To recognize PRO Kids’ 25th Anniversary, local business owner, Cliff Friesen has committed to match up to $25,000 in donations to support the 2023 Power to Play Campaign. The campaign, which runs annually in the month of April, aims to raise $50,000 to help local children and youth access recreational programing when families cannot afford the fees.

“My work requires that I contact families to discuss their eligibility,” said Laura Daniele, PRO Kids Coordinator. “The other day I spoke with a woman who is the sole income earner in her family of five. She makes $18 per hour, which translates to $32,760 gross salary per year. Her husband stays home to care for the baby. These are the realities of people living right here in Thunder Bay. Should PRO Kids support her children? Of course!”

In 25 years, PRO Kids has helped 27,481 children access recreational programs despite financial barriers, one of the main obstacles preventing them from participating. These activities provide extensive benefits to the development of children and youth. Through sport, art and cultural programming they develop valuable skills, enhance self-esteem and learn healthy lifestyle choices.

“For as long as I can remember, recreation has been an important part of my life and has helped shape the person I am today,” said Friesen, long time supporter of PRO Kids. “Helping our children grow up with sports and recreation in their lives increases their participation in community, promotes fitness and good health, and develops social relationships that can last a lifetime.” Friesen hopes his contribution provides an incentive for donors to support the campaign.

PRO Kids works closely with over 200 activity partners who generously donate free and discounted spaces within their programs. Through various fundraising initiatives, PRO Kids is able to pay for additional spaces that allow more children to access recreational activities.

In a typical year, PRO Kids must raise $110,000 to support more than 1,200 placements of local children into registered programs. “The PRO Kids volunteer Board and Fundraising Committee are looking for support from our business community, organizations and individuals,” said Kathy Ball, Chair of PRO Kids Board of Directors. “Please help us give children the Power to Play by donating to this campaign.”

In celebration of PRO Kids’ Silver Anniversary, donations of $25 are encouraged, or increments thereof, to recognize 25 years of service to the community.

For more information or to donate today, visit Donations can also be made at local TD branches, the Canada Games Complex or by calling (807) 625-3691.

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Contact:       Laura Daniele, PRO Kids Coordinator, 625-3212,