A fun-filled morning for kids will help support the young patients at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. The fourth annual JFK Stroll for Kids event will take place on Sept. 23 from 9:30 a.m. to noon at Trudeau Park in Cote St. Luc and will feature live musical performances, arts and crafts, face painting and more.
All proceeds will go towards supporting the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and the Neurosurgery and Craniofacial Surgery department at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. This year’s campaign is called “Endless Possibilities” and aims to provide hope, comfort as well as advanced technology to young patients. The hospital is looking to fund the purchase of an Echocardiograph machine, which captures live images of the heart without radiation. The machine costs $350,000.
The event will also benefit two initiatives launched in partnership with the Just for Kids Foundation last year: JFK Sibling Park and the JFK Kangaroo Care Program, both of which are part of the foundation’s “A Breath for Life” campaign.
JFK Sibling Park will provide parents with a space to leave their healthy kids while they spend time with their hospitalized siblings. The JFK Kangaroo Care Program encourages skin-to-skin contact between parent and child, a therapy method known to save lives.
Registration for the event will take place from 9:30-11:15 a.m. and kids will receive a passport and map of Trudeau Park, as well as a giveaway bag that will give them the opportunity to win prizes.
Families are encouraged to raise at least $250 prior to the day’s event. If families have not raised the $250, they will be asked to make up the difference at the registration booth. If you want to start raising money now, you can register your family and your own customizable donation page will be automatically created. You will be able to share the page and solicit donations. The JFK Foundation hopes to raise at least $500,000 at this year’s event.
Kids will be able to fill up their passports with stickers at several different stations on the grounds, all of which will have activities. They’ll also be able to hang out with the MCH mascot, Caramel, and the Montreal Impact mascot, Tac-Tik, as well as superheroes and princesses, visit animals at the petting zoo and enjoy a live performance by 16-year-old singer Emmy Aronovitch.
The first station will be open from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and will feature sing-along sessions with animators Loony Lorny and the Funtastik Boogie, and will have pool soccer, painting, cooking workshops and a giant playground.
The second station, open from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., will include an obstacle course, break dancing, and a soft play zone for infants and toddlers.
The day’s big event is a celebration that will take place from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the stage. The Tyler Anne School of Dance will host a dance-along with kids, while parents can enjoy complimentary food and dessert.
Families can then dress up and take pictures at a photo booth before grabbing a bite to eat.
Stroll for Kids was founded in 2015 by co-chairs Alana Geller and Jodie Frenkiel, who both gave birth to premature twins the year before. They were inspired to give back to the Montreal Children’s Hospital thanks to the care their families received from the doctors and nurses working in the neonatal intensive care unit. Stroll for Kids is a community-based fundraiser that focuses on the kids. In the event’s first year, they raised $100,000 and that number has increased every year since.
For more information, visit jfkfoundation.ca.