Young boy’s birthday initiative helps kids in need

The Birthday Genie program gives underprivileged kids a chance to have an elaborate birthday bash

The majority of kids love having a birthday party, but not every family can afford to splash out for a big celebration. Now, a new program created by a 10-year-old West Island boy aims to give kids in need a chance to have the party of their dreams.

The Birthday Genie Program, launching this month, is the brainchild of Jake Cusack (pictured below), whose family owns the Amuze indoor play centre in Pointe-Claire. It’s a popular spot for birthdays, but Jake realized one day that the cost was out of reach for some families.

“I thought of all the kids who couldn’t have birthday parties and I felt really sad and bad, so I started thinking of ways I could create a birthday program for them,” Jake said.

Jake approached his mom, Donna Rice, with the idea of offering a free birthday party each month to a child in need, with Amuze and other partners in the community providing the venue, food, activities, goodie bags and even a present for the birthday child.

Rice said her son has taken the lead, asking local businesses to be part of the program, and helping define what the Birthday Genie program will include. Children will be selected through referrals from local social service organizations to ensure the help goes to kids who are most in need.

The first Birthday Genie event will be in May. Rice said although they will start with one party each month, she hopes to grow the program over time to allow as many children as possible to experience the joy of a big birthday bash. 

Amuze is located at 245 St. Jean Blvd., Pointe-Claire.

For more information on the Birthday Genie program, call 1-844-32-aMuze or visit the Facebook Page.  

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