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Being just a kid at Camp Winfield with a Splash of Colour

Mar 20, 2014

Being just a kid at Camp Winfield with a Splash of Colour
KELOWNA, BC - March 20, 2014 - Eight-year old Jacob Crombie and nine-year old MJ McAnerney are two very enthusiastic attendees of Easter Seals Camp Winfield. They both attended Camp Winfield for a week last summer. Both boys have autism, making life as most kids know it a lot more challenging.
Jake's mom, Diane Crombie, has been a long-time volunteer supporter of Easter Seals; this year as volunteer captain for the Easter Seals Splash of Colour Family Fun Run in Kelowna on April 19th. The Splash of Colour run also takes place in Vernon and Victoria on the same day.

"I am really excited to join Splash of Colour," said Diane. We just love Camp Winfield. One of the great things that Easter Seals does is that they have a New Camper weekend so every kid has the opportunity to try this out for two days in June. Jake, then six, did not want to leave when I picked him up. He was absolutely buzzing, dragging me around and wanting to show me everything."

Diane enthusiastically added, "The big thing about Camp is that it's not about your differences, it's about allowing kids to be who they are instead of separating them away from the group due to their individual challenges. Everyone is all together and has an amazing time. Many of the kids spend a lot of time in therapy, so for them this is their break. It's not about their picture schedule or behavioural interventions - camp is about just being a kid!" Swimming and friends is obviously very important to Jacob. " I love Camp Winfield because I get to go swimming, and make new friends and go underwater!"

MJ and his dad Marshall McAnerney will also be helping to raise funds for Camp Winfield with MJ's lemonade stand. Marshall speaks with pride of his son ." MJ decided on his own accord that he wanted to raise money for kids like him with autism. The idea of the lemonade stand was born last year and he has been a great supporter of Easter Seals Camp Winfield."

Both Diane and Marshall commented on the difficulty that socializing presents for kids with autism. "Socially, kids with autism often really have a hard time. Other kids might find him odd or weird but at camp Jake is just like everyone else. He has made so many friends and connections and no one is judging him or treating him as different," said Diane. Marshall added, " Someone with autism really craves socialization. They just don't know how to do it, so for them to get into a situation where they just have fun and play with friends, is unusual."

Both parents had only the highest praise for the staff and counsellors at Camp Winfield. "It really is one of the best run camping programs I've ever seen. Not only is it really positive for families and kids but the counsellors learn so many life skills while helping other people. For a lot of these kids this is their highlight of the year" said Marshall. "It is a nice break for us as a family and a nice break for MJ. It builds his self-esteem and provides him with the independence and confidence to come up with ideas like his lemonade stand."

Diane added, "I am totally at peace and ease when Jake is at Camp Winfield. They have a good ratio of specially trained counsellors who know how to deal with different behaviours. I have full confidence my kid is in the best hands possible.”

If you want to help other kids like Jake or MJ attend Camp Winfield, please support the inaugural Easter Seals Splash of Colour Family Fun Run on April 19 in Kelowna and Vernon. Entries are $35 and include sunglasses and a white t-shirt. Participants can also fundraise a minimum of $50 to have the entry fee waived. Kids six and under are free but must bring their own white t-shirt and sunglasses. The Okanagan Mission Lions Club and Vernon Lions Club are putting on a pancake breakfast by donation in Kelowna and Vernon respectively, at 8:00am. The run, which will be less than 5 kilometers, starts at 10:00am at City Park North in Kelowna and Kin Beach in Vernon.

Sign up now as a volunteer, participant or sponsor at www.splashofcolour.ca for the 2014 Easter Seals Splash of Colour Family Fun Run.

More information about the Easter Seals Camps is available at: http://www.eastersealscamps.ca/home and on the BC Lions Society for Children with Disabilities at http://www.lionsbc.ca/

Media Enquiries: Jeanette Hoft
Redthirteen Communications
(250) 215-3623
[email protected]

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Company Contact Information:

Logo Redthirteen Communications on behalf of Easter Seals Splash  of Colour Run
Company: Redthirteen Communications on behalf of Easter Seals Splash of Colour Run
Contact Name: Jeanette Hoft
Contact Phone: 2502153623
Contact Email: [email protected]
Company Website: www.splashofcolour.ca
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