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ErinoakKids presents 2014 Pride & Joy Awards

October 24, 2014
Today at its 2014 Pride & Joy Awards dinner at the Oakville Conference Centre, ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development presented five awards to celebrate the achievement, determination and legacy of the more than 14,500 children and youth it serves each year. More than 300 people attended the ErinoakKids Pride & Joy Awards, presented this year by The Bank of Nova Scotia and hosted by Ben Mulroney, co-anchor of CTV’s ETALK.

“Even though we present just a handful of awards each year, The Pride & Joy Awards represent challenges met and dreams achieved in every nook and cranny of ErinoakKids,” said Bridget Fewtrell, President and CEO of ErinoakKids. “We also celebrate the generosity of individuals and organizations that help make our work possible.”
 
The recipients of the 2014 Pride & Joy Awards are:
 
Little Acorn Award: Jayesh Kumar
The Little Acorn Award is presented to a current ErinoakKids client under age 6 who has shown determination and dedication to achieving goals, progress in skills development, and has active family participation in supporting goal achievement. Five-year-old Jayesh Kumar of Mississauga has made tremendous progress since coming to ErinoakKids at age 2. He was born with a serious heart condition and later diagnosed with Global Developmental Delay and autism. He has received several services at ErinoakKids over the past three years including occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech language therapy, service navigation, and has recently started Intensive Behaviour Intervention therapy. Jayesh’s determination and the commitment of his entire family in supporting and reinforcing his therapy has been a huge factor in the tremendous progress he has made.
 
Branching Out Award: Spencer Morgan
The Branching Out Award is presented to a current ErinoakKids client over age 6 who has shown advancement in extracurricular activities including sports, arts, or music and who has demonstrated camaraderie with other participants. Spencer Morgan, 8, of Oakville, came to ErinoakKids four years ago following hospitalization and rehabilitation due to an acquired brain injury. He started occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech language therapy, and within six months no longer required a wheelchair or a feeding tube. Spencer can now form short sentences on his own and, with communication and writing aids, can form full sentences and interact with his friends. He is running, jumping, kicking a ball and enjoying a variety of activities such as karate, fitness club, gymnastics and soccer. Not only is he participating, Spencer is making friends and encouraging his peers with his great sense of humour and positive outlook.  
 
Mighty Oak Award: Tien Hoang
The Mighty Oak Award honours a former ErinoakKids client, over age 16, who has modeled community involvement, is an ambassador for young people with disabilities, and serves as a mentor or role model to others. Tien Hoang, 29, of Brampton, has athetoid cerebral palsy, which affects most of his upper body, including his speech. When he came to ErinoakKids as a teenager, Tien had been assigned to classrooms for students who were deemed to not have the capacity to pursue post-secondary education. The ErinoakKids Assistive Devices Resource Services team equipped Tien with an Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) device, which gave him a voice for the first time and enabled him to demonstrate that he had abilities far greater than his school records indicated. He successfully completed secondary school and is now an advocate for AAC users and an international public speaker.

Tall Tree Award: Dan Blocka
The Tall Tree Award recognizes individuals who are community ambassadors for ErinoakKids and are engaged with the organization. Dan Blocka’s clinical work in prosthetics and orthotics brought him into contact with ErinoakKids in the late 1980s as he was building his business, now called Boundless Biomechanical Bracing. Dan’s connection with ErinoakKids enabled him to see needs that were not met by government funding. To assist, he began supporting fundraising events and campaigns at ErinoakKids and his company has often helped purchase therapy equipment. Dan also makes a significant contribution to ErinoakKids as a fundraising volunteer and currently serves on the region-wide Campaign Cabinet for the $20-million In My Dreams campaign, which is raising resources to support the ErinoakKids Redevelopment Project as well as programs that do not receive government funding.
 
Deep Roots Award: The Mississauga Fire Fighters Association Benevolent Fund, Local 1212
The Deep Roots Award recognizes outstanding corporate supporters and ambassadors for ErinoakKids. In 1981, the Mississauga Fire Fighters union local 1212 was involved in supporting the fight against muscular dystrophy and began a relationship with the Credit Valley Treatment Centre for Children, now known as ErinoakKids. The Mississauga Fire Fighters Association Benevolent Fund is a non-profit division of their union, the International Association of Fire Fighters. Through a variety of activities, including a popular annual children’s magic show, the Benevolent Fund has raised funds for distribution to charities across Mississauga and beyond. Over the years, the Benevolent Fund has contributed more than $530,000 to ErinoakKids and has been instrumental in supporting many activities at ErinoakKids, including the construction of a desperately-needed parking lot and the renovation and expansion of the South Millway location.
 
In addition to the award presentations, guests also entered into some lively bidding on several auction items, including round trip tickets to Vancouver donated by the Air Canada Foundation, the use of a luxury car for a weekend donated by Grand Touring Automobiles, platinum Leafs tickets, and an Italian sterling silver bracelet donated by Knar Jewellery. All proceeds were in support of the ErinoakKids $20-million In My Dreams campaign.
 
About ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development
ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development is Ontario’s largest Children’s Treatment Centre, serving more than 14,500 children and youth annually who have a wide range of physical and developmental disabilities, autism, communication disorders, as well as children who are blind and/or deaf. Our mission is to help our clients achieve optimal levels of independence, learning, health and well-being. Serving the regions of Halton and Peel as well as Dufferin County, ErinoakKids has approximately 650 staff and 11 sites from which we provide a comprehensive array of assessment, medical, therapy and support services that help children and their families. In 2011 the Ontario Government through the Ministry of Children and Youth Services approved our redevelopment project to enable ErinoakKids to consolidate and replace our existing patchwork of primarily leased and largely inaccessible facilities into three larger sites which will be ideally situated for easy access within our catchment area. These new facilities will more than double our treatment space and are being designed specifically for the care of children and youth with special needs. The new facilities are expected to open in 2017. For more information about ErinoakKids please visit www.ErinoakKids.ca.
 
Media contact:
 
Liz Leake, Director of Communications
ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development
P: 905.855.2690 ext. 4301  |  C: 416.624.9048
lleake@erinoakkids.ca
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