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Inspiring ability, both near and far

Celebrate the Child Inspire Ability raises funds for both International Child Care and Reach Child and Youth Development Society of Delta.
Randy Schmidt and Su Weiczorek present a cheque to Reach Child and Youth Development Society.

ore than 130 people came out to “Celebrate the Child” recently to help children with special needs, both locally and in the Dominican Republic.

The event, titled Celebrate the Child Inspire Ability is in its third year and raises funds for both International Child Care (ICC) and Reach Child and Youth Development Society of Delta.

The event at Tsawwassen’s South Delta Baptist Church featured a silent auction with donations from Delta businesses, music from local musicians Christine Magee and Karalee Congo, and UBC Professor Tim Stainton speaking on inclusive communities.

Guests were also treated to a dinner hosted by local young Special Olympics athletes.

The evening raised a total of $9,064

ICC is a health and development organization that helps children with special needs with a community-based rehabilitation program in the Dominican Republic.

“I am grateful for all the support we’ve received in the last three years from people in South Delta,” said Randy Schmidt of ICC, one of the organizers of the event. “The portion of the funds that go to ICC helps more than 400 children with disabilities in the community of Santiago by providing rehabilitation, counselling and school inclusion services.”

Reach Child and Youth Development Society provides programs and services to close to 1,000 children and youth with special needs and their families each year. Services include developmental assessments, preschools, therapies, autism intervention programs, youth social programs, and family support and education.

Reach has recently partnered with The Kinsmen Club and launched $4-million capital campaign to build a new, community-based child development centre in Ladner. The new centre will be bigger and more accessible than the current Reach centre in east Ladner, enabling more children, youth and families to benefit from programs and services.

Three quarters of the event proceeds went towards ICC (with a three-to-one match from the Canadian international Development Agency), and one quarter towards Reach’s new building project. With the growing success of the event, ICC and Reach look forward to offering the event again next year.

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