It’s been three years since the parents, kids and supporters of Kingston’s Kids Inclusive clinic were able to gather to help fundraise, and on Saturday they finally got their wish.
Newly dubbed the “Kilometres for Kids,” the event helps fund the clinic that provides a wide spectrum of important care for children with special needs the in area.
“We provide services for kids right from birth up until they finish high school or up until 21,” said Karen Forbes, manager at Kids Inclusive Kingston.
Along with the footraces, there was plenty going on Saturday.
Kids and parents were playing games, getting their faces painted, learning music, and coming together for the first time in a while.
“Just to feel the love and support from our friends and our family, the teachers, the EAs, our PSWs — you can’t describe it,” Laura Patterson said.
Patterson and her son, nine-year-old Bo, have been using the clinic since Bo was just four months old.
“Bo’s condition is called FOXG1 Syndrome and it’s a rare neurological condition that affects pretty much every aspect of his development and his body,” Patterson said.
Without the Kingston Kids Inclusive clinic, which is located in Hotel Dieu and is one of only 21 in the province, the Pattersons would be forced to commute to and from Toronto or Ottawa for Bo’s treatment.
“We’re really fortunate that with Kids Inclusive, they have access to resources in all of these areas in one place, and so you’re not having to travel all the time,” Patterson said.
Not only was it the clinic’s first in-person fundraiser in three years, but it is also celebrating the clinic’s Golden Jubilee this year.
While the overarching theme was the race and fun with the community, the day is also Kids Inclusive’s only annual fundraiser, and the donation booth was well attended.
Forbes said the event helps those families facing the extraordinary costs of having kids with special needs. “It helps to raise funds … to be able to provide those families with things like accessible washrooms or accessible vans for kids and their wheelchairs.”
Forbes said the event set a fundraising goal of $50,000 in honour of the 50th anniversary, a total that was reached before the day of the event even arrived.
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