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Erika Maki goes to Easter Seals’ summer camp to feel normal.
The 18-year-old participated in the organization’s Leaders in Training program and said it was an entertaining and worthwhile experience.
“It was unique to meet a lot of different people with a lot of different disabilities because that makes you feel included and normal,” she said.
“Otherwise you sometimes feel abnormal with the rest of society, so it was nice to be equal.”
Maki was a former ambassador for Easter Seals in Thunder Bay and was on hand Thursday for the organization’s 90th anniversary celebration at the Valhalla Inn.
Easter Seals Ontario, which helps children with physical disabilities purchase mobility and communication equipment, can trace its origins back to Nov. 28, 1922.
A group of about 10 rotary clubs gathered in Windsor, Ont. and saw a need for an organization to help children with physical disabilities.
Senior development officer Rhonda Harrison said what keeps the organization thriving are a great group of volunteers and the support they receive from communities like Thunder Bay.
“We have a great, caring community in Thunder Bay and great success at all our events,” she said.
Easter Seals supports about 160 children in Northwestern Ontario and Harrison said the need for their services is big.
Through events like Snowarama, skate with NHL stars and this months’ Drop Zone, they are able to help children get the equipment they need and send some kids to their fully-accessible summer camps.
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