ErinoakKids Foundation Announces Seven Recipients of First Annual Pride & Joy Awards to be Celebrated at Inaugural Fundraising Event

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The ErinoakKids Foundation announced the recipients of its first annual Pride & Joy Awards, created to honour and celebrate the achievements of the children and families of ErinoakKids, Ontario’s largest treatment centre for children with disabilities.

The ErinoakKids Foundation announced the recipients of its first annual Pride & Joy Awards, created to honour and celebrate the achievements of the children and families of ErinoakKids, Ontario’s largest treatment centre for children with disabilities. The recipients will be celebrated at the awards dinner on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga.

The award categories and recipients are:

  •     Family Tree Award: Kieren Heilesen, age 6, of Milton has become a passionate advocate for his sister Lauryn, and through his touching example, he teaches people many times his age about inclusion.
  •     Branching Out Award: Trevor Hill, age 14, of Mississauga, does not let the stroke he suffered in utero slow him down as he launches into life with determination and a positive attitude.
  •     Reaching New Heights Award: Brock Richardson, age 19, of Brampton, courageously reached out to confront negative attitudes about disability at his school and hasn’t stopped since.
  •     Roots of Learning Award: Justin Boateng, age 9, of Brampton has transformed from a student who had to be separated from others to a popular and admired youngster who excels in both academics and sports.
  •     Little Acorn Award: Jordan Pires, age 5, of Oakville astonishes her team of health professionals with her fierce determination and refusal to acknowledge the words “never” and “can’t.”
  •     Little Acorn Award: Maclain Agnew of Oakville is only 3, but he touches everyone he meets with his determination to overcome his hearing difficulties and communicate with others. Likewise, his parents’ unwavering commitment to helping him reach his full potential is an inspiration.
  •     Mighty Oak Award: Lauren Boyce, age 27, of Georgetown has overcome the challenges associated with a childhood stroke and gone on to become a tireless advocate and fundraiser to help others like herself.

These seven outstanding individuals were selected from nominations received from parents, caregivers, clinicians and community members and exemplify what it means to be an ErinoakKid. Videos of the award winners and Don Cherry, who will host the awards dinner with his daughter, Cindy.

“The ErinoakKids Foundation is proudly looking forward to celebrating our recipients at our inaugural Pride & Joy Awards Dinner. These exceptional young people not only provide an opportunity for the community to embrace them and their amazing achievements, they challenge us as a community to look at disability differently, and they offer hope and inspiration to others facing similar circumstances,” said Anissa Hilborn, President, ErinoakKids Foundation. They represent the thousands of children and their families who rely on the treatment, rehabilitation and support services provided by ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development.

ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development, the largest of 20 Children’s Treatment Centres in Ontario, offers a comprehensive range of treatment, rehabilitation and support services to children with challenges in Peel, Halton and Dufferin counties. The Centre will serve approximately 9,500 children with disabilities and their families in 2010-2011. Currently, 2,200 children are on the wait list for services.

The 2010 Pride & Joy Awards are a highlight within the broader Pride & Joy campaign, launched by the ErinoakKids Foundation in September 2010 with a goal to raise funds for critical programs, initiatives and equipment not funded by the government. Additionally, the Foundation can use these funds to create new programs and services for those families who remain on the wait list, ensuring they are able to benefit from intervention at the earliest stage of their child’s recognized disability.

“Programs which go beyond government-funded core programs are critical because they enable kids to be kids,” said Hilborn. “These non-funded programs include music therapy, drama and arts, physical fitness and recreational programs. Our fundraising also helps ErinoakKids acquire essential equipment such as hearing testing devices and physical fitness equipment for rehabilitative and strengthening programs.”

Corporate sponsors of the 2010 Pride & Joy Awards presented by Rogers Communications Inc. include Microsoft Canada, Tim Horton’s, Accenture Canada, Afexa Life Sciences Inc., Capital One Canada, and Empire Life Insurance Company.

“We are pleased to support ErinoakKids and to celebrate the unique abilities of the Pride & Joy award recipients who have had such a positive impact on their families and their communities,” said Terry Canning, Senior Vice President, Rogers Business Solutions, Rogers Communications. “Rogers Communications places great value on partnering with organizations like ErinoakKids to help children reach their full potential and to, ultimately, create healthier communities that are compassionate, welcoming and inclusive.”

For more information on the Pride &Joy Awards Dinner and the Pride & Joy Campaign please visit or contact Chris Stroud at 905-491-4305 or cstroud(at)erinoakkids(dot)ca.

About ErinoakKids
ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development is Ontario’s largest Children’s Treatment Centre (CTC) – serving approximately 9,500 children and their families each year.

Our clients have a wide range of physical and/or developmental disabilities such as spina bifida, cerebral palsy, traumatic injury and many other challenges including multiple and complex diagnoses. Some of the children have communication disorders, autism, are blind and/or deaf. They live in communities throughout Halton, Peel, Dufferin and, for some of our programs, Waterloo and Wellington. ErinoakKids has more than 600 staff and eight sites from which we provide a comprehensive array of medical assessment, therapy and support services to help children and their families.

Our main service areas include: the Child and Youth Rehabilitation Program, Autism Intervention Services, the Halton-Peel Preschool Speech and Language Program, Connections for Students, the Central West Infant Hearing Program, and the Central West Blind-Low Vision Program. Our goal is to help each child we serve to build on his/her unique strengths, and to maximize opportunities for independence, health and well-being. We also help families as they meet the challenges that come with having a child with special-needs.

ErinoakKids works from a family-centred philosophy, and our focus is on the strengths and resilience of our clients and their families. We have deep connections to the community, and partner with schools boards, other service providers and hospitals. The Ontario government funds our core programs through the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS). Additional programs and services at ErinoakKids, beyond those funded by government, are made possible through the generosity of private and corporate donors, as well as the time and expertise of volunteers.

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