The Avril Lavigne Foundation and Easter Seals Announce the Avril Lavigne Rockstar Club

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Giving Kids & Youth with Disabilities the Opportunity to Express Their Individuality & Have Fun

I was inspired by the creativity of everyone who applied and the exciting range of opportunities the Easter Seals affiliates presented. Recreational programs allow young people with disabilities to develop critical social and emotional skills and have fun.

The Avril Lavigne Foundation announced today the creation of the Avril Lavigne Rockstar Club at Easter Seals, an initiative to support recreational programming for children and youth with disabilities, their families, and communities. The first four Easter Seals affiliates selected to receive an Avril Lavigne Rockstar Club at Easter Seals grant are Easter Seals Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana in Ohio; Easter Seals Capper Foundation in Kansas; Easter Seals Massachusetts; and Easter Seals Southern California.

Earlier this year, Easter Seals affiliates from across the U.S. and Canada were invited to apply for an Avril Lavigne Rockstar Club at Easter Seals grant. The grants’ initiative evolved from the collaboration between Easter Seals and The Avril Lavigne Foundation originally announced in September 2010 to identify and support recreational programs for kids with disabilities and their families and communities. Thirty affiliates applied for a grant. Following a review of the top 12 applicants, award-winning singer/songwriter and philanthropist Avril Lavigne and The Avril Lavigne Foundation selected four Easter Seals grant recipients.

“It was really tough to pick just four,” said Lavigne. “I was inspired by the creativity of everyone who applied and the exciting range of opportunities the Easter Seals affiliates presented. Recreational programs allow children and young people with disabilities to develop critical social and emotional skills and also just have fun. As great as these programs are, a lot of times when budgets are tight these will be the first programs cut. My goal is to help bring more resources to these great programs.”

The four initial grant recipients were chosen based on their overall impact and embodiment of the Avril Lavigne Foundation’s R.O.C.K.S. mission: Respect, Opportunity, Choices, Knowledge, and Strength.

The unique programs supported by the grant will include a program to connect teens with disabilities with other kids in their community at Easter Seals Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana in Ohio; an art camp at Easter Seals Capper Foundation; an overnight camp at Easter Seals Massachusetts; and an afterschool music program at Easter Seals Southern California. To learn more about these exciting programs, please visit The Avril Lavigne Foundation website at http://www.theavrillavignefoundation.org.

“We’re so lucky to have such an incredible partner in Avril and The Avril Lavigne Foundation. She cares deeply about making sure kids and young people with disabilities have every opportunity to live life to the fullest, pursue their dreams, and find happiness. She’s also passionate about sharing a message of inclusion, that kids and young people with disabilities want to laugh, have fun with their friends, and just fit in – like all of us,” says James E. Williams, Jr., president and chief executive officer, Easter Seals. “We also know when it comes to Easter Seals, Avril was most inspired by our recreational programming – services where kids and teens with disabilities can just be kids through social events, music, theater, sports, arts, leisure time, hobbies, getting out in the community and camp. That’s what The Avril Lavigne Rockstar Club at Easter Seals is all about.”

About Avril Lavigne
Avril Lavigne is a multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated singer/ songwriter. Though most of her philanthropic efforts have been private and anonymous, Avril has publicly supported a number of charitable organizations over the years, including Amnesty International, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, War Child, and YouthAIDS. Avril currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Nancy Davis Foundation for Multiple Sclerosis. Avril’s work with children who are seriously ill or who have disabilities inspired her to form The Avril Lavigne Foundation in 2010.

About The Avril Lavigne Foundation
Award-winning singer/songwriter and philanthropist Avril Lavigne created The Avril Lavigne Foundation in early 2010. The Avril Lavigne Foundation R.O.C.K.S.: Respect, Opportunity, Choices, Knowledge, and Strength in support of children and youth living with serious illnesses and disabilities. The foundation partners with leading charitable organizations to design and deliver programs, raise awareness and mobilize support for children and youth living with a serious illness or a disability.

About Easter Seals
Easter Seals is the leading non-profit provider of services for individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities and other special needs. For over 90 years, we have been offering help and hope to children and adults living with disabilities, and to the families who love them. Through therapy, training, education and support services, Easter Seals creates life-changing solutions so that people with disabilities can live, learn, work and play. Support children and adults with disabilities at http://www.easterseals.com.

Contacts:

Ann Kelly, The Avril Lavigne Foundation
ann(at)globalphilanthropy(dot)com
http://www.theavrillavignefoundation.org

Kristen Barnfield, Easter Seals
kbarnfield(at)easterseals(dot)com
http://www.easterseals.com

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Kristen Barnfield
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