REPORT FROM EASTER SEALS HAWAII – Easter Seals Hawaii has been chosen by The Avril Lavigne Foundation to host a Rockstar Club for its teens in the Youth Services program in Honolulu. The Rockstar Club is a recreational program for kids and youth with disabilities and special needs that allows them to just be kids, explore their talents, make friends and have fun.
“Our youth programs and services do not receive any funding from state or federal agencies, so a grant such as this is vital because it enables us to make a difference in the lives of people during those critical ages when kids are growing and learning,” said President and CEO Christopher E. Blanchard. “Some of the social, educational and recreational activities our youth will experience include ice skating, dancing, camp outs, movie night, karaoke and more.”
A total of 10 markets in the U.S. and Canada were chosen by the Avril Lavigne Foundation. All North American Easter Seals affiliates were invited to apply for an Avril Lavigne Rockstar Club at Easter Seals grant. Following a review of the applicants, award-winning singer/songwriter and philanthropist Avril Lavigne selected ten Easter Seals grant recipients located in Los Angeles, California; Houston, Texas; Great Falls, Montana; Chicago, Illinois; Honolulu, Hawaii; Las Vegas, Nevada; Seattle, Washington; Youngstown, Ohio; Miami, Florida; and Alberta, Canada. Hawaii received $10,000.
The selection was based on their overall impact and embodiment of the Avril Lavigne Foundation’s R.O.C.K.S. mission: to provide Respect, Opportunity, Choices, Knowledge, and Strength to children and youth living with serious illnesses or disabilities.
“It was really tough to pick the final ten,” said Lavigne. “I was so inspired by the creativity of everyone who applied and the exciting range of opportunities the Easter Seals affiliates presented. I have seen first-hand from my work with Easter Seals how important recreation programs are for kids with disabilities. My goal is to help bring more resources to these great programs which are often the first to experience budget cuts.”
Winning programs include overnight camp scholarships, a cooking/ life skills camp; social skills classes, an equestrian camp and a sibling support group; dance therapy classes; youth services programs including community outings and field trips for teens, a multi-sensory learning camp, a program to connect teens with disabilities with other kids in their community, and an adaptive bikes program. To learn more, please visit The Avril Lavigne Foundation website: www.theavrillavignefoundation.org.
“We’re so lucky to have such an incredible partner in Avril and The Avril Lavigne Foundation. She cares deeply about making sure kids and young people with disabilities have every opportunity to live life to the fullest, pursue their dreams, and find happiness. She’s also passionate about sharing a message of inclusion, that kids and young people with disabilities want to laugh, have fun with their friends, and just fit in – like all of us,” says James E. Williams, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer, Easter Seals. “We also know when it comes to Easter Seals, Avril was most inspired by our recreational programming – services where kids and teens with disabilities can just be kids through social events, music, theater, sports, arts, leisure time, hobbies, getting out in the community and camp. That’s what The Avril Lavigne Rockstar Club at Easter Seals is all about.”
About Avril Lavigne
Avril Lavigne is a multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated singer/ songwriter. Avril is also a dedicated philanthropist, who was inspired by her work with children who are seriously ill or who have disabilities to form The Avril Lavigne Foundation in 2010. She also currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Nancy Davis Foundation for Multiple Sclerosis and has publicly supported a number of charitable organizations over the years, including Amnesty International, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, War Child, and YouthAIDS.
Award-winning singer/songwriter and philanthropist Avril Lavigne created The Avril Lavigne Foundation in early 2010. The Avril Lavigne Foundation R.O.C.K.S.: Respect, Opportunity, Choices, Knowledge, and Strength in support of children and youth living with serious illnesses or disabilities. The Foundation partners with leading charitable organizations to design and deliver programs, raise awareness and mobilize support for children and youth living with a serious illness or a disability.
Easter Seals Hawaii
About Easter Seals Hawaii – Established in 1946, Easter Seals Hawaii is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization offering 24 service programs on the islands of Oahu, Kauai, Maui, Lanai, and the Big Island. Over Easter Seals Hawaii’s 67 year history they have served and made a profound difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities and special needs, and provided resources and support to their families.
Easter Seals Hawaii is the state’s largest provider of Early Intervention services for infants and toddlers, and one of the state’s largest providers of Medicaid Waiver services for adults with developmental disabilities. Easter Seals Hawaii’s Home & Community-Based Services is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), assurance that an organization meets internationally accepted standards.