Niagara Children’s Center fundraising exceeds goal

Niagara Children’s Center staff and supporters announce the result of the Help Kids Shine community fundraiser, which raised $267,200 – the highest amount in the centre’s 58-year history.
  • Team Unicorn, consisting of Todd, Amelia, and Kimberly Melville, along with Lauren Skeoch and Rhonda Silwa, raised $1,000 for the center through their Plasma Car Race fundraising efforts.

It was the highest goal yet, and yet Niagara Children’s Center beat it.

Each May, the annual Help Kids Shine campaign, a partnership between the St. Catharines center and local Bell Media radio stations, aims to raise funds to help the center run its programs and remove children from waiting list.

This year, they decided to raise $250,000. It was the most ambitious goal the campaign had set in 19 years.

When the campaign ended on May 31, they had raised $267,200.

Center CEO Oksana Fisher said as demand continues to grow for the center’s services, funds raised during Help Kids Shine provide immediate financial support to help more children and their families in Niagara.

She said it also ensures that additional programs not covered by provincial government funding, such as recreation therapy, behavioral counseling, family-to-family support programs and water sports, can continue to thrive at the center. .

The campaign culminated in the annual plasma car races at the Gale Center in Niagara Falls.

The relay-style event featured 19 teams of four adults competing on plasma cars as they race their way to the finish line.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Fisher said. “The plasma cars inspire a sense of nostalgia among competitors, and the event is a great way to engage with local residents and businesses.”

Each of the participating teams took on the responsibility of raising a minimum of $550 for the center in the weeks leading up to the event.

Team Unicorn, consisting of Todd, Amelia, and Kimberly Melville, along with Lauren Skeoch and Rhonda Silwa, raised $1,000 for the center through their fundraising efforts.

Their team name is a tribute to the girl, Amelia, who often wears a unicorn headband or something unicorn-related.

Amelia suffers from a rare condition called Zellweger Spectrum Disorder and has been receiving care from the center for nearly nine years. She accessed services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, enhanced communication and the centre’s walking clinic.

“She’s also a bit of a unicorn herself,” Kimberly said. “There’s something magical about her, her energy.”

Each year, more than 5,800 Niagara children and youth with physical, developmental and communication delays are supported by the range of services offered at the centre.

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