Community initiative for local children receives $10,000 donation

Left to right – Janet Raddatz, Karen Kirkwood-Whyte and Kate De Forno. Photo: Municipality of Chatham-Kent.

This year marks the 10th year in a row that the Women’s Leadership Council has donated $10,000 to the A.L.L. for Kids Program.

“We would like to thank the Women’s Leadership Council for its ongoing support of the A.L.L. For Kids Program. Many children are able to participate in recreation activities each year due to these generous donations. The Women’s Leadership Council’s commitment to supporting this program speaks to the true spirit of community engagement and, as citizens of Chatham-Kent, we all benefit from that” said Kelly Emery, Director of Child Care and Early Years Division, Municipality of Chatham-Kent.

The A.L.L. (Activity, Leisure, Lessons) for Kids (AFK) program covers the cost of extra-curricular activities for children whose parents could otherwise not afford it. Parents are screened for financial need prior to the children receiving assistance. The program has financially supported the activities of approximately 1,000 children per year since its inception in 2001.

The Women’s Leadership Council’s donation of $10,000 (for total of $100,000 in the last 10 years) has helped 480 children participate in an extra-curricular activity such as art lessons, music lessons, Girl Guides, house-league sports, camps, etc.

“Studies show that when children have the opportunity to engage in cultural activities, such as music and dance, they are also able to demonstrate better learning in more analytical skills, such as math and science.  We, as a group of women, are honoured to support this important community initiative for local children, so that they can build confidence and be all that they can be”, commented Karen Kirkwood-Whyte former CEO of United Way of Chatham-Kent.

Municipal officials say the AFK Program and its outcomes fits perfectly within the Women’s Leadership Council goals. The WLC is a philanthropic network of corporate and community leaders using their collective power to create meaningful change in Chatham-Kent. The WLC program was launched in September of 2007 and was one of the first of its kind in Canada. Membership provides an opportunity for female donors to join others, who contribute at a Leadership Level ($1,000 or more), to network and collaborate in identifying and addressing local, social problems. Members use their collective influence and affluence to provide a “hand up” for many underserved women and their families.

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