Camp Horizon gets new bikes thanks to Lavigne’s foundation
Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 11:18 am
Looks like campers at Bragg Creek’s Easter Seals Camp Horizon will be getting a couple new sets of wheels.
At the end of January, Canadian musician Avril Lavigne announced support for 10 Easter Seals programs, including Camp Horizon. Anna Garcia, the camp’s director of operations, said the funding will be put towards modified bicycles.
“One of our main goals is to make sure the activities in our beautiful mountain setting can be enjoyed by everybody, regardless of their abilities,” said Garcia. “We want to create those quintessential summer moments — riding a bike, sleeping under the stars — for our campers.
“Experiences like this are so vital for letting a kid be a kid.”
The bikes Garcia has her eye on have a wider wheelbase and can be adapted in a variety of ways, like with adult-sized training wheels or a backrest. She said these bikes cost about $3,000 each and will be investing in three of them with the $10,000 grant.
Camp Horizon is the only Canadian Easter Seals affiliate to receive the grant. The other nine lucky programs include an equestrian camp, a multi-sensory learning camp and dance therapy classes.
“We’re really excited and proud to be chosen,” said Garcia. “I’m hoping this is something we can build and grow…. We want to show Avril the difference this (funding) will make.”
The support comes from the Avril Lavigne Rockstar Club at Easter Seals, part of the rocker’s foundation. The initiative was created with the intention of supporting recreational programs for children and youth with disabilities, along with their families.
“I have seen first-hand from my work with Easter Seals how important recreation programs are for kids with disabilities,” commented Lavigne in a press release. “My goal is to help bring more resources to these great programs which are often the first to experience budget cuts.”
Easter Seals Camp Horizon was invited to apply for the Avril Lavigne Rockstar Club grant, along with other North American Easter Seals programs. As for what gave the Bragg Creek camp an edge, Garcia said she could only speculate.
“I think our application struck a chord with Avril,” said Garcia. “From what I know about her, she never felt she fit in growing up. Neither do our campers. Our program gives campers a moment of not feeling different — they are just a kid riding a bike.”
Garcia said she’s hoping to have the bikes ready for the beginning of Camp Horizon’s summer season.
Throughout the year, Garcia said the camp hosts about 1,200 individuals that take part in the multitude of programs, which includes specialized retreats and sleepover events.
For any additional information on Easter Seals Camp Horizon, visit easterseals.ab.ca/CampSite/EasterSealsCampHorizon.aspx.