Help Kids Shine campaign posts record-setting year, raises over $325,000 to help Niagara youth in need

Ambassador families, sponsors, community donors, dignitaries, and staff from Niagara Children’s Centre celebrated the 2023 fundraising campaign with a water illumination at Niagara Falls Wednesday night. Photo credit: Niagara Children’s Centre


Niagara Children’s Centre is celebrating a historic fundraising campaign.  

Last month, the St. Catharines-based youth rehabilitation facility raised a record-breaking $325,487 as part of its annual Help Kids Shine fundraising and awareness campaign. 

The funds, raised throughout the month of May exclusive, will go toward helping the thousands of Niagara youth with physical, developmental, and communicative delays who rely on treatment from Niagara Children’s Centre every year. 

Campaign participants and supporters gathered in Niagara Falls Wednesday night to celebrate the achievement. 

“Tonight was a symbol of the collective power to effect change,” said Mat Siscoe, Mayor of St. Catharines and chair of the Niagara Children’s Centre board of directors. “What we were able to accomplish this month was thanks to the unwavering support of the local community, generous donors and a number of supportive organizations.”

According to a media release from Niagara Children’s Centre, a wide variety of organizations and individuals came together to make the 2023 campaign such a success.

Bell Media, Help Kids Shine presenting sponsor, conducted dozens of interviews with staff, volunteers, and ambassador families on its radio stations, providing hours of air-time to promoting the cause throughout May. 

In addition to hitting the airwaves, organizers also held a series of in-person events and formed a number of key community partnerships to push the campaign over the top. 

“The community truly rallied behind our organization,” said Siscoe. “The funds raised during the campaign will help us meet the growing demand for services with monthly donations providing a strong, sustainable source of funding to help the Children’s Centre plan ahead.” 

Throughout the month, more than 1,000 monthly and individual contributions were made to Niagara Children’s Centre.

McHappy Day helped raise over $24,000 for this year’s campaign. 

The centre’s annual Plasma Car Race at the Gale Centre in Niagara Falls generated around $17,000 for the cause. 

While, members of the region’s construction industry stepped up in a big way. 

O’Hara Trucking & Excavating became a monthly donor matching sponsor, pledging up to $25,000, and members of the Niagara Home Builders’ Association (NHBA) contributed over $25,000 to the campaign. 

NHBA CEO and chair of the Help Kids Shine cabinet Chuck McShane said it was a “privilege” to help the Niagara Children’s Centre with its 2023 fundraiser. 

“We at the NHBA, along with our members, are privileged to extend our support to this remarkable organization,” said McShane. “The programs and services offered by the Centre are vital to families, and through our fundraising efforts for the Help Kids Shine campaign, we hoped to reach even more families across the region, ensuring that their life-changing work continues to make a difference.”

Each year, well-over 5,000 Niagara youth with physical, developmental, and communicative delays are supported by the range of services offered at the Niagara Children’s Centre. Those services are made possible, in part, by the annual Help Kids Shine fundraising campaign, which encourages community donations throughout the month of May to support programs and services for families.

Those interested can donate to the centre at any time throughout the year. Donations are accepted via phone, in person, or online at helpkidsshine.ca.

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