It’s A Christmas Miracle in Georgina!

It’s a Christmas Miracle in Georgina!
from Georgina Advocate
December 2009

By: Daniel Perry

Give A Miracle A Chance (G.A.M.E.) has been helping families with children suffering from Cerebral Palsy for five years, but this Christmas the group teamed up with several businesses to provide miracles to a few local families.

“This year we were given the chance to do the food hamper and toy drive with the assistance of our corporate sponsor,” said G.A.M.E.’s Executive Director Lynn Marles. “Our volunteers worked hard to provide ten families with two boxes of food and gifts for Christmas. We all met at Sobeys in Sutton for two hours Wednesday night wrapping boxes and filling each one with food. The fun continued Thursday, as every volunteer met at Keswick’s Boston Pizza to get organized. We then decided who was delivering each package and where. We made a lot of smiling happy faces and it was definitely worth it.”

Each box was filled with a large bag of pancake mix and breakfast sausages provided by Griffith Laboratories and 15-20 pound turkeys courtesy of Bill’s turkey farm, to ensure the families could enjoy a hearty breakfast before they used their energies to unwrap the presents. Sutton Dixie Lee and Sutton Tim Horton’s also contributed some tasty treats to the Christmas baskets.

The colorfully decorated boxes were delivered to five families throughout Georgina by volunteers, who returned to Boston Pizza for lunch. The Christmas miracle brought smiles to children and their parents in the community and also taught several Georgina youth valuable life lessons.

“These past couple days have really made me feel amazing,” explained 16 year-old Keswick Highschool student Luke Morral. “Normally, Christmas to me is all about receiving and what presents I get from whom. This was a great chance for me to give something back. I love the Christmas season and I just wanted to make sure everyone in this community has the same great experience I have Christmas morning.”

G.A.M.E. is planning some big events in the new year to continue raising awareness for people living with CP, including bingo bowling, a horse racing fundraiser at Georgian Downs, a bingo bowling event, a golf tournament, annual baseball tournament and a children’s friendship bowling game at Stellar Lanes.

“We are getting ready for even more important additions,” added Marles. “We’re working on a new program called K.I.P., which stands for the kid’s intervention program. Families with children living with CP will go for five weeks of therapies and then come home and go without therapy for another 6-10 months. Parents are given developmental plans to work with their children, but when you get home things get chaotic. They might not be able to help their child with therapies every day. We’re designing a team that will take responsibility for each child’s therapy program and will help the families with their treatment networks.”

The organization’s goal is to do this within a five-year period and ultimately bring a CP treatment centre to Canada, specifically into York Region. G.A.M.E. continues growing and is even preparing to add a set of triplets to the group in the New Year.

“We will do it,” added a confident Marles. “We have to do it in phases though. We’re going to start with K.I.P., work on building the therapy room, finding a qualified physiotherapist and occupational therapist to get this dream off the ground. I’m confident we can do this and all the pieces will fall into place.”

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