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News Release: ErinoakKids Presents Pride & Joy Awards

November 01, 2013
(Mississauga ON) – Today at its 2013 Pride & Joy Awards dinner at the Living Arts Centre, ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development presented four awards to celebrate the achievement, determination and legacy of the more than 13,500 children and youth it serves each year. The ErinoakKids Pride & Joy Awards were established in 2010. The 2013 Pride & Joy Awards are sponsored by The Bank of Nova Scotia.
 
“Even though we are presenting just a handful of awards, the recipients represent the challenges, successes and dreams of all our clients,” said Bridget Fewtrell, President and CEO of ErinoakKids. “We are so proud of each and every one. It is such an honour to share in the joy these amazing children and youth bring into the lives around them, including ours at ErinoakKids.”
 
The recipients of 2013 Pride & Joy Awards are:
 
Little Acorn Award: Roran Wright
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 Roran Wright of Milton was diagnosed with moderate-to-severe autism three years ago and began Intensive Behaviour Intervention (IBI) services at ErinoakKids last fall. This program, combined with parent coaching sessions, the dedication and patience of his parents, and his own incredible determination, has helped Roran come a long way in a short time. Once unable to respond to his name or express his emotions, Roran has not only begun talking in full sentences and asking questions, he can now describe his own emotions and the emotions of others. His mother Roselle Wright comments, “Anything he puts his mind to, he can do it!”
 
Branching Out Award: MacCartney Bowes
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. Seven-year-old MacCartney Bowes of Oakville was diagnosed with autism in January. Once anxious and withdrawn with limited ability to communicate, he now has the confidence to try new things, make friends and reach out to the world around him. This summer, MacCartney successfully participated in a cooking camp and soccer. He was even named “Player of the Game” after assisting on a goal and showing how well he could listen to his coaches and teammates. MacCartney's mother Lyndsay Winegarden comments, “The support received through speech therapy, social work, autism services, and workshops has expanded MacCartney's world and brought him out of himself.”
 
Mighty Oak Award: Aziz Memon (posthumous recipient)
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. Aziz Memon of Mississauga, who passed away in July at age 25, was known for his determination and for not letting muscular dystrophy stand in the way of achieving his goals. Aziz was referred to ErinoakKids at age 13 after emigrating from Pakistan with his family. He earned an honours BA in Business Administration from Brock University, where he was a residence don. Upon graduation, the residence created the annual “Aziz Memon Excellence Award,” to recognize an individual who has made a significant contribution to the team dynamic of the Residence Life staff. After graduation, Aziz worked as a Credit Manager at the Royal Bank of Canada, overcoming the barriers presented by commuting to downtown Toronto via public transit. His father Saeed Memon comments, “ErinoakKids gave Aziz a lot of confidence; without it, he would not have gone as far as he did.”
 
Deep Roots Award: The Smilezone Foundation
New this year, the Deep Roots Award is presented to an outstanding corporate ambassador and ErinoakKids supporter. Recently founded by Adam Graves of the New York Rangers Hockey Club and Scott Bachly, CEO of Bachly Construction, the Smilezone Foundation transforms areas in children’s care facilities across Canada into zones that put smiles on the faces of children receiving treatment. This year, ErinoakKids was honoured to be selected as the site for the first Smilezones in Canada. Several areas in two ErinoakKids locations were transformed with cheerfully painted walls, iPad stations and gaming consoles, comfortable seating, custom-built toy storage and bookshelves, children’s cubbies. The beautiful and comfortable spaces now help reduce anxiety, foster learning and provide a distraction from treatments and procedures that can be distressing or painful.
 
 
About ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development
ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development is Ontario’s largest children’s treatment centre, serving more than 13,500 children and youth annually who have physical and developmental disabilities, autism, communication disorders, blindness/low vision and hearing loss. Our mission is to help our clients achieve optimal levels of independence, learning, health and well-being. Serving Halton, Peel, Dufferin — and, for some services, Waterloo and Wellington — ErinoakKids has approximately 600 staff and 10 sites from which we provide a comprehensive array of assessment, medical, therapy and support services that help children and their families. In 2011 the Ministry of Children and Youth Services approved a redevelopment project to enable ErinoakKids to consolidate its current facilities into three larger sites which will be ideally situated for easy access within our catchment area, and designed specifically for the care of children and youth with special needs. The new facilities are expected to open in early 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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  1 (877) 374.6625
 

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