Do­na­tions down

Easter Seals cam­paign is short of pre­vi­ous years.

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PROVINCE - BY NIGEL ARMSTRONG

The an­nual Easter Seals fundrais­ing cam­paign has raised more than $100,000 for chil­dren liv­ing with phys­i­cal and men­tal dis­abil­i­ties on P.E.I., but the fi­nal to­tal is sig­nif­i­cantly short of pre­vi­ous years.

The an­nual cam­paign wrapup was part of the Ro­tary Club of Char­lot­te­town’s reg­u­lar lun­cheon meet­ing held re­cently at the Rodd Char­lot­te­town Ho­tel where the grand to­tal of$111,808.4 was an­nounced.

“Those funds will be dis­trib­uted across P.E.I. and will be used by a num­ber of or­ga­ni­za­tions and Ro­tary clubs in help­ing peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties right across our province.” Mau­rice Rodger­son

That com­pares to roughly $155,000 last year, a drop of 27 per­cent.

The Guardian at­tempted to con­tact rep­re­sen­ta­tives of this year’s Easter Seals cam­paign af­ter the an­nounce­ment to in­quire about the drop but was un­suc­cess­ful in mak­ing con­tact.

“Those funds will be dis­trib­uted across P.E.I. and will be used by a num­ber of or­ga­ni­za­tions and Ro­tary clubs in help­ing peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties right across our province,” said this year’s cam­paign co-chair Mau­rice (Moe) Rodger­son at the lun­cheon.

Edna Reid was the other cochair for this years’s cam­paign which be­gan March 2.

The funds help or­ga­ni­za­tions like the P.E.I. Cere­bral Palsy As­so­ci­a­tion, Camp Gench­eff, and Joy Riders, to name just a few.

The cam­paign is run by the Ro­tary clubs of Char­lot­te­town, Summerside and Mon­tague.

“We had a fan­tas­tic year,” said Rick Gallant, pres­i­dent of the Char­lot­te­town Ro­tary Club. “We had a lot of fun.”

There was high praise for the 2015 Easter Seals am­bas­sador Ja­cob MacNeill.

“He danced, he played the drums, he sang and he de­liv­ered an ex­tremely pow­er­ful mes­sage to the peo­ple of Prince Ed­ward Is­land about be­ing your­self and about the fact that re­ally we are all dif­fer­ent, ”said Rodger­son.

“We would like to thank Ja­cob and his fam­ily for putting in all of their ef­forts this year,” said Gallant.

I had su­per fun, said MacNeill, in his ad­dress to con­clude the 2015 cam­paign.

“We went to 65 schools where I got to speak and dance. We met su­per nice peo­ple. Be your­self,” he said and added that “ev­ery­one is gifted. Thank you.”

Lisa Weather­head, re­gional ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of At­lantic Canada for Cys­tic Fi­bro­sis Canada was at the wrap up lun­cheon and told how funds raised by Easter Seals go to work for the lo­cal branch.

There is no cure for CF but the or­ga­ni­za­tion is hope­ful that re­search it helps fund is very close to find­ing an ef­fec­tive con­trol for the ge­netic con­di­tion, she said.

There are about 20 peo­ple on P.E.I. cur­rently be­ing treated for CF, said Weather­head.

The foun­da­tion helps with some travel costs for treat­ments in Hal­i­fax for many of them, she said.

Another com­po­nent is lobby and ed­u­ca­tion.

Na­tion­ally there is work to have ev­ery baby tested for CF as part of the usual new­born screen­ing process.

“On P.E.I. it’s been ap­proved and should be ac­ti­vated in the not-to-dis­tant fu­ture,” said Weather­head.

NIGEL ARMSTRONG/THE GUARDIAN

The an­nual Easter Seals cam­paign by Is­land Ro­tary clubs wrapped up re­cently, rais­ing more than $100,000 for chil­dren liv­ing with phys­i­cal and men­tal dis­eases. At­tend­ing a clos­ing lun­cheon are, from left, co-chair Moe Rodger­son, am­bas­sador Ja­cob MacNeill, and Rick Gallant, pres­i­dent of the Char­lot­te­town Ro­tary Club.

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