter Seals camps, and funding for alternative recreational programs. For more information or to donate, visit www.easterseals.org.
For further information:
Senior Communications Officer
Easter Seals Ontario
416.421.8377 ext. 326