Canadian Sunshine Kids

June 17, 2009 12:10 ET

Tough economic times force cancellation of charitable gala

Canadian Sunshine Kids Foundation ask for help through online donations

Attention: City Editor, Health/Medical Editor, Lifestyle Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO, MEDIA RELEASE--(Marketwire - June 17, 2009) - Canadian Sunshine Kids Foundation was forced to cancel this year's fundraising gala but still need donations in order to fulfill Foundation's mandate - to help kids with cancer.

Sunshine Kids helps Canadian kids with cancer take a trip of a lifetime in an attempt to provide a little sunshine for them at a time when their life seems the darkest.

"Our Big Top Gala Circus themed dinner and dance was intended to raise additional funds for the foundation and the children it supports, but with ticket sales lower than expected, it didn't justify holding the event," says Pat Melhuish, National Chairperson, Canadian Sunshine Kids Foundation and Real Estate Broker with Prudential Real Estate. "After all, the purpose of the event is to raise funds for the children, not merely pay for the cost of the gala."

Donations to Canadian charities have been significantly lower than in recent years - Canadian Sunshine Kids Foundation has not been exempt from the effects of this economic downturn, despite the fundraising efforts of the Prudential Real Estate offices across Canada.

"It really is a reflection of how tough it is out there. At the end of the day, people just don't have as much money left to give away," says Pat Melhuish. "In the last two years, Canadian Sunshine Kids has paid all the costs for Canadian kids with cancer to go on trips to Steamboat Springs, Colorado; Honolulu, Hawaii; New York, known as the Summer Broadway Break; and Las Vegas, Nevada. Kids from all 4 Canadian Hospitals will be enjoying trips in 2010."

It's never good when a person discovers they have cancer; it's tragic when it's a child.

"Cancer deprives children of the opportunity to be 'just kids,' they've barely started on life's journey and the future is already in doubt," says Melhuish. "What the Canadian Sunshine Kids Foundation offers them is the opportunity to enjoy the now."

With four hospitals across Canada participating with the Canadian Sunshine Kids Foundation; IWK Healthcare in Halifax, NS; Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Ottawa, ON; The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, ON; and British Columbia Children's Hospital in Vancouver, BC, their impact is felt by Canadian children from every part of the country.

The Sunshine Kids Foundation donates to the four Canadian hospital's Children's Oncology Departments, targeted for research into children's cancer.

"We were hoping that the event would increase the public's awareness of Sunshine Kids and its mission and ultimately increase donations to touch more children's lives," says Pat. "Even though the event had to be canceled, we're hoping that caring Canadians will get involved and donate online."

For more information or to make a donation, visit www.sunshinekidsfoundation.ca. IN: HEALTH, OTHER

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