Something to Smile About

October 16, 2018

Tim Hortons Smile Cookie Campaign Raises $122,790 in Winnipeg.

From September 17 to 23, every dollar raised from Smile Cookie sales at Winnipeg Tim Hortons was donated to Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation.

This years total of $122,790  puts the total amount raised for the foundation during the past four years over $486,000. The national campaign started in 2003 and raises funds for close to 500 charities and community organizations across Canada.

Thank you to everyone who placed a delivery order to thank their employees, treat their neighbours or spoil their students. With the help of dedicated volunteers and tireless work of Tim Hortons staff, the foundation delivered over eight thousand cookies during the week.

Tim Hortons franchisees present Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation staff with this year’s Smile Cookie total at the newly renovated Tim Hortons location at 1521 Dugald Road

Breaking Barriers with Bikes

The Rehabilitation Centre for Children’s W.A. Laddie Hutchison Bike Clinic gives Children the Opportunity ride a bike

Eleven-year-old Avery Lindgren mastered bike riding at a young age.

“Avery was up on two wheels at a younger age than many kids and she has never looked back,” says Avery’s dad, Grant Lindgren.  “On any given evening, Avery can be found organizing the neighbourhood bike parade to the park.”

Avery Lindgren with her new  bike, which was modified in the W.A. Laddie Hutchison Bike Clinic.

The only difficult part was finding a bike she could ride. 

Avery lives with Dwarfism and buying a standard bike off a store shelf wasn’t an option.

“Avery has always embraced her small stature and never let her size stand in the way of anything. Her only physical limitations were created by a world that was designed for people that are larger than her,” says Lindgren.

That’s where the team of occupational therapists, clinical technologists, engineers, and technicians inside Rehabilitation Centre for Children’s W.A. Laddie Hutchison Bike Clinic stepped in. The Lindgrens purchased a standard bike and brought it to the centre where it was modified to meet her specific needs.

“We meet with children and their families to determine what type of bicycle and what type of modifications are needed to ensure they can safely enjoy riding a bike,” explains Matt Gale, a Clinical Technologist at Rehabilitation Centre for Children. “Families typically purchase a standard bicycle, and we modify it for their needs.”

The most common modification made to bikes is the addition of stability wheels—a robust version of training wheels that provide extra support and balance. Other common modifications include adding waist belts, trunk supports, as well as handles and brakes for parents.

“We try to make any modification that will ensure the child can ride their bike and have fun,” says Gale, adding that Avery’s bike took a bit more complex customization than most because the pedal and drive system were designed and built from scratch. 

Rehabilitation Centre for Children clinical technologist, Matt Gale, and occupational therapist, Julie Huish make final customizations to Avery’s modified bike.

Every year about 150 bikes are brought in and modified in the bike clinic, which is funded by a generous donation from Laddie and Pat Hutchison to the Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation.

“As parents, we are very grateful that the centre has helped Avery realize that there really are no limitations,” says Lindgren.

The Hutchison’s donation will ensure that children experience the joy of riding a bike for generations to come.

“I like to ride my bike to the park in my neighbourhood and while camping at Winnipeg Beach,” adds Avery. “I’m happy to have a bike so I can ride with my friends and my sister.”

An Inclusive Space for Youth to make Meaningful Connections

July 6, 2018

It’s Saturday night at the Rehabilitation Centre for Children— clinics are closed and offices are completely still. But one corner of the building is buzzing, and the excitement can be heard ringing throughout the hallways.

Ellie Boggs (left) and Recreation Therapist, Maya Kirstein, at the Rehabilitation Centre for Children’s Saturday Night for Teens program. Your generosity made it possible for 60 youth to attend the program this year.

“It gets loud sometimes, but that’s okay,” says 13-year-old Ellie Boggs about Saturday Night for Teens, a program run at the Rehabilitation Centre for Children.A group of about a dozen teens are busy prepping ingredients to make homemade pizzas, while another handful sit around a nearby table crafting colourful key chains.

The program is best described as a fun hang-out with friends. A group of about 15 youth meet every month at the centre where they cook dinner, play cards, do crafts, and a whole variety of other activities.

“Out of 500 students at Ellie’s middle school, she is only one of two kids who use a wheelchair,” explains Ellie’s mom, Chrystie Kroeker Boggs.

“While this isn’t normally a big deal, and she has great friends who include her in every activity, Ellie also really appreciates the times when she can hang out with kids who are like her.  It is comforting for her to hang out with peers who understand some of the unique struggles she has because of her disability.  These Saturday nights are the time when no one even notices her wheelchair.”

Saturday Night for Teens is part of the Rehabilitation Centre for Children’s LIFE (Leisure in Fun Environments) program, which is entirely funded by the Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation. The LIFE program provides a wide-range of activities, from cooking clubs to music therapy classes, everything is focused on inclusion and ability.

Staff member, Raija (left), and participant, Jhaz, prepare Pizza at Saturday Night for Teens, a program entirely funded by your support of the Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation.

“Many of the youth who attend Saturday Night for Teens are not able to go out on their own or make plans with their friends. We are able to provide a parent-free zone, where teens can be teens and hang out in a fun and supportive environment.”“For parents raising children with special needs, these opportunities can be hard to find,” says Carol Kehler, a physiotherapist with the Rehabilitation Centre for Children.

Your donations made it possible for 60  teenagers to attend Saturday Night for Teens and make meaningful friendships this past year.

“I have lots of friends here. It’s a lot of fun,” Ellie says. And if the noise ringing through the hallway is any indication, there’s lots of that happening here.

Saturday Night for Teens is made possible through your support! Donate today!

Congrats to our Starkids WestJet Ticket Raffle Winner!

T. Tanchak, with ticket number 1503, is the winner of our Canadian Tire Regent Starkids Golf Tournament West Jet raffle!

Thank you to all who participated and supporting the foundation!

RBC Cruisin’ Down the Crescent Raises $142,000

June 28, 2018

Thank you to every participant, donor and donor who supported this year’s event. We couldn’t have done it without you! 

Over one thousand supporters walked, jogged and biked down Wellington Crescent on Sunday, June 10, helping the Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation raise an incredible $142,000. RBC Cruisin’ Down the Crescent is one of the foundation’s biggest fundraisers and allows us provide children with specialized equipment and modified leisure programs.

Mark your calendars! Next year’s RBC Cruisin’ Down the Crescent is Sunday, June 9, 2019.

You can visit cruisindownthecrescent.ca to see more photos from the day!