"March is Easter Seals Month" offers many ways to help kids with physical disabilites

    TORONTO, March 3 /CNW/ - All parents want their children to grow up
happy, healthy and self-sufficient. For families who have a child or youth
with a physical disability, these goals are much more difficult to reach.
    When Noah Romer was a baby, his family spent every day praying that he
live until tomorrow. Today, Noah is eight years old and has Cerebral Palsy
(CP), visual impairment and is developmentally delayed. He's in a wheelchair
and probably will be for the rest of his life. In addition to the ongoing
physical and emotional stress, each passing year brings more financial stress
for the family in working to meet Noah's needs for care. In Ontario, Easter
Seals is often the first resource that families like the Romers turn to.
Easter Seals provides the programs and financial assistance they need to
function like any family.
    Easter Seals Ontario provides funding to families of children, youth and
young adults with physical disabilities for costly equipment such as
wheelchairs, walkers, leg braces and communication devices. As children grow,
most equipment must be replaced and can cost families between $10,000 and
$40,000 a year. And, the need is greater than ever.
    "Last year the needs of families who came to Easter Seals for critical
financial assistance exceeded the funds available. Two out of every ten
children with physical disabilities had to wait for help or find other
resources," said Carol Lloyd, President and CEO, Easter Seals Ontario. "We are
relying on the generosity of donors and corporate sponsors in 2008 to help
bridge this financial gap to ensure these children get the funding they need."
    "Youth and the well-being of Canadians are two important pillars of our
community investment program," said Kathleen Woodard, CIBC's Market
Vice-President for GTA East. "Through our corporate donation and the volunteer
work of our staff, we want to help give young people with physical
disabilities the support they need and deserve. Families in communities all
over the province rely on the support provided by Easter Seals, and CIBC is
committed to helping to make a difference in the lives of Easter Seals kids."
    During March is Easter Seals Month, there are many ways to help kids with
physical disabilities, like Noah. Schools across the province organize their
own Penny Power fundraising campaigns. As well, participating retailers across
Ontario are offering Paper Eggs for $2 from February 29th to March 23rd. Join
the celebration as the Annual Easter Seals Telethon marks its 25th year
April 6th, 2008 on CBC television. Renowned, Canadian celebrities and talent
help shine the spotlight on Easter Seals kids bringing awareness to the
challenges and the inspiring victories of children and youth with physical
disabilities, while raising imperative funds. Now in its 61st year, the annual
Easter "seal" direct mail campaign is one of Easter Seals' largest fundraising
initiatives. For more information or to donate visit www.easterseals.org.

For further information:

For further information: For media or interview inquiries, contact: Barb
Saunders, Communications, Easter Seals Ontario, (416) 421-8377 Ext. 326, cell:
(416) 655-9546, bsaunders@easterseals.org; Interview Opportunities with the
2008 Provincial Easter Seals Ambassadors, Julia Oliver, 12, Toronto, Sylvain
Labelle, 14, Sudbury area

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