PRO Kids proudly announces the conclusion of its second annual fundraising campaign, “Power to Play”. The campaign positions donors as “the #1 fan of a child in need” and raised an impressive $68,408, surpassing its goal of $50,000.

“Power to Play” launched in 2022 and aims to help Thunder Bay children and youth access sports and recreation activities when their families cannot afford the fees. In a typical year, PRO Kids helps an average of 1,200 local children engage in various activities such as swimming, hockey, gymnastics, and art. PRO Kids must fundraise close to $110,000 annually and relies heavily on the support of the community to make these opportunities possible.

“We cannot begin to express our appreciation,” said Kathy Ball, Chair of the PRO Kids Boards of Directors. “To every donor, partner, supporter, champion, and advocate: Thank you for your commitment to youth in our community. You help us ensure that every child has access to activities outside of school, for their health, to make new friends and to have positive role models.”  

The second annual campaign came at an exciting time, as PRO Kids celebrates its 25th year of operation in 2023. In honour of this milestone, local entrepreneur and philanthropist Cliff Friesen generously matched donations up to $25,000. Together with the support of the local community, the campaign achieved tremendous success.  The funds raised are equivalent to allowing 60 youth to play hockey, or providing 170 children with access to gymnastics.

“Growing up, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in a variety of sports, which shaped me into the person I am today,” said Friesen. “Now, I’m thrilled to be able to contribute to a cause that helps children and youth access recreation, a staple in their healthy development. It’s not just about having fun—it’s about creating leaders and breaking the cycle, so these kids can make a real difference in society.”

The campaign received support from local businesses, including White Pine Electric, the campaign kick-off donor, who stepped up to Cliff Friesen’s challenge with a donation of $5,000. In addition, “Power to Play” rallied the support of various local celebrities and influencers including the Lockyer Boys, curlers Krista and Mike McCarville and former NHL player Carter Hutton.

"Participating in activities gave us the tools we needed to succeed once we found our passion,” commented Will and Charlie of Thunder Bay music group, the Lockyer Boys. “That is why we believe getting kids into multiple programs is extremely important in unlocking their full potential.”  

PRO Kids extends heartfelt appreciation to Cliff Friesen and the Thunder Bay community for their exceptional generosity in helping provide equal access to recreation for all children.

More information on PRO Kids can be found by visiting


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