Avril Lavigne Foundation Brings Fun to Youth with Disabilities
The Avril Lavigne Foundation announced the expansion of the Avril Lavigne Rockstar Clubs at Easter Seals into 10 markets in the U.S. and Canada to support much-needed recreational programming for kids and youth with disabilities to just be kids, explore their talents, make Friends and have fun.
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.
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."