Gerry's Calgary SUN Column: Sunday March 5th 2017

I am proud to be the adjudicator of The Gerry Forbes Secret Wish funded by The CJAY92 Kids Fund, It’s a year long enterprise to help families with a hand up during tough times.

What we do is help families with children that have come upon situations they are overwhelmed by whether it be fires, car crashes, medical distress or financial distress.

We have bought school buses for special needs children, constructed playgrounds, paid for funerals, medical emergency trips to the states and even Make a Wish trips for a final journey.

We are proud to have worked with Kids Cancer Care, Ronald McDonald House. The Women’s Distress Centre and Inn From The Cold along with many other great organizations.

I got an email from fine gentlemen by the name of Mike Jennings who is with Canwest Elevators and Lifts who told me about a program called Give a Kid a Lift Program.

They partnered with The Easter Seals Alberta group along with Manson Construction and Rewind Custom Homes and Renovations to help put elevators and lifts into homes of families that have a child with disabilities and funded the project through community partnerships like ours.

The project started back in 2010 with their first recipient named Lorinda Bye who had lost the use of her legs when a tree fell on a tent in which Lorinda and her sister were camping.

They raised the funds to put an elevator in the family house so Lorinda wouldn’t have to be carried from the house down steps to the Van to get her to an from appointments and school.

They then decided to do this every year and work as hard as they could to raise the funds and groom more partners on how they might be able to help.

Easter Seals said they would love to be part of such a program and help them get the word out to those who might be kind hearted enough to help or donated their time to the cause.

Well here it is 7 years later and they are still going strong and their annual fundraiser is coming up at The Ironwood Stage in Inglewood, very kindly donated by owner Pat Macintyre without and rental charge.

Its coming up on March 19th and it’s the big fundraiser for the year to keep this great endeavor going strong.

The money raised on this fun night of entertainment and silent auctions is administered by The Easter Seals folks and all money raised covers costs to renovate another home for a severely disabled youngster and the family, including city permits, construction and labour costs.

The family chosen for this year’s program is a family with a 6-year-old son suffering from Cerebral Palsy who will be under the care of his parents for the rest of his life.

Mom is a teacher and Dad has been a stay at home parent while his wife finished school and got a degree to teach.

They are a wonderful family that will be giving back to the community for the rest of their lives and everyone kicking in is so very happy to help them over this huge hurdle in their life.

The great donors in the program see the ability in their disability and they are going to make their home accessible for the little guy to come and go like any child who lives on their street so they can live and play with their peers and focus on living life without barriers.

If you are looking for a great night out and maybe see the humanity in this great program, we’d love to see you at the Ironwood on the afternoon of March 19th.

All the information on the fundraiser is available be contacting Ester Seals at http://easterseals.ab.ca/site/OurPrograms/GiveaKidaLift.aspx or by calling Theresa de Wall at 403-5662 ext 214.

Kudos to everyone involved and we at The CJAY92 Kids Fund are stoked to help with Gerry Forbes Secret Wish.