On October 4, George Jeffrey Children’s Foundation announce a $150,000 gift from the Fort William Rotary Club in Thunder Bay. This generous donation is supporting George Jeffrey Children’s Center’s new School-Based Rehabilitation Program (SBRS). The gift will support purchasing program supplies and help pay for leasing and building retrofits at their new “north” site housed in the Boys and Girls Club of Thunder Bay.

The Fort William Rotary Club of Thunder Bay has continued to step forward as a community leader in support of George Jeffrey Children’s Foundation. “The progress in care at George Jeffrey Children’s Centre would not be possible without the support and generosity of our donors like Fort William Rotary Club,” says Cindy Levanto-Kawahara, executive director at George Jeffrey Children’s Foundation. “We are so grateful that we are one of Fort William Rotary Club’s chosen charities and this incredible gift shows how committed and caring the members are to their club and to our city.”

SBRS provides services, such as occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech-language pathology, and are provided to school-age children mostly in their publicly-funded school. Currently, almost 1,200 school-aged children receive support for one or more of the services provided in this program and almost 800 are waiting for an assessment.

The reality of providing these services, however, came with a high cost which isn’t entirely covered through government funding. “The reality is that government dollars for specialized services and programs only goes so far” says, Nicole Deschamps, program manager of SBRS. “Thankfully, donations like this generous gift from Fort William Rotary Club help us so we can continue to help our kids.”

Fort William Rotary Club’s past president, Cynthia Judge and current president, Dawn Sebesta, proudly presented the $150,000 cheque to George Jeffrey Children’s Foundation. They both said they are proud to be Rotarians and extremely proud to be members of Fort William Rotary Club which is thrilled and proud to support many local charities, like George Jeffrey Children’s Foundation.

Accepting the cheque on behalf of the foundation is Cindy Levanto-Kawahara, executive director and Blaine Carlson, foundation board member.

Pictured are (L to R): Cynthia Judge, Cindy Levanto-Kawahara, Dawn Sebesta, Nicole Deschamps, Blaine Carlson