We help kids be kids.
Friends of We Care was created under the simple belief that all children with special needs deserve the same experiences as other kids. Easter Seals camps allow kids with disabilities to achieve goals and experience things they could never have imagined possible. Camps give them the chance to play sports, have adventures, learn life skills and make new friends. Going to a summer camp where their disabilities don’t limit their activities builds enormous independence, courage, and self-confidence.
Camps let kids focus on their abilities, not their disabilities!
How it all started.
Having a son with a disability, Gary Wright believed that every child should have equal opportunities, regardless of their differences. He encouraged a group of co-workers to come together to host the first Friends of We Care fundraiser in 1983. The casino-style Monte Carlo Night brought in $18,000 that year and our mission was launched.The organization grew each year, gaining more and more support from the Food service and Hospitality Industry across the country, and raising money through various small-scale events.
Today, Friends of We Care operates over a dozen events across the country, each raising anywhere from $5,000 – $200,000. Through sponsorships, event participation, and direct donations, Friends of We Care raises over $1,000,000 annually to provide over 5,000 days for kids to enjoy an unforgettable camp experience. We have managed not only to enrich the lives of thousands of kids, but have also built a strong, generous industry community that works hard to bring smiles to the faces of countless children every year.
Friends of We Care manages several events across the country, including:
- Winterfest – Collingwood, ON
- Trivia Night @ Dave & Buster’s – Concord, ON
- Annual Dinner & Awards Gala – Toronto, ON
- We Care Camp Day – London, ON
- We Care/Beverage & Alcohol Industry Golf Classic– Aurora, ON
- Labatt Charity Golf Classic – Milton, ON
- We Care Pro-Am at Devil’s Pulpit –Caledon, ON
- Nous Aidons Classique d’automne – Montreal, QC
National Bowling Challenge:
- Halifax Bowling Challenge – Halifax, NS
- Moncton Bowling Challenge – Moncton, NB
- Vancouver Bowling Challenge – Vancouver, BC
- Kelowna Bowling Challenge – Kelowna, BC
- Toronto Bowling Challenge – Toronto, ON
- Calgary Bowling Challenge – Calgary, AB
- Edmonton Bowling Challenge – Edmonton, AB
Funds are allocated in 2 ways.
The money raised by our foundation is provided to benefactors as follows:
- For each ‘provincial’ event hosted, all monies raised in that province stay there to support kids attending local Easter Seals camps.
- Monies raised through ‘national’ events is divided amongst all provinces through the National Easter Seals office based on the number of children who attend camp in each province.
With hopes of eventually hosting events in every province, Friends of We Care is constantly working to build relationships and event committees in other parts of the country. With all money raised through provincial events staying in that province, Friends of We Care offers opportunities to directly impact children with disabilities at the local level throughout the country.
Future events we’re currently working on:
- St John’s Bowling Challenge – St. John’s, NFLD
- Quebec Bowling Challenge – Montreal, QC