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June 15, 2009

Business and labour join together to support Easter Seals

Easter Seals Ontario may have honoured Patrick Dillon of Ontario’s building trades at its recent tribute gala but he says the honour is truly his.

“It is a tremendous organization that has helped so many kids that are physically challenged and families that face barriers daily,” says Dillon, business manager for the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario. “I was a little surprised by the honour; I am an ordinary bloke that does his job every day, so I am very appreciative of the honour.”

Easter Seals honoured Dillon and Frank McKenna, TD Bank Financial Group deputy chairman, with its Toronto Tribute Award at its Toronto Tribute Gala held at the Four Seasons Hotel on June 10, 2009.

The Toronto Tribute Gala has raised over $2.3 million since 2003 with all of its proceeds directed to help families of children with physical disabilities.

“In these tough economic times, it is fitting that business and labour come together in support of such a worthy cause,” Duncan Hawthorne, president and chief executive officer of Bruce Power and Toronto’s Tribute committee chair, said in a statement.

Easter Seals assists families of children with physical disabilities with the purchase of costly mobility equipment such as walkers, wheelchairs, porch lifts and ramps, communication devices and bathing equipment. This financial assistance, especially for families that cannot obtain equipment, is crucial and in the current recession, it is even more important, states Easter Seals. It can cost up to $40,000 a year for families to care for a child with a disability.

Past honourees of the tribute award include Mayor David Miller (2004), Paul Martin (2006) and Hawthorne (2007). The Toronto Tribute Award is an honour for all the Building Trades who give time and help out in many of their own communities across the province, says Dillon.

“I may get the recognition but is all the work and leadership of the Building Trades affiliates and staff behind me deserves a lot of the credit,” he says.

Easter Seals also owns and operates two fully accessible residential camp properties and is recognized as an industry leader in providing specialized recreation programs for kids with physical disabilities. It also provides a series of scholarships for disabled children and youth.

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