Imagine the financial toll of outgrowing your vehicle every four years. To make things more complicated, you don’t just need your vehicle to get to the store – you need it to get to the fridge. This is a glimpse into the life of a child who needs a wheelchair, and how the cost can impact families in our communities.
Wheelchairs may need to be replaced multiple times during a child’s growth, they need servicing and repairs, and it is sometimes necessary to upgrade manual wheelchairs to motorized wheelchairs, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
A physical disability also doesn’t disappear at the front door. Homes of children with physical disabilities may require renovations with items such as bath lifts, ramps, stair lifts, and even wider doorways to accommodate wheelchairs.
Supporting Easter Seals helps children with physical disabilities acquire the mobility equipment and communication devices that give them freedom, independence, and a sense of accomplishment. This year’s Easter Seals Telethon takes place on March 29 from noon until 7 p.m. on Shaw TV cable channel 10. The hosts and panelists are local volunteers who give their time to the cause. The community is encouraged to tune in to watch the stories of local children and families who have been affected by Easter Seals, and to call in their donations.
The telethon will be a chance to see this year’s Easter Seals Ambassador Ben MacDonald in action. “Oh I’m very excited to be part the Telethon,” says Ben, a grade nine student at White Pines who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and a knack for public speaking. “I’m one who has always enjoyed my independence and am looking forward to being part of the telethon that raises money to give other kids that sense of independence through equipment and experiences like Easter Seals camps.”
Donors who pledge over $52 and $100* can also have their names entered to win prizes, many of which have been provided by Joe Maione, who originally started working with Easter Seals through his volunteer work with Special Olympics as a coaching and executive member. “Some of the Special Olympics families had children that tapped into Easter Seals or came to watch some of our local events.” Joe has been generously contributing prizes to the Telethon for many years. “My donation of the sports collectables through my hobby, Maione Collectables, is a tool to provide the donors an incentive to donate towards the annual local telethons.”
The following telethon prizes are from Maione Collectibles:
Autographed Joe Thornton Soo Greyhounds OHL jersey*
Autographed Phil Esposito Chicago Blackhawks NHL jersey*
Autographed Steve Yzerman East Conference NHL all star jersey*
Replica Justin Verlander Detroit Tigers MLB all star jersey*
Nikolas Kromwall signed Detroit Red Wings hockey stick
Ron Francis NHL Carolina Hurricanes action figure and bobble-head
Bobby Orr matted photo and box of collector cards
Canada Olympic Team scarf, cap, and T-shirt
Boston Bruins NHL fleece towel and T-shirt
NHL “Winter Classic Tickets” poster
Pittsburgh Penguins NHL hoodie
Dukes of Hazard collector’s car
Other prizes include a pizza every week for a year courtesy of Dominos Pizza*, a gift basket courtesy of WalMart, a Keurig home brewing system courtesy of McDougall Energy, a $100 Esso gas card courtesy of McDougall Energy, and multiple $25 gift certificates from local restaurants.
For more than 90 years, Easter Seals has played an important role in providing support for children and youth with physical disabilities from all ethnic and religious backgrounds. Thanks to its generous donors, Easter Seals continues to offer programs to allow kids to experience freedom, independence and a sense of accomplishment. Easter Seals helps by providing financial assistance for mobility equipment, communication devices and fully accessible summer camp opportunities at its two properties, Camp Merrywood and Camp Woodeden.
Please call 705-254-KIDS on March 29th from noon to 7 p.m. or visit http://eastersealstelethon.org/ssm/ to give now and help kids BE KIDS!