Welcome to Children At Risk Online
Provide services and programs to families of children diagnosed within the Autism Spectrum Disorders to develop their child's behavioural, communications and social skills, and to advocate for their ongoing needs.
Our Community–Based Special Projects are financed through donations and fundraising. Nominal fees are charged to cover registration and operating costs.
As the Holiday Season approaches, I hope you can find more time to spend with family and less time in the malls over the next few weeks. If we are able to help give you some much needed free time with your participation in our Saturday Fun Club or Family Fun Night, that brings us some happiness.
Our signature program, Camp Kaleidoscope, continues to be a very popular summer camp for our children. The inclusive nature and acceptance of children on the spectrum has been highlighted in many positive letters written by parents since we began the camp in 2011. We have certainly grown the number of spots and number of weeks the camp is offered, but our families have told us that we have maintained the service level and their children continue to look forward to their camp experience every summer. Our Saturday Fun Club Respite Sessions continue to be very popular with children and parents. The 5-hour respite program engages the children in a variety of activities in groups or one-on-one. It also provides a nice break for parents to do some shopping, go for lunch or just relax at home. The sessions typically run every other Saturday in the Fall and Winter. Parents are now able to use our ON-LINE Registration to book your sessions. We also have a Family Fun Night at various times throughout the year, which includes siblings. You can go to our website to find out the dates. Starting in January – we will have a NEW Outing-Based Group for Asperger and High-Functioning Teens modeled on the Camp Groups we called “Camp Within a Camp” or “Explorers”. This will replace the former “Typical Teens” Group we have previously offered as it was getting difficult to recruit and retain Peer Mentors, as well as not as economically-effective for both the Charity and Families. Read MORE about this in this Newsletter!
We continue to have a number of regular fundraisers, including the Celebrity Pumpkin Contest. We used a mixed format of electronic bids and paper bidding on a select number of pumpkins. Overall, it was a successful event. I want to say a special thank you to The Difference Makers (Les Faiseurs de Différence) who have had several events to support Children at Risk over the past year, most recently a Dart Tournament which I attended. This was a lot of fun and had great participation from the community. I also want to thank Costco for their generous donations of food throughout the year. Many of our families have been able to benefit from these donations.
The King’s Daughters and Sons Autism Circle Brunch was a great success, with our best attendance ever. We had two groups performing for us. The Capital Chordettes “Sweet Acapella” Group and the GleeCeptional singers. It was held at the Sala San Marco conference centre on Preston street. We planned to run our “Rollin' for Risk” Bowl-A-Thon fundraiser on Sunday, January 26th. Unfortunately, Walkley Bowling has closed, so we are in the process of securing another location/time for the event. However, the Difference Makers are holding their bowling on this date now in Orleans and we hope Families and Supporters will participate with them in the meantime!
I would like to say a special thanks to our Executive Director Brenda Reisch and Special Projects Coordinator Hazel Smith, who have kept the charity running smoothly throughout the year. I want to acknowledge the efforts from our volunteer board members Graham Estey, Rob Gentles, Alexandra Jeffrey, Marca McManus, Bill Pocock and Melissa Van Alstine. A very special thanks goes to our now former Charity Administrator Bambina Lemme, who has taken a well-deserved retirement. Bambina has worked at Children at Risk for the past 12 years and has been instrumental in our fundraising efforts and making our administration more efficient. Her efforts were key in the ability for Children at Risk to start Camp Kaleidoscope 8 years ago. We wish her all the best in her retirement. She will definitely be missed. We welcome Brandi Cranston and Eminè Turgut Neary as they settle in to our Office Administration and attempt to fill Bambina’s shoes!
Finally, I want to wish all the children, parents and volunteers a safe and happy holiday season.